Linking up with others and getting support – NIAW day three

I was really pleased to hear that the fertility support group at Complete Fertility in Southampton had a successful launch this week, and am looking forward to hearing about the new group in Fulham starting tonight – and the other new groups starting around National Infertility Awareness WeekDownloadedFile-16 too – there’s the St George’s West London group, the Fertility Circle at London Fertility Centre and the secondary infertility group for those who are already parents too.

Some of the groups I’ve been to in the past have been hugely successful – others have been quieter – and they do seem to go in peaks and troughs.  It made me think about the whole idea of support groups, and whether it’s the name that puts some people off?  Would you be more likely to go along to something that was a talk on a specific fertility-related topic with the opportunity to chat to others at the same time?  Or would a more casual coffee morning type event be more attractive than an actual group?

I think sometimes people imagine support groups being slightly alarming – but in fact they are quite laid back affairs where people have an opportunity to get together with others who are going through similar experiences and to talk about how they’ve been getting on. It’s not the same as talking to friends or family because these are other people who genuinely understand where you’re coming from because they’re in exactly the same place.

I’d be interested in your thoughts though – would you be more willing to go to something that wasn’t called a “support group”?  And if so, what sort of event would interest you?

2 thoughts on “Linking up with others and getting support – NIAW day three

  1. It’s like the word ‘counselling’ isn’t it Kate. I know counsellors are very reluctant to lose this term for what they do in a very professional way, but I do think when in comes to matters of donor conception in particular, the term preparation for donor conception parenthood would be a more appropriate one. Of course if therapeutic counselling is required that would be in addition to preparation sessions.
    The word ‘support’ as with ‘counselling’ seems to imply a lack of something. As so much about infertility is to do with loss, maybe ‘support group’ just sounds as if it is a place where people are going to be sad and miserable. This is of course often far from the truth. A lot of laughing often happens when you do meet up with others in the same situation. Although I can’t think of an appropriate alternative term just at the moment, I do think ‘support group’ is a bit lame (DCN has the same problem of course).

  2. You are quite right Olivia – it does suggest something rather gloomy and depressing, when in fact the groups tend to be positive and uplifting experiences. I always remember going to my first one feeling deeply dubious and being totally won over by how lovely it was to be with other people who understood – and amazed by how much laughter there was. If you think of a better name for them, let me know! I don’t think support groups is right, but I’m not sure I can come up with anything more suitable…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *