A DIFFERENT LANDSCAPE
Often our reproductive journeys are not as we had hoped and planned for. Expectations about how our futures are supposed to look can be swiftly shattered through a medical diagnosis or in the ongoing struggle to conceive naturally; for some, this becomes one of life's greatest challenges. Fertility complications and treatment, for many individuals and couples, will present complex psychological, social and physiological challenges. Although beginning an IVF journey can be a very exciting, hopeful and positive time, it can also be a period filled with overwhelming worry, fear, frustration, anger, guilt, envy, low confidence and low self-esteem. The lack of control and uncertainty that pervades every part of this experience can create emotional turmoil and overwhelming anxiety which may affect many parts of life.
How will treatment progress and how will I cope with it? Will it be successful? What will the outcome be if it doesn't work? How will it affect our relationship? How will I talk to my partner? How will I talk to family and friends? Why does life feel like it is on hold? How can we plan ahead for the future? Will we be sufficiently supported? Will others understand? Why Me? Why us? Why is life so unfair? These are just some of the questions I am asked regularly by clients and which may resonate with you.
I appreciate that it is often challenging to find someone you can talk to, confide in and who will listen without judgement. I also appreciate how very lonely and isolating it can feel when family, friends and work colleagues cannot understand, or do not acknowledge what you are going through.
Each person's experience is unique and through counselling sessions, I will offer you, either as an individual, or as a couple, a confidential, secure and dependable environment to discuss the emotional difficulties you may be experiencing. An opportunity to share your fears and anxieties, relationship issues, grief and loss, and to process setbacks and disappointments. Together we can consider different coping and regulating strategies to support you through your journey. I work alongside people at all stages of their reproductive journeys, whether you are at the very beginning, just starting to contemplate a family, or whether you are hoping and planning to expand your family with another child.
For some people, their treatment plan will involve using eggs or sperm from a known or unknown donor and this is also something we can explore openly together, at your own pace. Often, it is critical to process the loss and grief surrounding how one anticipated this journey would be, before opening up to the hope and possibilities that donor conception offers to you for starting/expanding your family. This alternative way of creating a family can take time for some individuals to understand and accept. Together, we can begin to consider how the future looks and feels for you and explore your emotional responses and resistances to help you to understand whether this is the right decision for you. We can also consider the support and resources that are available to you, both now and in the future, as you navigate this potentially unanticipated road to parenthood.
LIFE BEYOND FERTILITY TREATMENT
When treatment is not successful, or not the chosen path, many individuals and couples find support counselling helpful to process their loss and grief and eventually to begin to look towards the future, whether that involves considering alternative family building opportunities or coming to terms with involuntary childlessness. This can present significant emotional challenges and pain and I will offer you a deeply compassionate space to sit alongside your feelings and emotions.
"FROM THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, YOU CAN NEVER TRULY UNDERSTAND IT.
FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT, YOU CAN NEVER TRULY EXPLAIN IT."