As a NYC psychotherapist I have a particular focus on helping individuals and couples deal with infertility. Often new patients seek out therapy to get help with developing a plan to get through this challenging time. They may have just found out there is an issue or they have been struggling with infertility for quite some time. Each session is an opportunity to talk about the struggle and emotional upheaval of dealing with infertility and its treatments but it is also an opportunity to develop coping methods and plans of action. Inevitably, this is the question that gets asked:
How I am going to get through infertility?
I create a safe space to feel whatever it is you are feeling and that, in an of itself is a way to get some relief from anxiety, stress, depression and fear about your infertility. It may feel hard to keep going and act normal at work and with friends, but sometimes that gives your mind a break from focusing solely on your infertility. Here are some suggestions to get you started down a path of accepting where your body and mind are right now.
- Acknowledge your disappointment. A diagnosis of infertility is shocking and you should expect to feel a wide range of emotions. Discussing these difficult feelings will allow us to deal with them in a positive manner.
- Turn toward your partner or a trusted friend or family member. Whether the issue sits with you or your partner or does not have an immediately understandable source, it is time to turn toward someone for support. If you are in a relationship, blaming, giving the cold shoulder or acting aloof can creep in and you want to get a hold on that before it becomes destructive.
- Do your research. Do not sit confused with unanswered questions that can lead to more anxiety. Use your support team to get the information you need on treatments and for developing your plan.
- Try to get some space from thinking about your infertility. This might be a good time to think about getting in to something that can fully absorb you, even if it’s for a very short time. That will give your brain and heart some rest.
Individuals and couples who seek therapy during this very difficult time hope to find a way to ultimately get pregnant. Therapy is part of a holistic approach to the problem of infertility along with a strong medical team, good nutrition, rest, socializing and exercise. All of these things need attention to promote balance and as much wellbeing as possible while going through stressful treatments and wait times. No matter where you are in the process of dealing with your infertility, make sure you have a confidential support team in place to help you through.