My name is Vicky and I am a specialist infertility counsellor. I have training as a general counsellor and I am a member of the BACP I hold an enhanced DBS check. After completing my training i have also undertaken additional learning to specialise in infertility and I am an accredited member of BICA (British Infertility Counselling Association), I am also on the BICA executive committee. I think counselling can be seen as a scary word - some people I think feel it implies they can't cope - this couldn't be further from the truth. I much prefer to think of it as support at a very difficult time, my own personal journey taught me just how helpful this type of help can be. The diagnosis of infertility can often feel like a life crisis. It may be very difficult to come to terms with and it is completely normal to experience feelings of distress, loss, grief, anxiety, sadness, isolation and frustration. All these feelings can be overwhelming and difficult to deal with. Infertility can affect all your relationships - including the relationship with you partner, with relatives, friends and even colleagues at work. Additionally your self-esteem and sexual relationships may take a battering. Counselling is vital, it gives you a confidential safe space and some support during what may be a very difficult time. Furthermore infertility counselling can often be a great stress reliever, which, of course, can only help during a treatment cycle. It can be quite practical, we can look at strategies that can be put in place to cope with a treatment cycle, things that will make it more manageable, including making a plan for the infamous two week wait. As an infertility counsellor I have observed that men and women often deal with fertility issues very differently, it seems to me that women often feel very isolated and have a great need to talk about "things" again and again. It's a way of coming to terms with what is happening and a way of processing information. Counselling can provide the support to enable this to happen. Men on the other hand seem to like to talk about something briefly and find it hard to understand why this rather painful "thing" needs to be discussed again and again. This is of course a huge generalisation and each person is different - there is no right or wrong way of coping! Counselling can be a way of acknowledging you have different needs and getting the support that is right for you. I realise when you are having treatment time is often of the essence and with this in mind I offer Skype and telephone sessions. I feel this makes counselling much more accessible and flexible, I offer early morning and evening sessions. Please do feel free to give me a call or email me so we can look at how best I maybe able to support you.
Vicky Parkin - MBACP/AMBICA