Counselling and Support
Why consider counselling?
All patients of CRGW are offered the opportunity to make use of the professional and confidential counselling service available. It is recognised by our team that infertility and its treatments can arouse very painful feelings which may at times, be difficult to contain. For these reasons, the counselling service is available to all patients before, during and after treatment.
The experience of infertility is unique and deeply personal and can arouse the most powerful feelings - anger, sadness or envy. The feeling of not being able to have a child in a conventional way or the fear of it not happening at all, can make us feel that our whole future and sense of purpose is being threatened. Relationships which are normally loving and secure can feel strained, often because each partner is dealing with the situation differently. Although this is very normal, it can lead to further feelings of isolation.
Most of us cope with difficulties and crises in our lives with the support of family members and friends. However, if for example, our friends or family members are having their own children, this can potentially create all kinds of undesired feelings. Putting on a brave face when attending some social events can sometimes be very difficult. Or it may be that friends or family members cannot understand the level of distress you are feeling or they may simply feel ill equipped to help. Often, those experiencing infertility will "protect" loved ones from the kinds of feelings which are aroused, leading to a greater sense of loneliness and distance.
Sometimes loss of fertility or treatment itself can cause feelings about past events to re-emerge. Counselling can help to look at why this might be happening and to find ways to prevent them becoming overwhelming.
Infertility and the process of going through treatment can make everything seem out of control and can diminish your normal coping and decision making skills. Counselling can help to support you through the investigative and treatment procedures and to strengthen your ability to explore options and to make the best decision for your future. Counselling can help too in supporting you if treatment has failed or when there is a need to grieve, if you have suffered a loss.
For women or couples who are considering having treatment with donor eggs or sperm, it is important that all the implications of this treatment have been explored both for the short and long term for the couple and for the potential child. Anyone considering this treatment will be encouraged to meet with the counsellor.
What Can I Expect?
A counselling session will normally last for one hour. You can be seen in a comfortable and private room at CRGW or you can arrange to meet the counsellor at a mutually agreeable location. You can make an appointment at any stage prior to the treatment starting, during treatment and after treatment. Access to the counselling service is free for one session once you have paid for your treatment, and for up to six months after your treatment. Sessions are chargeable at all other times.
It may be that a member of staff will suggest counselling. This will be offered to all patients and is not a sign that she/he thinks you are not coping. Counselling is an opportunity to talk about difficult feelings at a time of great emotional upheaval. It is a "healthy option", not a sign of weakness.
How to make contact with the counsellor
If you give your details to the staff at CRGW, our counsellor Marilyn Lawerence will contact you directly to arrange a convenient appointment.
Many couples experience sexual difficulties at times. For some the problem becomes worse the harder they try to deal with it; others cannot make a start because of technical worries or fears. Couples may find that infertility becomes bound up with their feelings as a woman or man, creating temporary sexual problems.
Our psychosexual counsellor can help in all of these cases.
How to make contact with the counsellor
You can contact Dr Lipetz directly by e-mail: Doctorlipetz@hotmail.co.uk