WHO THIS POST IS FOR:
- Couples going through IVF
- Women going through IVF
I love therapy. I believe everyone needs it because we all have our own shit. The world would be a better place if we were all a little more self reflective and proactive. But I digress!
I have been in therapy for years and along the way have changed therapists depending on what I needed. When I first started IVF I was with a hippy dippy mediative sort of therapist. While this methodology worked for some parts of my life (like family dynamics) it was not serving me well for IVF. After a suggestion from my doctor I switched therapists and it was the best decision I could have made.
I learned there are therapists who specifically focus on IVF. This means they are well versed in the lingo, know how to empathize with you and can help you navigate the process. You don’t spend your hour explaining procedural information, rather you can dive into the emotional wreck you have become.
I know switching can be daunting. It takes forever to build rapport with your therapist and when you have been with someone for a really long time they know the ins and outs of your family. To me IVF is a whole new beast and having someone who really gets it is essential and worth laying the groundwork.
WHY GET A THERAPIST:
- They can help you sort through your feelings. Having a third party who isn’t on drugs but understands the effects of the drugs on your mental state can be super helpful.
- IVF is tough on every and any couple. Ive never met a couple who was like “Yes IVF was the sexiest time in our marriage. It was pure joy!” Having someone to help you navigate those dynamics so you can show love to one another will set you up for long term success.
- Sometimes you need to be put in your place. When I would get crazy about weight or why things weren’t working, my therapist was my voice of reason. She appealed to me with logic and an empathetic tone.
- ADDED BONUS: If you can find a therapist who has had infertility issues it is even better because she will truly understand your pain. We have many a laughs during my sessions because of this unfortunate commonality.
TIPS FOR LOOKING FOR A THERAPIST:
- Search for terms like IVF, medical speciality, medical trauma.
- Ask your doctor for a recommendation.
- Call your insurance company to see if they have someone in network that specializes in medical trauma or IVF.
- Call several different therapists for a phone consult to learn about their philosophy. You are the patient and the one with the $$$, you can ask them how they work with their patients, what drives their work, etc.
- If you dont like the therapist after the first appointment, switch! You need to be comfortable with being you in front of them.
CASH IS TIGHT! I CANT AFFORD THERAPY!
In Illinois you get the best coverage for IVF with an HMO. HMOs suck for just about everything else including therapy. Through the IVF process I actually learned that 50% of my therapy costs could be reimbursed for out of network therapy. Shockingly this is not advertised. I recommend calling your insurance provider to find out all options before giving up on therapy.
In Chicago there is an amazing organization here called the Chicago Women’s Health Center. When I was going through a crisis years ago and was strapped for cash they let me come in for therapy for only $15 a session! They have a sliding scale based on income. If you are fronting your IVF costs I would imagine most amazing non profits for women would consider your costs. Google women’s health clinics in your area and call to see what recommendations they may have.