I want to welcome you to this part of the journey, where we assist you in managing the impact of infertility and loss in your life.
I know that by joining us, you’re probably in a place in your life that seems quite hard.
I originally founded 180 Therapy Infertility and Loss Counseling after my own journey with infertility and loss, and it has grown and changed to Bright Star Counseling as you see it today. We still see and help the same clients and the same people who have struggled with loss and the grief of infertility. I’m not glad you are in this current place in your life, but I am here to welcome you with open arms, and to support you along the way.
If you’re here, we likely assume you are one of the 1 in 4. A survivor of infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, loss, sometimes all of the above even multiple times over. We are made up of those who have been on the exact same road, just a little bit ahead of you on this journey, and we stand here, holding space for you.
I remember. I remember what it was like for someone who had been there before us, who was able to explain exactly what an IUI was in terms that made sense, while I cried over the fact that I was even in this place, needing to face IUI.
I remember. I remember what it feels like to hear I’m sorry, I can’t find the heartbeat. We need to talk about your delivery options. I remember that I stopped breathing on the first part of that phrase, and had no idea why we were already talking delivery before I had even processed that there was no heartbeat.
I remember. I remember checking the toilet paper. The needles. The doctor’s appointments and the invasive machines and wands going into the places we’d rather they didn’t. I remember the kind nurse who held our hand, the best friend who didn’t understand any of it but let us cry for YEARS, the neighbor who explained that IVF was so overwhelming but it gave her a living child.
I remember what it was like to find just one person who was able to allow us to feel, without judgment, without fixing it and trying to give us the “have you thought abouts” and the “God has a plan” speeches. Who just let me throw a fit and scream and wail and process all of our emotions.
I remember because I’ve been there, some of us are still there and we know what it was like for that entire experience to shape us, our relationships.
You may not have anyone like that in your real life, or you’re wanting to discover how to be a person who can stand in and hold space for a loved on on this journey. We welcome you. We hate to welcome you because we know what it means to even NEED to find us, but I’m here none the less and I’m glad you found us.
I hold space for you, meaning that I am willing to walk alongside you. Without judgment, without trying to fix this or fix you or tell you that you are doing it wrong or you are too angry. I walk and allow you to go on your path without guiding your steps. I don’t push you towards adoption when you so clearly want to try another IVF. I don’t push you to try at all when you just need more time to grieve your recent loss.
When we hold space for others, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgment and control.
One of the ways we do that is to also teach you to hold space for yourself, through meditation and mindfulness.
Through self-care. Loving you again if you find yourself falling into a state of guilt or anger.
Through healing relationships of communities who are the only ones who can understand what you are experiencing.
I believe in the magic of glitter, a community as a source of healing (yes this is coming from an introvert!), and big cups of coffee. I believe that there is nothing like connecting and grounding in the present moment to propel you forward to your healthiest, best self. I believe my role is to help you connect to those super painful emotions, in a space that is guided and safe for you to just let it out, or let it in. I believe our journeys are difficult, but there is a way forward.
Why exactly might you need a fertility counselor? What will fertility counseling do for you?
Does this sound familiar?
Do you find yourself struggling with anxiety, wondering if or when you’ll ever bring home a baby?
Wondering how in the world you’re gonna afford another round of treatments?
Hoping the doctor doesn’t recommend IVF when you’re not even sure you can cover another IUI?
Do you feel like you can’t sleep at night because you can’t stop worrying, or feeling overwhelmed that you have to make the RIGHT decision?
<h4>Do you feel like you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and you have no control or power over what happens?</h4>
Do you feel angry or resentful at other people who don’t struggle, like every Facebook pregnancy announcement is just another dagger in your heart?
How many times have you heard family, friends or “well meaning” people tell you, “You have to relax and then you will get pregnant”.
Or, “If you stop trying so hard, ‘it’ will happen”?
While relaxing is a great goal, just ignoring your issues can often make things even worse, especially if there is a medical condition that requires treatment and intervention.
You know in your heart of hearts that the people around you usually have good intentions and want the best for you. This is where infertility counseling steps in and bridges the gap of isolation during fertility struggles.
However, how many times did you roll your eyes or clam up after they said this to you? Do you feel more stressed after someone tells you to relax?
You need someone who truly understands that it just doesn’t work that way.
Life situations and issues are not resolved by simply ignoring them or relaxing.
In fact, these often make our problems even worse!
Working with me, we will focus on new stress management tools and emotional awareness skills to help you actually handle these emotions and behaviors
Here are some examples of the tools used in sessions for infertility counseling:
Positive thought restructuring
Yoga and other physical activity
Building support system
When dealing with the stress of infertility and fertility treatments, grief, trauma and other issues, your regular stress coping resources may not be helping as much.
Many people do not understand that each of us experiences our own feelings and thoughts in connection with our life history, and our current circumstances. Each of our situations requires a unique approach. None of us are living cookie cutter lives.
Many counselors, friends, and family do no understand the unique feelings associated with infertility.
Women and their partners can feel overwhelmed, confused and alone during their struggle with infertility. Feelings of shame and fear can be prominent for many.
These feelings come from a dark, hidden and vulnerable place inside of us which can limit our desire to seek support.
If you do open up and express fears that are common, “Do I deserve to be a mom” or “What’s wrong with me that I can’t get pregnant”, loved ones will typically respond by saying, “Of course, you will be a great mom. Don’t be silly”, “Nothing is wrong with you. Try to be more positive”.
Depending on how these responses are delivered, you may find some comfort in them.
However, I believe it is most important that you find someone who can hold that space and provide a safe, non-judgmental presence for you to face those dark feelings and explore the meaning or energy behind those fears.
When you face your fears and insecurities, the feelings do not hold the power
The journey to parenthood is infinitely more difficult when faced with constant challenges and decisions, such as “should we do another round of IUI” or “Should we consider donor sperm or eggs?”.
I understand and relate to the struggles that come with infertility, so if you are seeking a pregnancy loss counselor in North Texas or infertility counseling in Sulphur Springs Texas or someone who can collaborate with you to do online fertility counseling, someone understands infertility, who remembers what this journey is like, I’m there.
I will help you navigate this process, either individually or together as a couple, I am your match.
Not only am I available locally, but I think outside the box. Not every locale has a great therapist or counselor who gets infertility, and as a result, we offer online therapy for our clients, through Skype sessions.
Finding the right therapist for infertility anxiety or depression has never been easier than it is right now.
My mindfulness programs are open to both cycling and noncycling participants, looking to offer a way to manage stress, anxiety and as much relaxation as humanly possible when going through one of the most hormone filled, costly, emotionally taxing experiences of your life.
I wholeheartedly believe in the mind/body connection and seek to help you be mindful of your mind, while your medical team handles the rest.
This may sound incredibly hard to believe, but I was very active in a mindfulness program when cycling and it was one of the most grounded, calm (what?!) moments we can remember.
I can’t say I would call it fully relaxed, but grounded and present, not given to worry or massive stress beyond the current moment or day.
I can’t make any promises about pregnancy outcomes, but I can say that the methods, when utilized, work to help you stay as rational and grounded as possible, and that surely can’t hurt!
According to Alice Domar, a prominent researcher of infertility and stress management:
Mind/body treatment of infertility patients has been shown to both increase pregnancy rates as well as reducing psychological distress. In a recent study conducted at the
MBMI, 185 women who had been trying to conceive for one to two years were randomized into either a 10 weekmind/body group, a ten weeksupport group, or a routine care control group.
The birth rates during the one year follow up period were as follows: – Mind/body 55%, support 54
%,and controls 20%.
additionthe mind/body patients reported significantly greater psychological improvements than the support or control patients. Patients in the clinical Mind/Body Program for Infertility show benefits as well; in four published studies on several hundred women with an infertility duration of 3.5 years, 42 percent conceived within six months of completing the program and there were significant decreases in all measured psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety andanger”.