Issues Treated in Therapy:
The inability to conceive a child can be emotionally painful for some people. In some cases, infertility may lead to grief perhaps as intense as the grief of losing a living child.
While fertility treatments in the medical field may be able to help some individuals and couples conceive, for people who are not (yet) able to procreate, but want to, psychotherapy can be a helpful way to work through feelings of grief, anxiety, worry, and other emotions. It can also help couples to deal with feelings of guilt or anger that may arise between the two partners when one person is infertile, and to make decisions about how to proceed--adoption, fertility treatments, artificial insemination, surrogate parenting, or even separation.
Janie, 29, and her husband, Paul, 30, seek couples therapy to deal with their recent discovery that Janie cannot, in all likelihood, bear children. Paul appears to be supportive, but Janie is terrified he will leave her. Their marriage and family therapist helps them to explore options for raising a family, and helps Paul to admit to some feelings of resentment and confusion about what to do. His admission at first upset Janie, as it seems to confirm her fears, but she soon comes to appreciate his honesty, and feels better having his feelings out in the open. Paul’s ability to talk about his ambivalence helps him to work through it and reach a place of acceptance and renewed commitment to Janie.
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Last updated: 05-14-2013
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