How to Find a Therapist Who Can Help You With Infertility

Couple holding hands with a therapist
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If you’re looking for a counselor to help you cope with infertility or your doctor requires it before certain treatments, you may be wondering how to find someone who will be right for the job. There are a number of reasons for seeking out a therapist, and some more than others require a counselor with specific expertise in infertility.

Here are some tips to help you find a counselor that is right for you.

Make Sure They Are Licensed

This may seem obvious, but there is a difference between a trained therapist and what’s known as an “infertility coach” or “infertility consultant.” If you’re coping with depression and anxiety, or your doctor requires that you see a therapist, you need someone who is a licensed mental health professional -- not an infertility coach or consultant.

You should look for an infertility counselor with a graduate degree in an area of mental health, such as psychology or social work, and check that they licensed to work in your state.

Check the ASRM Database

One great place to find a therapist who is trained to work with infertility patients is the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s Mental Health Professionals database. You can search by your city, state or the name of a therapist if you know who you are looking for.

You may also want to check with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, or contact the American Fertility Association. They may be able to refer you to local counselors.

Ask Your Doctor for Recommendations

Even if your doctor isn’t the one who asked you to see a counselor, your physician is still a good source for finding a local counselor who is familiar with infertility.

Make Sure the Counselor Is Educated in Infertility Issues

If you’re seeing a counselor to help deal with the emotional aspects only, you may or may not need someone with special training in infertility counseling, though it can be helpful. However, if you need to see a counselor to help you navigate through your options or your doctor requires you to see someone before a particular treatment, then you need someone with special training.

Interview and Ask Questions

Before you hire a counselor, you should feel free to ask as many questions as you like about his or her services and experience. Most counselors offer a free first session just for this purpose. It’s important that the person you see is someone you feel comfortable with.

Questions you might considering asking include:

  • What experience do you have with infertility, either personal or professional?
  • Have you attended any special training for infertility? Are you familiar with the medical side of infertility?
  • Do you have any clients who are dealing with infertility?
  • Are you willing to write a report for my fertility doctor? (if applicable)
  • How much do you charge? Do you accept my insurance plan?
  • What is your availability?
  • Do you think you can help me?

If It’s Not Working, Find Someone Else

It’s also important to know that if the relationship with your chosen therapist isn’t working, you can call it quits and find someone new. You should talk to him or her about it first, if possible. But know that sometimes, it doesn’t work out.

I fired my first therapist when she made a comment about my miscarriages that I was uncomfortable with. My second therapist, though, has been of immense help, and I’m glad I made the switch.

More on infertility counseling:

More on coping with trying to conceive stress:

By Rachel Gurevich, RN
Rachel Gurevich is a fertility advocate, author, and recipient of The Hope Award for Achievement, from Resolve: The National Infertility Association. She is a professional member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and has been writing about women’s health since 2001. Rachel uses her own experiences with infertility to write compassionate, practical, and supportive articles.