Getting pregnant hasn’t been easy for you.
Like many people, you want to be a parent. You assumed conceiving and having a baby would be a natural, problem-free process. But it hasn’t been. Receiving an infertility diagnosis or realizing that family-building will be difficult for you can be extremely stressful. In fact, you may feel that your sense of identity and life dreams have been taken away from you. It’s natural to have high levels of stress or anxiety as you face complicated medical procedures, difficult decisions, and the uncertainty of infertility treatments. Grief and feeling depressed from repeated fertility trials and cycles of hope and disappointment are normal. In fact, you may wonder if you are to blame, or you may feel angry, powerless, or overwhelmed.
You feel alone.
Regardless of the specific emotions that arise for you, it can be difficult to share your experience with others. You need extra support right now. However, it may feel like friends and family do not understand, or are insensitive to what you are going through. Similarly, your relationship with your partner may be strained. The emotional, physical and financial burdens of infertility often take a toll on relationships & marriages. Therefore, you feel isolated and alone during a time when support and emotional care are especially important.
Counseling can help you cope with the stress of infertility.
For many people, seeking the support of a fertility counselor can help. Whether you choose to come to counseling alone or with your partner, you will find a safe, supportive space in my Lafayette counseling office. Through our work during counseling sessions, you’ll be able to share your experience, to address difficult issues, explore your feelings, & decrease the intensity of your emotions. As a result, you’ll feel more resilient & have a better quality of life. I have personal experience and specialized training in reproductive psychology. During this emotional period of your life, you need a mental health professional who understands the emotional, medical, psychological and relational aspects of infertility and family building. Because of my training & experience in this area, I may be a good fit. You deserve support on your family building journey, and I would love to provide you that help.
Common Issues Discussed in Therapy During Infertility
Your family building journey is unique, so your counseling journey will be unique as well. Above all, I work to support you and meet you where you are in your family building journey. Here are some of the common issues we may address when you come to counseling for support around infertility:
- Coping with the stress of infertility
- Impact of infertility on relationships
- Improving communication and interpersonal skills with one’s partner
- Exploring infertility treatment options
- Support through IUI/IVF
- Secondary infertility
- Egg freezing/fertility preservation
- Exploring alternate family-building options (adoption, third party reproduction)
- Child-free decision-making
- Pregnancy after infertility
- Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders after infertility
Alternative Family Building
Not every parent’s journey to motherhood &/or fatherhood looks the same, and I want to support people on all types of journeys to parenthood. Therefore, I also provide counseling support for those who wish to build a family using third party reproduction or adoption. I work with heterosexual couples, same sex couples & single individuals wanting to start a family. Deciding to use a donor, to adopt, or to use a surrogate or gestation carrier can be an emotional process. However, having the support of a therapist who specializes in this area can be very helpful.
I offer consultation and support for intended parents that includes:
- Exploring different family building options
- Understanding the issues involved in non-genetic or gestational family building and parenting
- Grieving the loss of a genetic child, pregnancy, childbirth
- Help selecting a donor, surrogate or gestational carrier
- Help navigating the adoption process
- Guidance writing a letter to birth parents
- Working through expectations with extended family
- Addressing disclosure to friends, family, and co-workers
- Finding ways to talk with children about their conception
Psychological Evaluations of Donors & Surrogates
As a counselor specializing in reproductive health, I also screen and administer psychological evaluations of donors and surrogates. In fact, in some cases, I even facilitate collaborative reproductive arrangements by hosting meetings in my office between donors or surrogates and intended parents.
Today, there are many ways to create a family. I am committed to helping you develop a family building plan that works for you!
Begin Infertility Counseling in Lafayette and Explore Family Building Options
You don’t have to feel alone and isolated upon receiving a diagnosis of infertility. Nor do you need to let the stress of infertility steal joy from your dream of building a family. If you’re struggling with your mental health during or after receiving an infertility diagnosis, counseling can help. If you want help in coping or in considering alternative paths to motherhood and live in the Oakland, CA area, treatment is available. As a women’s mental health expert, I help women thrive at my Lafayette, CA counseling clinic. Please contact me today and start to experience freedom in a new way.
Other Women’s Mental Health Services
In addition to counseling for infertility and family building options, I offer a variety of other mental health services as well. I want to help every woman thrive. Other services available include wellness coaching, individual therapy, couples and marriage counseling for new parents, support groups for new moms & pregnant women. I offer individual counseling for women with Trauma using EMDR, counseling for childbirth concerns, pregnancy and postpartum health, perinatal loss, and Moms with NICU babies or other infant health concerns.