My background and why I work exclusively with the psychological effects of fertility issues
About my education
I gained my Degree as a person-centred counsellor in 2012 at Strathclyde University, Glasgow and completed my MSc in counselling studies at the University of Edinburgh (December 2021) in my topic of (in)fertility and loss. My choice to return to academia and complete my master’s degree while building my private counselling practice was motivated by my own diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility’ along with my strong desire to work with others living with fertility impairment/(in)fertility diagnosis. My client work coupled with my ongoing research in my field of counselling and psychotherapy in regards to lived experiences of (in)fertility, is my passion.
From masters to
During my master’s degree I realised I had only scraped the surface of this topic and it became clear that it was my mission to take my work further into PhD level.
As part of my counselling work with clients as well as in my PhD research I keep up to date with all legislation for The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Association (HFEA) and BICA - British Infertility Counselling Association - established in 1988 by Jennie Hunt during the period when parliament was drawing up legislation to regulate the field of Reproductive Medicine, which was developing rapidly following the birth of the first baby born as a result of In Vitro Fertilisation treatment. BICA played an active role in drafting the section on Counselling in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (1990) and radically altered the status of counselling in the provision of services. This was further advanced during the 1990’s with the introduction of BICA accreditation that became, and remains, the standard requirement in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s (HFEA) Code of Practice.
Where my passion is
I will explore your goals, options, and dreams with you, always offer you a trusted space to voice your emotions around receiving this life changing realisation that can bring about feelings of disenfranchised loss, a grief that can be prolonged, complex, and confusing. Whether it be enduring critical cycles, such as IVF treatments, miscarriage or how this new path of fertility impairment has affected your relationships, your wellbeing, your job, your finances, your marriage or partnership, and other aspects of your life; all extremely difficult to adjust to, to say the least! We will unpack and work through these challenges, identifying limiting beliefs, realising the possibility of “reflective exploration and a search for meaning in experience”, and moving towards the search and desire to feel whole again, in whichever path you decide upon.
For example, having experienced, worked with, and researched various theoretical treatment methods that may be specifically suitable to individuals diagnosed with (in)fertility and unexplained infertility (UI), counselling for this unique type of loss requires a different way of working. Therefore, in complex loss such as disenfranchised grief it is importance that the counsellor has a well-founded knowledge of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) and other options on parenting, for example, adoption and surrogacy as well as many other aspects of this delicate topic. It is also essential for psychotherapists working with (in)fertility to detect the different unique and complex challenges for client's/patient's agonising yearning for a child.