The emotional journey for couples trying for a baby can be turbulent even at the best of times. The discovery that you may need to seek additional medical support to boost your chances of conception, as well as any resulting treatment that may be advised, can sometimes intensify obstructive negative feelings.
It is so important that both men and women have someone they can talk to about their concerns. This may be a partner, a parent, a sibling, a friend or a colleague. It really does not matter, provided you can trust someone and feel comfortable with them, which is all that may be needed. However, so many couples we see either do not feel they have anyone they can confide in, or they really don’t want to discuss issues of such an intimate nature. This is where counselling can help. Fertility counselling is a process through which individuals and couples have the opportunity to explore their thoughts, feelings and beliefs in order to come to a greater understanding of themselves and their present situation.
Jane Knight is our Specialist Fertility Nurse Counsellor*. For over 25 years, Jane’s work has increasingly highlighted the real difficulties that so many couples face in their highly pressurised lives, from the time of first considering getting pregnant, right through to IVF and beyond.
Your emotional response to your situation can have a real impact on your approach to dealing with it. It is not always easy to keep negative feelings at bay when trying for a baby. Emotional upheaval, uncertainty and feelings of doubt and failure can at times arise. Past or present experiences can also create blocks that prevent the optimal mindset for conception to take place.
The right combination of counselling, visualisation techniques, art exploration and hypnotherapy can be crucial for some in helping to overcome difficulties in the following areas:
• Relationship difficulties
• Sex and intimacy
• Coping with delays in conception
What to expect
Your session with Jane will last 50 minutes, during which time you will be invited to discuss various aspects of your life that may help to explain some of the challenges you are facing. Often, a single session of counselling can be hugely effective in helping you to work through some of these issues, whereas in other cases 3-6 sessions may be more appropriate. You can be seen on your own or with your partner and although most counselling is done face to face, telephone counselling is also available.
Whatever you discuss during your counseling session is confidential. No information will be disclosed to anyone without your permission except in very exceptional circumstances. These circumstances are: if there is a serious risk of harm coming to you or to someone else; or if you disclose information relevant to a serious crime. In this case the counselor is obliged to disclose relevant information to the appropriate agency. It is very rarely necessary to do this and any disclosure will be discussed with you.
*Diploma in fertility counselling from the London Medical College (University of London 1991)