What is counselling?
Undergoing fertility investigations and treatment can be a difficult and stressful experience.
As well as acting as a form of personal emotional support, counselling can contribute to the reduction of symptoms related to stress, anxiety and low mood/depression.
What is the fertility counsellor’s role?
We offer a counselling service before, during and after fertility treatment.
You can explore and discuss any difficulties, distress or uncertainty that you may be experiencing in a confidential setting.
The implications of fertility treatment or gamete and embryo donation/storage on your health and well-being can also be explored.
Who requires counselling?
Our counselling is inclusive for everyone but for those who are undergoing specific protocols counselling is a requirement as part of the Centre’s licence conditions and is built into the treatment pathway. These include:
- Surrogacy arrangements as an intended parent
- Egg sharers
- Treatment with donated eggs, sperm or embryos including mitochondrial donation
Following a provision of information session delivered by our clinical team, all patients on these protocols will therefore have at least one counselling session to discuss the implications prior to signing consent forms. This is to ensure that all psychological impacts of progressing are explored and that you are fully informed before proceeding.
Counsellor availability and access to the service
You may attend with your partner or individually. Each session usually lasts for one hour and arranged to be weekly, fortnightly or even monthly appointments, depending on your needs. There is no set number of sessions. Timings and frequency of the counselling session will be agreed with the counsellor. We aim to be as flexible as possible by providing face-to-face, telephone or video appointments.
Please email for appointments: email@example.com
Leaving your full name, DOB and contact telephone number. Sean will then endeavour to respond within 72 hours.
The counsellor’s working hours are 9.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday and appointments are currently available at 11am, 2pm or 4pm each day (contact the counsellor for further updates on the appointment times, as more sessions may be available and cancellations may become available for short notice interventions.
What you talk about during your counselling session is private and confidential between you and the counsellor.
There are however, situations when the counsellor cannot hold information you share as private and confidential. These situations are:
- You are at risk of harm to yourself or from others
- Others are mentioned as being at risk from themselves, you or others
- A safeguarding issue related to any child
- Terrorism or extremist plots/action that put the public at risk
- Anything deemed illegal by law
The counsellor has a duty of care to contact the appropriate authorities if any of the above surface during your session(s).
The counsellor may discuss your case information in the confidential setting of their clinical supervision.
The counsellor keeps digitally secure brief notes on your session(s). You and the courts/police have a legal right to access these notes. If these notes were requested, we would seek your permission to release them.
Support groups & resources
Support groups offer a chance to meet and share experiences with others who are also trying to conceive. You can participate as much, or as little, as you wish and sessions are informal. You can attend as a couple or individually. Peer support provides an opportunity to learn from others going through a similar experience.
Newcastle Fertility Network Support Group works closely with Fertility Network UK and is held on the second Tuesday of every month. Posters are displayed in clinic or for more information contact: Newcastle@fertilitynetworkuk.org. You can also join the closed Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/newcastlefertilitygroup.
Other useful resources
Fertility Network UK
Donor Conception Network
Daisy Network (Premature Menopause Support Group)
The Miscarriage Association
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)
Childlessness Overcome Through Surrogacy (COTS)
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
HIMFertility (Male Infertility Support)