When you break a bone and go to the hospital, you know what’s going to happen. Your bone will be set in a splint or a cast and eventually heal. When you make an appointment to have infertility counselling, how do you know what’s going to happen? It’s hard to know what it’s like to see a counsellor to discuss sensitive issues if you’ve never done it before. Making an appointment to see a Perinatal Psychologist for infertility counselling isn’t like fixing a broken bone. The problems you may be experiencing aren’t visible. Happy Minds Psychology is based in Geelong, Victoria and works with clients across Australia. If you are looking for help for issues such as infertility, birth trauma, surrogacy and assisted fertility/IVF counselling contact us.
Often, people hold a great deal of uncertainty about what actually happens during a counselling session, what types of issues and problems are suitable for therapy, and what benefits a fertility counselling session can provide. Hopefully the information in this blog will reassure you that reaching out for help can start healing, make change and educate you about your options. Here are a few questions that people have before coming to see a Perinatal Psychologist.
Do I have to be “sick” or “disturbed” to see an infertility counsellor?
The answer to this one is clearly a big “no”. Thinking that one has to be “seriously disturbed” in order to see a counsellor is a myth.
Some counsellors do specialize in severe emotional disturbances including schizophrenia or suicidal thoughts. However, many focus on helping clients work through far more typical, everyday challenges like mapping out a career change, improving parenting skills, strengthening stress management skills, or navigating a divorce. Just as some physicians specialize in curing life-threatening illnesses, while others treat “everyday” illnesses like coughs, and colds, Psychologists can serve a wide range of clients with a range of needs and goals, too. Happy Minds Psychology specialises in working with anyone who is struggling with their fertility, or undergoing the counselling for surrogacy process in Australia. We provide infertility counselling in Geelong, The Surf Coast & Melbourne, as well as across Australia using Telehealth.
How can I choose the right counsellor for my goal/situation?
Choosing a counsellor is like choosing any other service provider. It’s a good idea to visit the practitioner’s website to get an understanding of their experience. Psychologists aren’t legally allowed to use client testimonials on their websites or social media, so you won’t see any of these on Perinatal Psychologist’s websites.
If you are hoping to work on a specific issue, such as birth trauma, pregnancy anxiety, surrogacy in Australia for example, try to find a counsellor with expertise in that area. Happy Minds Psychology works with a range of issues relating to perinatal psychology such as infertility, antenatal and postnatal depression, and gender disappointment.
What actually happens during a counselling session?
Each session is, essentially, a problem-solving session. You describe your current situation, and your feelings about it, and then the infertility counsellor uses their expertise to assist you in trying to resolve that problem. This can move you closer to having the life you wish to have.
At the beginning of a session, the counsellor typically invites you to share what’s been going on in your life, what’s on your mind, what’s bothering you, or whether there are any goals you’d like to discuss. You’ll be invited to speak openly. You won’t be criticized, interrupted or judged as you speak. Your conversation will be kept in the strictest confidentiality. This is a special, unique type of conversation in which you can say exactly what you feel without worrying that you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings, damage a relationship, or be penalized in any way.
Some counsellors may give clients some homework to complete after a session. During your next session, you might share your progress and address any areas where you got frustrated, stuck, or off-track.
Will I have to talk about my childhood?
Not necessarily. Many people think that visiting an infertility counsellor means digging up old skeletons from your childhood, or talking about how awful your mother was. That’s a myth. What you talk about during a counselling session will largely depend on your unique situation and goals. Depending on your goals, you may not actually talk about your past that much. For example, in counselling for surrogacy, the focus of your therapy is as likely to be your present-day reality and the future that you wish to create with becoming a parent via surrogacy.
How long will I have to go to infertility counselling?
This varies from person to person. Sometimes, one brave, honest conversation is all you need. Other clients have booked sessions with Happy Minds Psychology over a period of several weeks or months, focusing on one issue, resolving that issue, then perhaps moving on to a different challenge. Then there are other clients who have been working with us for some time. They appreciate having a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly “check-in.”
Working with a psychologist is really about whatever a client needs. A one-time conversation, a temporary source of support during a life transition, or an ongoing experience to optimize health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Having infertility counselling is no different.
Is meeting with a counsellor through video chat or telehealth just as effective as meeting in person?
That depends on your personality and preferences. Telehealth is a convenient option for many people. Many of our clients do enjoy having some, or all, of their sessions via video chat because it means they don’t have to take time out of their busy schedules, they just close their door and login to our secure system.
Why would you need to see an infertility counsellor?
If you are blessed with caring, supportive family members and friends, by all means, share your feelings, goals, and dreams with those people. They are a big part of your support network and their insights and encouragement can be very helpful. However, people who already know you might not always be completely objective when listening to you. Everyone has their own experiences with having children and achieving pregnancy. These emotions could make it difficult for them to listen and support you objectively.
This is why working with a Perinatal Psychologist can be so valuable. It’s a unique opportunity to share everything you’re feeling and everything you want to create. All without anyone interrupting you, imposing his or her own anxieties onto the conversation or telling you that you’re “wrong” or that you “can’t.”
A counselling session is a space where you don’t have to worry about hurting anyone else’s feelings, you can be totally honest. It also means you have the potential to solve problems faster and with greater success. In the long run, that’s better for you and everyone else involved in your life, too.
Infertility counselling is a valuable tool that can help you to solve problems, set and achieve goals, improve your communication skills, or teach you new ways to track your emotions and keep your stress levels in check. Does everybody need it? No. But if you are curious about working with a Perinatal Psychologist, that curiosity is worth pursuing. Consider setting up one or two sessions, keep an open mind, and see how things unfold. You have very little to lose and, potentially, a lot of clarity to gain.
Contact Us Today
Happy Minds Psychology can help you with infertility counselling in Geelong, The Surf Coast or Melbourne face to face, or via telehealth across Australia.