Effective counselling requires specific skills and qualifications. At Nurture HF we only collaborate with highly qualified, compassionate psychologists in order to offer those on trying to conceive the best possible support during this bumpy journey to parenthood.
It is extremely common to feel a wide range of intense emotions whilst dealing with infertility. And these emotions may often linger well after you welcome your longed for baby to the world.
Our recommended fertility counsellors are dedicated to supporting you and helping you navigate this challenging time of your life.
Nurture will offer each of our intended parents one complimentary mini-session to ensure you start your fertility journey confidently.
What is counseling?
A widely accepted definition of counseling is that it is an interpersonal process based on a theoretical framework, used to bring about change in a skilled and systemic way.
What is fertility counseling?
Counseling with infertile individuals is often about support and the clarification of life goals. Fertility counseling is a type of therapy which involves allowing the person to talk about their feelings in a confidential and safe environment. It can help an intended parent understand the implications of having treatment and at the same time offer support both prior, during and after the treatment is complete. A person suffering with infertility will face complex issues which may include biological, psychological, social and ethical matters. Discussion of these issues in a counseling context has been proven to be extremely beneficial.
What is the purpose of fertility counseling?
The aim of fertility counseling is to explore, understand and resolve issues arising from infertility or infertility treatment and to identify ways of dealing with the problem more effectively. Intended parents may also resolve to counseling in order to help make decisions about whether to continue with treatment or not. However, counseling may also address issues outside of the treatment context. It may also be used to discuss alternatives to parenthood or used to identify ways of fulfilling life without children. In general terms fertility counseling sessions can help:
Cope with the normal stresses associated with fertility treatment
Learn strategies to improve your communication with your network of friends and family
Boost your emotional health
Help you identify the right decision for you
Types of fertility counseling
The following types of counseling are commonly offered however in practice they may overlap:
Information gathering & analysis
Information on the social and emotional implications of fertility treatment. The counselor will help the intended parents collate and make sense of information to be considered when deciding about when and how to have treatment.
Implications and decision-making counseling
Implication counseling aims to help the intended parents understand the implications of the proposed course of action for themselves, their family or any children born as a result. It normally focuses on the specific meaning of any information to the individual and highlights the consequences of treatment decisions. It may be particularly important in cases of egg and/or sperm donation or surrogacy.
Support counseling aims to offer emotional support to intended parents experiencing distress. This can be caused by frustration of the desire to have a child, social and family pressure as well as by the treatment employed and its limited success rate. The treatment process may also induce periods of increased distress during which the intended parents may need further support counseling. For example, during the waiting period after embryo transfer.
There is often a natural progression from support counseling to therapeutic counseling within infertility. Therapeutic counseling may focus on the following:
Reflection of individual problems and family history
Acceptance of the situation
The meaning and impact of infertility
Work on alternative life and self-concepts for the future
Development of coping strategies and strategies to minimize distress
Problem and conflict solving
Specific issues such as marital and other interpersonal problems
When to seek fertility counseling:
Counseling is available and recommended to anyone who would like it at any time-point during their fertility journey. Nurture is a strong advocate for professional emotional support during this challenging time and as such recommends a counseling session prior to starting any type of fertility treatment.
We also strongly recommend counseling in the following cases:
After pregnancy loss or unsuccessful fertility treatment
Those considering donor insemination (egg and sperm donation)
Those considering surrogacy
During pregnancy after a previous loss