The importance of counselling in fertility

The journey to parenthood is an intimate and profoundly personal experience, characterised by hope, anticipation, and occasionally challenges.

The importance of counselling in fertility

For those experiencing difficulties on their fertility journey, the emotional, psychological, and even physical toll can be overwhelming. It is during these times that the importance of counselling becomes particularly clear.

Counselling offers a safe space for you to process your emotions, manage uncertainties, and find empowerment in the face of adversity. Counselling can help you throughout your fertility journey, offering guidance, compassion and support, providing you with the tools and coping strategies needed to weather the storm, and helping you to discover the strength and resilience you have within.

Why is it important to have counselling during your fertility journey?

“Counselling is very important in fertility treatment as it offers patients time to reflect on what they have been through,” says Zoe Townsend, our fertility counsellor at LCRH. “Patients will often have experienced traumatic events, or been given devastating news and asked to make sudden decisions. Often partners will be at different points of acceptance or have very different views of their singular/collective future.”

“Being able to speak to someone impartial allows the individual to really explore what they are thinking and feeling. The role of the counsellor is to support but also to challenge deep held fears or beliefs that might be impeding their ability to move forward.”

“Ultimately, fertility counselling helps the individual to feel less alone, to be heard and to feel met and supported in their confusion, anger and sadness.”

What are the two types of fertility counselling?

There are two counselling pathways typically offered and recommended to those going through fertility treatment: supportive counselling and implications counselling.

Supportive counselling

Supportive counselling aims to support patients that are starting to feel overwhelmed or out of control. They may be struggling to manage their feelings and emotions (often sadness or anger), unable to see a positive outcome, or, when treatment ends, they may be struggling to process the results in order to be able to move on with the next part of their life.

“While fertility counselling is different to standard therapy as it has an immediate link to what is going on for the patient, often issues will come up that then would benefit from further attention,” explains Zoe. “This often includes the impact of treatment on the relationship, the psychosexual relationship, and how the person is functioning within their family or friendship group. These would require the patient to consider deeper therapeutic work.”

Implications counselling

Implications counselling is designed to help guide patients through the complex issues associated with the use of donors and surrogacy, highlighting the legal, ethical, social and emotional implications of pursuing this pathway of treatment.

“Those points could be connected to decisions around how much information you might give your child or family, the laws around anonymity vs protected identity for the recipient and the donor, and how you make your peace with the idea of using a donor or surrogate,” says Zoe.

Implications counselling is often a fact finding session that leads on to emotional exploration as the patient starts to process their experience.

Why should you see a fertility counsellor specifically?

“A fertility counsellor is someone that has been trained to work in the field of fertility, which is often on top of their original area of therapeutic training,” explains Zoe. “This means that the counsellor or therapist you meet is aware of the laws around fertility and is up to date with any changes to guidance/guidelines and regulations. They are also able to help you process and hold the tumult of emotions that you are experiencing when you are going through treatment.”

Get in touch to learn more about fertility counselling at LCRH

If you would like to learn more about fertility counselling, please do not hesitate to contact the team at LCRH today to make an appointment. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about counselling in fertility, whether you’re already on your fertility journey or just about to take your first steps.