I was talking to staff at a fertility clinic today about counselling – and about how you encourage people to see it as a positive thing. I know that for many people going through fertility treatment, the idea of going for counselling can feel like yet another intrusion – and perhaps a sign of not being able to cope.
I think people going through treatment should be encouraged to get any help that they can – if your clinic offers counselling as part of the treatment programme, I’d urge you to at least try it. If you don’t find it helpful to you, there’s nothing lost, but you may well find that it helps to provide you with some strategies to get through the difficult times.
Sometimes people going for treatment are only offered counselling at the very start, when they are likely to feel they don’t need it. Remember, if you find it hard to cope half way through a cycle, it’s not too late to seek counselling at that point.
I always think that seeing a counsellor when you’re having fertility treatment is a sign of strength and common sense rather than weakness or failure – it shows that you are aware of the problems that you may face and are working towards ways of dealing with them.
Finally, if you are going to have counselling, it’s important to see someone who is experienced at dealing with infertility and understands the issues you may face. You can find a list of suitably qualified and experienced counsellors on the website of the British Infertility Counselling Association (BICA).