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Is Therapy for You?
Many women (and men) find therapy to be a great resource when dealing with the roller coaster that is infertility. Chances are, at one point or another during your infertility/treatment you’ve experienced one or more of the following:
- Lack of appetite
- Inability to concentrate
- Bouts of crying or anger
- Feelings of hopelessness
But if these thoughts and feelings linger, you should consider seeing a therapist.
You can also benefit from seeing a therapist if you have marital stress, sexual difficulties, low self-esteem, are making difficult decisions, or need guidance and support as you navigate the challenges that infertility can bring. If you have suicidal thoughts, reach out to someone right away.
Grief Counseling? Cognitive Therapy?
The main types of therapies include:
- Psychotherapy —you explore defense mechanisms learned in childhood and re-experiences them in your relationship with the therapist
- Cognitive/behavioral therapy — the therapist challenges faulty thought processes and teaches new coping skills
- Solution-focused therapy — motivates you to develop new strategies for reaching your goals
- Crisis intervention — used for short-term challenges such as major decision making or disagreements; helps you to relieve symptoms of distress, to identify the factors that created the crisis and to restore your ability to cope with the crisis at hand
- Grief counseling — helps address the losses involved in infertility and pregnancy loss and move forward with life
Finding a Therapist
Look for a therapist who has:
- Masters or doctorate level training in psychology, psychiatry, social work, psychiatric nursing, or marriage and family counseling
- Experience working with infertility patients
And, ask whether the therapist accepts your insurance.
It is not uncommon to interview several therapists before you find one that is a match for you. Ask what the therapist’s treatment approach is and make sure you feel comfortable with him or her.
Good referral sources include your fertility doctor and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.