Wouldn't you like someone who understands your situation from personal experience and who knows how to overcome the struggle?
When is it time to get help?
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) recommends getting the assistance of a mental health care provider when:
When you want a baby so much that it hurts, individual psychotherapy can help by:
- You feel "stuck" and need to sort out your options.
- You are considering third party donation (sperm, egg, or embryo donation) or surrogacy.
- You are feeling depressed, anxious, or have mood swings.
- You are constantly preoccupied with infertility and find it hard to enjoy life.
- You have difficulty with concentration, memory, or decision-making.
- You are using alcohol or drugs to cope with life stressors.
- You experience significant changes in your appetite, weight, or sleep patterns.
- You are experiencing marital conflict and discord.
- You have thoughts about suicide or death.
- You have difficulty with scheduled intercourse.
Who is a good psychotherapist for dealing with infertility?
- Allowing you to ventilate distress about your situation that may block you from effective coping and problem solving.
- Reducing anger at yourself and your body, facilitating a sense of being supported by your body in your intentions.
- Identifying any unconscious conflicts that may hinder your full participation in treatment.
- Grieving pregnancy loss, miscarriage, or the dream of your genetic child or ideal family so that you can move forward.
- Teaching relaxation techniques, like breathing and meditation, to maximize bedrest periods.
- Using guided imagery to tolerate medical procedures and envision positive outcomes.
- Helping you discern what you can and cannot control, so that you can use your energy more effectively.
- Exploring and challenging any beliefs that contribute to pessimism, feelings of helplessness and passive coping.
- Discovering new meaning in your situation that comforts, encourages, or inspires you.
- Integrating unexpected challenges into your identity as a man or woman, a couple, or a family.
When looking for a psychotherapist to support your family building efforts, look for someone who:
To help you decide if the time is right for you to get help from a psychotherapist, please take the free Infertility Distress Syndrome Test.
- Is a licensed mental health professional.
- Has resolved his or her personal infertility experience.
- Knows the variety of treatment options available to individuals and couples today.
- Knows a network of local infertility care providers and resources.
- Is a member of professional organizations focusing on infertility and adoption, such as ASRM, Resolve, or AIA.