As we all know, dealing with infertility is tough. It’s not often something you’re prepared for and the stress and strain can leave you mentally exhausted, frustrated and frightened, which is why getting the right support structure around you is so important. You’re often expected to function as normal while struggling with this big life changing event and for some of us that can be very overwhelming.
Counselling can help by giving you an objective, safe and non-judgmental platform in which to air your feelings and talk about your worries. Just the action of voicing your feelings can free up space in your head and make your problems seem a lot more manageable.
The NHS explains counselling as the following:
During talking therapy, a trained counsellor or therapist listens to you and helps you find your own answers to problems, without judging you.
The therapist will give you time to talk, cry, shout or just think. It’s an opportunity to look at your problems in a different way with someone who will respect you and your opinions.
Usually, you’ll talk one-to-one with the therapist. Sometimes talking treatments are held in groups or couples, such as relationship counselling.
Although there are lots of different types of talking therapy, they all have a similar aim: to help you feel better.
Some people say that talking therapies don’t make their problems go away, but they find it easier to cope with them and feel happier.
The last line is particularly significant: counselling isn’t a miracle cure but it does offer you the space and perspective to be able to cope with whatever life is throwing at you at that moment in time and make you feel like you’re not alone in your struggle.
Benefits of Fertility Counselling
- Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a stranger and professional rather than friends or family. You can use the counsellor as a sounding board and usually have 1 full hour to talk through fears and concerns that are praying on your mind which is often hard to do with family without feeling guilty about it or evoking emotional response from them which isn’t always very helpful.
- Counsellors are trained professionals (always make sure that you choose someone who is registered with a professional body ie. British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.) They will know the right questions to ask to open up the conversation and target the real issues at hand. Sometimes it takes a professional to identify the real issue as we can often display certain feelings without really understanding the root cause.
- A counselling session can be a great opportunity for both you and your partner to communicate with each other in a safe, objective environment, aided by targeted questions from the counsellor with the aim of helping you both understand what the other person is going through and how best to support them. Again, sometimes these conversations either don’t happen when they should at home or if they do can quickly descend into an argument if tempers are flared and a counsellor can help navigate through this to get to a positive place for both of you.
- You will usually be able to get a taster session for free. The aim is for you to meet the counsellor and assess whether this is someone you will be able to be open and honest with and supported by. Not everyone can work with every counsellor so finding the right one for you is really important and it will also give you an insight into what to expect during the sessions.
- As the mind and body are so fine tunely interlinked, it is possible to improve fertility by clearing some of the fears and concerns that might be holding you back in your mind. This is obviously only the case in some circumstances where fertility issues aren’t linked to any physical issue in the body but it can be beneficial for everyone and is only usually ever a positive part of your fertility armoury.
Have you considered counselling for your own fertility concerns? What are your expectations of counselling? Do you have pre-conceived ideas of what counselling is like and who it’s for? Wherever you are on your fertility journey, I’d love to hear from you!