Santa Rosa – there are lots of high achieving young couples here who are ready and willing to start a family. They are successful, educated, and can provide, but they haven’t been able to have a baby. Anyone who has been struggling with this issue for any period of time will be quick to say that the experience is stressful. They sometimes consider getting counseling. Yet they wonder, is adding another set of professional appointments to the already daunting and hectic schedule going to help?
Since my practice is predominantly couples, I have worked with many clients who are dealing with infertility treatment and/or the adoption process. Often they have been unable to speak openly to one another about the fear, distress, anxiety, anger, frustration, and even depression, they are experiencing. Since it can be hard to talk to friends and family about what you are going through, especially when they may seem all too ready to make comments which, although well meaning, can feel insensitive or even hurtful, your regular support system may be inaccessible. This is an experience for which there is no preparation in life.
The first step should be finding a counselor with whom you feel safe and comfortable. Your physician may be able to give you qualified referrals. If you are participating in a support group, other members may have had positive experiences with therapists who they will recommend. Another option is to call counselors and ask, “How frequently do you help people who are dealing with the emotional fallout of infertility, infertility treatment, or adoption?”
Scheduling an initial appointment with someone, and seeing how you feel when you are with them, as well as asking what they have to offer, will give you some sense about whether a counselor is right for you. It may be most important for you, or you and your partner, to have a compassionate, supportive ear, or you might be looking for a safe place in which to be able to honestly and openly share the thoughts and feelings you are experiencing as you navigate the rough seas of trying to have a family.
Help from a qualified counselor can make a scary process feel more manageable, and make you feel you are not so alone.