Are you having a difficult time dealing with fertility concerns? Are you unsure on what you can do to better cope with fertility concerns? To help understand what type of impact fertility concerns can have on someone and what you can do to cope with fertility concerns, I have interviewed therapist Heidi Sommer McAlister, MSEd., LPCC.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
” I am a psychotherapist and owner of a specialty private practice in Columbus, Ohio called, The Sommer Group that I started in 2003 just after the birth of my son. In my practice we offer counseling and consulting in the areas of Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, Fertility, Eating Disorders, and Relationships. I have a Masters of Science Degree in Counseling from the University of Dayton and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from the Ohio State University . I currently serve as a clinical advisor to the Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms (POEM), organization here in Columbus . I am also an active professional member of the C.G. Jung Association of Central Ohio (JACO).
For the past year, I have worked with a local reproductive medical practice and through this relationship provide psychological evaluations, ongoing psychotherapy and supportive counseling to individuals and couples dealing with infertility of all kinds.”
What type of impact can fertility concerns have on someone’s overall life?
” I like to use the term fertility concerns in place of infertility. It has a much more positive and hopeful sound to it and women dealing with fertility issues can feel so very defeated, so very ‘not good enough’ and hold a ton of self-blame and doubt.
Women are deciding to have children later in life after career establishment. These women are very use to ‘making things happen’. Conception, having a child and mothering just doesn’t work this way. Becoming a mother is so much more of process and a multi-tasking required job like no other. Many women who are planners, productive and highly self-motivated can get extremely frustrated with the lack of control they have over becoming pregnant. Sometimes to the point of trying to control when they have sex through charting, planning and becoming hyper-focused on the ‘GOAL’. In some cases this intensity can contribute to full blown panic attacks, high anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive behaviors to the point that they get in the way of life and relationships with one’s spouse /partner and with the self. Working towards conception with this verve puts a mom-to-be at a much higher risk of for a perinatal/postpartum mood disorder.”
What are some tips for coping with fertility concerns?
“The following are 4 tips for coping with fertility concerns.
1. Surround yourself with supportive people who understand what you are dealing with. This may or may not include family members. It may be online or in person through groups such as the National Infertility Organization (RESOLVE). http://www.resolve.org/
2. Finding a medical doctor and/or OBGYN who is experienced and knowledgeable in the area of infertility.
3. Consider working with a counselor for support who has experience with fertility, loss and maternal mood conditions. Use this person as a touchstone throughout your process.
4. Include yourself as part of this team in taking an almost over-the-top care of your emotional, physical and spiritual needs. You in essence become the ‘star player of the team’ and therefore need the most attention.
What type of professional help is available for someone that is having a difficult time coping with fertility concerns? “In our city we have two large medical practices dedicated to helping women, men and couples dealing with fertility issues. They include http://www.reproductivegynecologyinc.com/ and http://www.ohioreproductivemedicine.com/ respectively.
Most major cities throughout the country will have these expert clinicians who offer this specialty. Services that are usually offered through these medical practices will include fertility assessment, diagnosis and treatment options. Treatment offerings can include In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), use of donor egg or sperm and in some cases surrogacy programs. Individuals will want to start in getting a referral from your obgyn or primary doc and if this isn’t successful, start searching on your own.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) – http://www.asrm.org/
National Infertility Organization (RESOLVE) – http://www.resolve.org/ .”
Thank you Heidi for doing the interview on tips for coping with fertility concerns. For more information on Heidi Sommer McAlister or her work you can check out her website on www.thesommergroup.com or call her at (614)985-5500.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/297953/what_to_do_if_you_are_a_women_who_is.html?cat=52″>What to Do if You Are a Woman Who is Infertile
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5639358/infertility_causes_and_treatments.html?cat=5″>Infertility: Causes & Treatment
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/126046/how_to_reduce_your_stress_simply_.html?cat=72″>How to Reduce Stress Simply