Working with individuals and couples undergoing infertility treatment is inspired by both my professional and personal experience.
Professionally, the skills I have developed to address the psychological impacts of other physical challenges makes the field of infertility a natural fit. My expertise in stress management, coping with loss and change, self-esteem, depression, pain management strategies (for getting through some of the more uncomfortable procedures), phobias (particularly for those afraid of needles), panic attacks, and making healthy lifestyle changes (weight loss, smoking cessation, reducing alcohol and drug use) are highly relevant to these clients. My genuine, empathic style and ability to clearly explain complex medical information also allows me to provide much needed support to infertility patients who can often feel powerless and alone.
On a more personal level, as I started talking about my interest in working with individuals and couples coping with infertility, I was struck by the number of people I met who had sought medical intervention to help them conceive. It almost seemed like it was something that everyone was doing but no one was talking about.
The need for support during infertility treatment was clear, as this was often the first time these high achievers had been faced with an important goal that they could not easily meet through their own efforts. Just conceding the need for help with what is supposed to be an intimate and private process often made them feel like they were “failures”.
Teaching ways to counter negative thinking was certainly something I could do to help these individuals pursue parenthood with their self-esteem and relationships intact. Feeling the need for change, I decided to dedicate my expertise to this area of practice and help these individuals and couples maximize their resilience.