Why seek counselling for support?
As we face challenges and changes in life, it is sometimes necessary to find support to explore personal, emotional, psychological and relationship issues that may surface. Infertility counselling can provide the space and support to understand more about yourself, the relationships you value and the issues that may affect them.
Counselling can help you to develop new skills for coping with change or to find new ways of looking at difficult or challenging issues in your life. If you are trying to conceive, counselling can help you develop the resilience, coping and stress management skills to help you stay the course.
Infertility and IVF Support
Trying to get pregnant can raise issues for you personally and within your relationship. This is a unique area of challenge and we find most people need to talk to someone intimately familiar with the particular challenges associated with infertility and especially IVF. Our counsellors have a depth of understanding about what you are experiencing physically, emotionally, socially and domestically.
Issues around failure and success, grief and loss, feelings of isolation and any past or present issues affecting your fertility can be explored and supported. Decisions about ongoing treatment or care, exploring options or making difficult decisions such as when to stop can all be made easier with the help of an experienced, knowledgeable and compassionate counsellor.
Mandatory Pre-Treatment IVF counselling
In Victoria, the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act (2008) mandates that individuals or couples attend one counselling session before they start fertility treatment.
Our Fertile Ground counselling team has a contract with City Fertility to provide pre-treatment counselling for City Fertility private patients and Monash Health public patients.
The main purpose of our pre-treatment sessions is to help prepare you for the IVF experience. We believe it is so important for individuals and couples to be informed and prepared for some of the potential emotional, psychological and physical challenges that IVF treatment can cause. We provide an opportunity to reflect on your feelings prior to beginning the treatment and to share your experience thus far. We aim to make these sessions relaxed and personable.
There are some mandatory topics we must cover as well as some general themes that we support you to reflect on during the session. These include but may not be limited to the following:
· Checking in that you understand any medical advice you have been given and have a clear understanding of the treatment process
· Consider some of the potential emotional and psychological impacts of the treatment
· Managing your expectations of the treatment
· Explore any life stresses that may affect the treatment experience
· Provide insights and strategies for coping with some of the challenges that may arise during IVF treatment
· Ensure that you understand some of the legal decisions you have made or need to make about the gametes in the event of separation or death
· Consider what you would like to happen to gametes (eggs or sperm) that do not fertilise, and the implications of creating excess embryos from your treatment
· An opportunity to express any concerns or ask any questions about the process
Our intention is that you come away from our counselling session feeling more informed and prepared for the treatment which, in our experience, will help you better manage the challenges that may lay ahead.
Our pre-treatment counselling services are only available with City Fertility (nationally Via Telehealth) currently as a contract is required between the counsellor and your chosen fertility/IVF clinic for the session to be considered valid by the ART act (2008).
At this time, pre-treatment counselling is not available at Fertile Ground if you are using any donor gametes – eggs or sperm – or surrogacy for your intended pregnancy.
Ongoing IVF support counselling appointments may be funded by your clinic at certain times during your IVF treatment cycles.
Please always speak to your fertility/IVF clinic about the counselling options available to you depending on your treatment type and timing to ensure you are making the correct appointment.
Read more about our counsellors
Suzanne Hurley – General counselling, Fertility and IVF support and City Fertility mandatory and supportive counselling sessions.
Chanel Keane – General counselling, Fertility and IVF support and City Fertility mandatory and supportive counselling sessions.
Clare O’Rourke – IVF support and City Fertility mandatory and supportive counselling sessions.
Rhea Dempsey – Pregnancy and Birth Debriefing consultations. Rhea is available on the first Tuesday of every month.
Free 10-minute introduction calls are available with our counselling team or you can book an initial consultation and get started as soon as you need. Book online or call for an appointment 03 9419 9988.