Compassionate IVF Counselling Support and Fertility Issues

How IVF Counselling Can Help through IVF Treatment

Infertility affects an increasing number of couples globally today. According to the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS), approximately one in seven couples of reproductive age may have difficulty conceiving.

Infertility is diagnosed in couples who fail to conceive and sustain a pregnancy after one year of unprotected sex. According to the WHO, it is estimated that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals in the world struggle with infertility.

However, technological developments in fertility treatment have provided better opportunities for couples to conceive.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive treatment (ART) used to treat infertility.

IVF fertility treatments involve:

  • Extracting eggs from a woman’s body.
  • Obtaining a sperm sample.
  • Manually joining it with eggs (insemination) in the laboratory to create embryos.
  • Transferring embryos back to the woman’s body – in the uterus.

IVF Infertility counselling

Mental Health Implications of IVF

Parenthood can be one of the major desires and life goals for many couples. The stress of not becoming a parent is linked to anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.

Also, studies show that infertility has been associated with:

  • relationship problems
  • sexual dysfunction
  • diminished self-esteem
  • feelings of failure and defectiveness
  • sense of loss
  • social isolation

Undergoing fertility treatment can be highly challenging for both partners. Unsuccessful IVF treatment often triggers disappointment, frustration, and sadness. Also, you might feel angry, moody, irritable, and uncomfortable due to fertility procedures and medication side effects. IVF Counselling can help.

Additionally, the IVF cost and uncertainty of the procedure outcomes can contribute to stress and anxiety. And the other way round, emotional distress of the future mother can affect the success of fertility treatment. Namely, research shows that prolonged stress activates a hormone called gonadotropin inhibitory hormone (GnIH) that reduces fertility, even long after the stress has ended.

Identifying potential stress triggers linked to IVF treatment and how to cope with them can help you on your journey. IVF counselling can help you manage stress and alleviate its outcomes.

Also, fertility counselling can help address your emotions, connect on a deeper level, and learn practical coping strategies to get through IVF.

Compassionate IVF Counselling Support and Fertility Issues

Is Fertility Counselling Right for Us?

Infertility is often linked to frustration, anger, and depression. Emotional distress caused by infertility can take its toll on your mood, mental well-being, relationship with your partner, productivity at work, and other aspects of life.

Studies show that women experience more infertility-related stress, anxiety, and depression than men. Studies show that they tend to consider infertility as life’s greatest disappointment and appear more emotionally affected following the treatment failure.

A skilled fertility counsellor can help you develop strategies to cope with the emotional strain of infertility. Individual psychotherapy and couples counselling can help whether you are just starting your IVF treatment, grieving a miscarriage, or trying to cope with shock and denial after learning that you will not be able to conceive.

For many people, infertility and In Vitro Fertilization are too intimate to be discussed with others. For this reason, many individuals who struggle with infertility withdraw and isolate themselves from family and friends, sometimes even their spouses.

Some partners have difficulty discussing their feelings and comforting each other while going through IVF. As a result, both partners may feel unseen, unheard, and unsupported, creating distance and conflicts in their relationship.

IVF and fertility counselling for individuals and couples can be a safe and confidential environment to discuss delicate topics such as infertility, miscarriage, or sexual dysfunction. It can help improve your communication skills, improve your coping skills, and help maintain a healthy relationship while going through IVF.

How Can We Benefit from IVF Counselling?

Through sessions of individual or couples therapy, you can learn to:

  • Accept disturbing emotions related to infertility and IVF
  • Address your concerns
  • Come to terms with complex feelings linked to infertility
  • Work through your feelings
  • Improve communication with your partner
  • Make decisions together
  • Prepare for IVF treatment
  • Process grief
  • Increase resilience
  • Get through the waiting period before the pregnancy test
  • Develop other strategies for starting a family (adoption, using a surrogate or donor, etc.)

Summary

Infertility is a significant life experience that impacts both partners and their relationship. Therefore, fertility counselling should be an integral part of your IVF treatment because it can help you process overwhelming feelings of hurt, confusion, disappointment, shame, anxiety, anger, and grief. Also, Individual and relationship fertility counselling can equip you with valuable tools to reduce stress, improve your coping skills, and strengthen your relationship.

Fertility and IVF Counselling & Psychotherapy in London at Leone Centre 

Online Fertility and IVF Counselling & Psychotherapy
If visiting us in person isn’t for you, but you want support with issues around Fertility and IVF – we can still support you. Clients choose to work online for a variety of reasons including time and location practicalities.

To discuss further getting support and best way of working for you, get in touch today.

 

Being alone and loneliness – How Counselling can help

Loneliness, Are you alone, lonely, or socially withdrawing/isolating? 

While humans are social beings who love to experience a sense of belonging and connection to others, they aim to fulfil their potentials and be their authentic selves as well. All individuals need to be alone from time to time, to observe their experience without social constrictions, to know themselves without relating to others.

Once you are alone you can pay attention to who you are, become aware of certain traits or thoughts that you rarely express in front of others, or just enjoy things and activities without thinking if you’re bothering someone. Freedom, creativity, intimacy, and spirituality are all found to be the benefits of being alone (Long and Averill, 2003).

Being alone and loneliness – How Counselling can help

However, being alone can still, in many cases, be far from healthy and social, so there are other aspects to consider. If you are spending much of your time alone lately, there are some questions you may want to ask yourself:

  • Did I choose to be alone?
  • Am I avoiding something or someone?
  • Am I having a good time by myself?
  • Have I done something that brought me fulfilment?
  • Do I think that others do not like me?
  • Do I feel as if I don’t have real friends?
  • Do I think that I will want to hang out with someone soon?

Solitude – “A social phenomenon”

Believe it or not, solitude is considered “a social phenomenon” by many psychologists (Long and Averill, 2003). By observing historical figures, spiritual individuals, writers, painters and many others who preferred being alone and considered it an important part of their creative process, we can conclude solitude largely contributed to society and many social movements.

Besides that, solitude allows us to reflect and interpret our experiences, understand more about social interactions, behave maturely and, in the end, be socially adjusted individuals who have their place in the world. Considering healthy activities and processes, once you have fulfilled the need for being alone, you certainly have more to offer to others when you go back to socialising.

When is it healthy?

It is healthy wanting to process certain feelings before expressing them socially. But if you avoid facing such feelings by eating, binge-watching, using alcohol and drugs, or else, you might be stagnating on your way to resolve issues and move on. If you want to give yourself some time to rest, make sure to pay attention to whether you are really resting, do your body and mind feel that way.

Enjoying your time alone, creating something, or reflecting upon experiences, feeling present in the moment while regaining your energy are all signs that your current solitude is what you wanted, and what you needed for healthy human functioning. If you need more alone time than others around you, and some of your friends might even find it frustrating, don’t beat yourself up because that might just mean that you are highly introverted.

Many people mistake introversion with social anxiety, so make sure that you don’t get caught in excuses that would make your social anxiety persistent and more intense. This means that if you are an introvert, you will still enjoy socialising when you decide to go back to it, and it doesn’t make you awkward and upset. This also means that you have somewhere to go back, that your relationships won’t be significantly and irrevocably affected by your solitude phases.

Loneliness

Loneliness, compared to being alone, occurs when there is a difference between ones’ desired and actual levels of socialising (Russel et al., 2011). Therefore, you might feel lonely because you would like to socialize today, and there are no friends with whom you may hang out.

You can also feel lonely while hanging out. Perhaps you wanted to be alone the other night, and your friend has persuaded you to socialise. Therefore, you felt trapped in a social group, and while things you wanted to do alone were popping into your mind, you didn’t want to share them with the group. Such situations cause loneliness because there is no sense of connecting or sharing, whether it be because you wanted privacy at that particular moment, or because you don’t feel close enough to a particular social group.

While it is completely normal to have your privacy, it should also be normal to share yourself with others, so you may want to consider if your current friendships can provide you with a sense of connectedness at times you want to talk and share your thoughts.

If current relationships do not fulfil your social needs, you may want to consider meeting new people and building new friendships. You can take acting or dancing classes, search for communities that share your interests and participate in their activities. This will provide you with a sense of belonging to a community while having room to meet new friends as well.

Some people find it difficult to make new friends and create meaningful connections with others, and you can always practise your social skills if this is your case. Moreover, a therapist or a counsellor can help you regain confidence and become more assertive, and they can also help with any other concerns you might have in regards to feeling lonely.

Social withdrawal and/or isolation

 

Being alone and loneliness – How Counselling can help

Social withdrawal means avoiding social activities that have brought you joy and happiness before. As you continue avoiding others, it can even come to the point of social isolation where you avoid even closest friends or family members for a longer period.

Social withdrawal might be a sign of depression, general anxiety, social anxiety, low self-esteem, counter-dependency, intimacy issues, and even schizophrenia.

Choosing to be alone although it doesn’t provide you with a sense of fulfilment, restfulness or creativity implies that either you have to spend your alone time more wisely, or you might:

  • have a negative self-image
  • feel stressed or even endangered in social situations
  • fear intimacy or deny your intimacy needs

If you do not feel good in general, or in regards to your solitude, yet you find it difficult to get yourself out of such a situation, then it is time to consult a therapist or a counsellor. Professional individuals can assist you in finding healthier ways to deal with psychological problems and help you overcome them, as there is always the possibility to feel better!

How Counselling can Help – Leone Centre – Supporting People since 2009

With professionals across each of our services, including Individual Therapy, Couples Counselling and Corporate Services, each client will be carefully assigned the right counsellor and coach according to their needs.

You are assured a confidential and prompt response. 

Book and schedule an initial appointment

Call 020 3930 1007 Leone Centre

Are You Feeling Tired All the Time? Counselling can help!

Do you experience a constant fatigue and lack of energy? How can counselling help?

Are You Feeling Tired All the Time? Counselling can help!

Feeling tired is something we all experience from time to time. But, are you feeling tired all the time? How can Counselling help?

If you suffer from an ongoing lack of energy, chronic sleepiness and tiredness, and excessive exhaustion, it may be time to address these issues and to see your GP.

They may advise you to seek counselling for anxiety or depression because fatigue often results from these and other mental health challenges.

Working in counselling to understand your lack of energy is the first step in getting your mental health and life force back on track.

So, let’s look into what fatigue is and why you might be feeling tired all the time. 

What is Fatigue and How It is Linked to Mental Health?

Fatigue is lingering tiredness that doesn’t improve with rest.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2.5 people in the US have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a mental and physical disorder characterized by extreme and persistent tiredness. Long covid add

As millions of people have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 virus a vast number of individuals complain about continuing breathlessness and fatigue even months after the onset of the disease. This overwhelming phenomenon has not been well defined and has been called “post-COVID syndrome” or “long-COVID”.

People with chronic fatigue syndrome have often complained they are not taken seriously but that could change as research is done into similar effects from the coronavirus.

People who suffer from fatigue and low levels of energy experience a limited ability to go after their daily activities such as school, work, childcare, social life, or personal care.

Addressing your constant tiredness and seeking counselling on time can help prevent this condition.

Symptoms of fatigue and links to mental health

Are You Feeling Tired All the Time? Counselling can help!

The most common fatigue symptoms: 

 

  • Chronic sleepiness and tiredness
  • Problems with concentration 
  • Muscle weakness and pain
  • Dizziness 
  • Headaches
  • Excessive exhaustion after mental or physical activities
  • Irritability 
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making

As you can see, many of these symptoms involve physical fatigue -physical exhaustion can occur due to mental health issues as our mind and body are intertwined. 

 

Fatigue often occurs as a symptom of various mental health problems:

 

  • Chronic stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

In addition, a lack of sleep, strained relationships, and neglecting self-care can also lead to feelings of exhaustion and fatigue. 

Psychological Causes of Feeling Tired

In addition to stress, fatigue is also closely linked to stress, anxiety, and depression. 

 

Stress, Anxiety and Fatigue and Counselling

When you experience stress or anxiety, the amygdala in your brain starts the fight, flight, or freeze response, by triggering stress hormones. This causes the rush of adrenaline and cortisol in your body. However, once the danger is over, your energy levels plummet, causing feelings of overwhelming tiredness and weakness. 

However, ongoing stress doesn’t allow your body to recover after such a response, leading to chronic fatigue. 

Counselling for anxiety and CBT, can help you identify negative thinking patterns that trigger stress and anxiety. Once you recognize such thoughts, you can learn strategies to replace them with more positive ones and ultimately overcome fatigue and other anxiety symptoms. 

Depression and Fatigue and Counselling

Similarly, one of the first signs of depressive disorder is the feeling of exhaustion and lethargy. However, there are other signs of depression that can help you distinguish between these two conditions.

Counselling for depression can help you understand what triggers constant tiredness. 

Online counselling can be a great choice if you, for whatever reason, cannot attend in-office sessions. A skilled therapist can help you learn self-care strategies to help you set boundaries and take care of your needs.

According to research, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can be an effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Are You Feeling Tired All the Time? Counselling can help!

Why Counselling at Leone Centre?

Leone Centre experienced Therapists, offer therapy in London and Online.  Our therapists can help you by identifying and assessing emotional and behavioural patterns and issues. All discussions in counselling are handled sensitively and, of course, with confidentiality.

Leone Centre provides online and in-person therapy, and professional relationship therapy online and at our practices in London.

To book your first meeting with one of our counsellors and therapists call us on 020 3930 1007 or you may book your first appointment online.

Leone Centre counselling => online and in person

Prince Harry on Mental Health – “Speaking out is a sign of strength”

Prince Harry on Mental Health - “Speaking out is a sign of strength”
Prince Harry, interviewed on the Armchair Expert Podcast

Millions of people struggle with their mental health in silence and most of us have experienced some kind of trauma. Are personal, cultural and universal injuries inevitable and intrinsic to life and being human? Do healing and evolution open up to us after we take stock of our own wounding…and, if so, is there strength and power in vulnerability?  

Prince Harry Talks about his Mental Health and the Importance of Breaking the Silence

By bravely speaking about his own trauma, unprocessed grieving and mental health, Prince Harry is showing others that they too, can choose to reach out and openly talk about their pain.

Joining forces with Oprah Winfrey for “the me that you can’t see” TV documentary and on a recent issue of the popular Armchair Expert podcast, presented by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman Prince Harry talks about his ongoing mission to destigmatize public discussion of mental health.  

Following his controversial CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey, along with his wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, the Prince launched a podcast series with the legendary presenter.  The subject, unsurprisingly, is mental health awareness.

The series, entitled The Me You Can’t See, launched on May 21st on Apple TV.  Its title alludes to the masks we all tend to wear when we don’t want others to know how we’re feeling.  As Prince Harry admits, particularly amongst men, “you will always find some way to mask [your] actual feelings”.  It’s an unhealthy tendency, but a natural one in our current culture.

Redefining Privilege

“I always wanted to be normal” Harry says “when I think about my mom the first thing that comes to mind is always the same one: me strapped in the car and my mother driving and being chased by three, four, five mopeds with paparazzi on.”‘

As sixth in line to the British throne, Prince Harry was undeniably born into a life that is considered of extraordinary privilege.  However, when he talks about privilege, he’s at pains to stress that for him this meant the ability to travel and meet people from radically different backgrounds and cultures across the Commonwealth.

On Armchair Expert, he explains how he felt more of a kinship with people who had a kind of freedom he’d never experienced.  He describes life in the Royal Family as being a “mix of the Truman show and being in a zoo”, citing the constant intrusion of paparazzi, whose harassment resulted in the accidental death of his mother, one of the chief sources of trauma in his early life. On The Me You Can’t See Harry talks about hi mental health, how he would get panic attacks and severe anxiety, was over drinking and taking drugs in order to cover his feelings.

Prince Harry also talks about his time in the army, flying Apache helicopters in Afghanistan, one of the few times he experienced what he describes as his “Achilles heel”, namely helplessness.  

From his early 20’s he felt like he “didn’t want this job”, having seen what it did to his mum, Lady Diana, the Princess of Wales. Rather than simply complain, Prince Harry sought to “do it differently” and to this end he set out to find unique ways to do service, including setting up the Invictus Games for injured servicemen and women.  

He admits that “privilege does give you blinders” and describes seeking out the “estimable act”, an act of generosity that also builds self-esteem, one of the best ways of maintaining mental equilibrium.

The Value of Therapy

Prince Harry discusses PTSD, better described as PTSI, with the “I” standing for “injury”.  His personal traumas include the death of his mother when he was 12, his time in Afghanistan and his recent public pillorying after stepping away from royal life and relocating to California.  

While still hugely famous and sought out by photographers, the intense feeding frenzy of the British tabloid press is now absent from the couple’s lives.  Prince Harry talks about his feelings of being trapped yet eternally visible.  “You’re everywhere while you’re nowhere, he says.  Prince Harry explains that his mother was an inspiration to pursue a more normal life.  However, his decision to step away and seek therapy for his trauma followed a conversation with Meghan, an American actress far less inclined to adhere to the British establishment need to keep a “stiff upper lip”.

After his return from his second tour of duty, Prince Harry felt what a lot of ex-servicemen experience, namely adjustment issues around the unfamiliarity and unknowability of ordinary life and parenthood.  The military uniform had become, for Harry, a kind of cloak that lent him a temporary new identity.  

Trauma, however, does not solely belong to soldiers and those who have lost parents at a young age.  Prince Harry discusses how we all witness and internalize small traumas in our daily lives.  These build up and as the Prince puts it “the body holds the score.”  

The solution is to turn to therapeutic sources of release, whether these are in the form of talking therapies or simply walking on a beach with your dog.  “Far better to process it and constantly put in the work… to find that equilibrium”, he admits.  

Breaking the Cycle

Counselling
It s Good to Speak Out – Therapy and Breaking the Cycle

Although some commentators have been critical of statements from the Sussexes that might impute guilt on the part of Harry’s Royal relatives, the Prince’s confessions of having suffered are really an admission of vulnerability, a concept he stresses throughout the interview.

Prince Harry concludes by talking about “breaking the cycle” of trauma within his own new family.  In a much quoted clip he imagines telling his own children “that happened to me; I’m going to make sure it never happens to you.”  

Talking of his experience of therapy he says: “One of the biggest lessons I’ve ever learned in life is you’ve sometimes got to go back and to deal with really uncomfortable situations and to be able to process it in order to be able to heal. For me, therapy has equipped me to be able to take on anything.”

If you’d like to take the first steps towards dealing with mental health difficulties you may be having, check out our counselling services, and the range of talking therapies we offer.