You might be so focused on the next step—the next appointment or procedure—that you have little time to address the distressing feelings below the surface. Alternately, you might feel consumed by sadness, regret, resentment, shame, anger and fear, and you don’t know how to regain balance and sustain faith in your dream of parenthood. If you are grieving a miscarriage, a stillbirth or a failed round of treatment, you may wonder if you (and your partner) can keep going through this devastating loss. Or, perhaps you have not yet found the space you need to grieve.
Perhaps you are single, and feel that no one understands how much you long to be a parent. Or, maybe you are in a partnership, and ongoing struggles to conceive have created distance and tension in your relationship. You might both feel helpless and unsure how to validate and support one another, especially if only one of you is going through ongoing infertility treatment, medical examinations and procedures. You may not know how much to tell friends and family members, especially if you feel overwhelmed by unsolicited advice and insensitive commentary about your body and relationship. Over time, this can lead to greater social isolation and less support. Experiencing infertility is psychologically distressing in many different ways.
Therapy offers you a safe space to process and openly express your experience without dodging painful misconceptions and judgments. By working with a therapist who truly understands infertility and a wide range of related family planning issues, you can find solace and acceptance. As you work through the emotions and questions that brought you into therapy, you can feel secure and understood as you sit with grief, loss and trauma. You’ll also have the compassionate space to air out and work through any thoughts and feelings you’ve kept buried. You can create room for healing.
Grief and loss can change your thinking patterns before you even realize it. Suffering can make you fearful of more suffering, triggering looping thoughts about everything that can go wrong. Focusing on the worst-case scenario can make it difficult to see other options in front of you. Whether you come to sessions alone or with your partner, your infertility therapist can teach you effective tools and strategies for coping with anxiety, depression, communication issues and more. For example, if you are struggling with hormones and physical wounds, your therapist can guide you through soothing mind-body exercises, helping you reconnect with your body and find balance in the present moment. You can shift out of negative beliefs and discover new ways of thinking about the challenges you’re facing. With increased awareness and self-compassion, you can see your future more clearly.