“It has helped me to understand how I can better support (my wife). By telling her everything will be ok wasn’t helpful; now I listen and let her know I can see she is hurting. It’s difficult to acknowledge that I can’t fix this, but our relationship has become stronger. And I have seen her putting the techniques she has learned from counselling into practice and coping better.” JM, fertility client
All my counselling is currently online during the lockdown and closure of fertility clinics. I am offering group support sessions by Skype for Kingston ACU and TVF clients, whether you have begun treatment or not. These are free of charge.
Having a child is a major life event, and many people look forward to the day when they can start a family. For some though (as many as one in six couples), it proves difficult to achieve and requires medical intervention. This can be very distressing and can even become a life-crisis.
Since 2014 I have been helping couples and individuals at varying stages of fertility treatment, both privately and through their fertility clinics. I gained accreditation with the British Infertility Counselling Association in 2019 and I see patients attending Kingston Assisted Conception Unit and Epsom and St Helier ACU. I am also based at Thames Valley Fertility in Maidenhead, seeing clients in clinic and online. I am also one of the online counsellors for Herts & Essex Fertility Centre. As well as counselling for support I carry out the HFEA required implications counselling sessions for donor sperm and eggs, fertility preservation and surrogacy.
My counselling will support you through loss and grief – of fertility and for some, miscarriage – and help you maintain hope through treatment, and beyond. I will help you build coping strategies for this anxious time or deal with depression and other life events. You may need to make decisions about treatment paths, whether to continue IVF or whether to move to donor conception.
“I was having a pretty turbulent time dealing with pressures – my wider family and work – for once, nothing to do with fertility issues. Your counselling must have resonated on a much deeper level than I originally thought. It gave me the confidence to step away with kindness from problems that do not directly involve us. And now, after nearly 10 years of various treatments at the clinic, we managed in the end all on our own. Today we have had our 13-week scan, and I wanted to take this opportunity to sincerely say thank you for the help you gave directly to me and indirectly to my husband. We know for sure that gaining insight and help from you helped us to achieve this tiny miracle that is due in the middle of February.”
RW, fertility client
Throughout the treatment process there is stress and uncertainty, and a host of difficult feelings that can be hard to cope with. There is loss and grief that may be suppressed, because you feel that you need to stay positive and move on to the next treatment cycle (if there is one) or stage. Relationships can be strained – men and women respond differently to the emotional stress – and all aspects of your life are affected. It can feel as if life is on hold.
If you have decided to stop trying for pregnancy, counselling will help you to grieve your loss, take stock of your experience over the last few years and come to acceptance of the outcome. Only then can you can look at what you want your future to be, reach decisions and plan for a life together as a couple or a family ‘of difference’.
How does fertility counselling help?
Counselling allows you to talk about your experience, feelings and thoughts with someone who has empathy and is non-judgemental. I won’t pretend to completely understand your specific situation, but I do have personal experience of donor conception treatment. My counselling offers the chance to talk through decisions you might need to make, and find strategies for managing strong and sometimes confusing emotions. As an accredited and experienced fertility counsellor I have some knowledge of the complex medical procedures that you face and is aware of the regulatory environment in which fertility clinics operate. I also have personal experience of fertility treatment.
Face to face sessions are held in a safe, quiet and private room in confidence and parking is easy. Online sessions are by Skype or FaceTime. Individuals and couples are welcome.
If you would like to find out more about how Cloudtalk Counselling can help you through this stage of your life please phone or email Sandra and arrange a time to talk on the phone, free of charge.