Lost in Infertility? The Way Out is Through (by Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD)

November 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Mind Body Medicine, Stress Management | 2 Comments

Infertility.  Those who find themselves in the midst of this challenge consider it a scourge. Just as couples feel ready to start a new phase of life, they feel at the end of life in the mainstream now their peers have moved on to parenthood. They feel lost. Traversing through the infertility challenge ranks way up there as a major stumbling block.  The flow of life feels frozen in time and space.

Mind/Body/Spirit.  The unity of mind/body/spirit is not the first thing that people think of as a way to address the inordinate stress of this stumbling block. But mind/body/spirit coping skills can convert this stumbling block to getting on with life into a building block.

How, you might ask? Let’s start with the concept of what I call “The Three A’s.”  Nothing can change without Acceptance. Most people assume that they will conceive and find it hard to believe that it’s not happening. Once the situation is accepted, Awareness can expand as to how you react rather than respond to stressful situations. As awareness builds, options for Adaptation can become clear. Here’s where mind/body/spirit coping skills can go far to teach people to survive and even thrive through this challenge—eventually entering the land of parenthood, by hook or by crook, as a new, improved version of themselves.happy couple

So what are these adaptive skills? The tendency is to want to run from adversity. It is counter intuitive to go into what feels like a minefield. Yet, the key to health and healing is to honor what the body, mind and spirit (intuition) communicate to us. We either ignore the messages of body or mind, or we don’t quiet ourselves sufficiently to listen to our inner wisdom.

Nature loves the truth. And the truth is that we have a built-in tranquilizer called our breath. The heart of mind/body/spirit techniques involves paying attention to our breathing. Letting go of the frenzy of life and just being with our breath is a simple concept, but in this fast-paced world, many find it difficult. It’s a skill worth developing (reclaiming would be more accurate) because it will break the physical and mental spasm of stress, providing reprieve.

Other mind/body/spirit skills involve doing things that also have the potential to put distance between frenzy and relief.   Seeking social support, distraction with a predictably pleasant pastime, yoga or tai chi or mindfully engaging in creative endeavors are just a few examples. It is important to know that it may feel impossible to enjoy life in these ways, but you have a choice about letting the voice of negative prediction pull you down, or deciding to invest in positive activities which have the power to provide an attitude adjustment.

As a psychotherapist, I’d be remiss if I left out the power of self-reflection in the face of adversity, which is often difficult if not impossible because of the subjective involvement. A trained professional can help to unearth stumbling blocks that are rooted in past experiences or in underlying belief systems.

Infertility creates an enormous need. It is important to know that no matter how lost you feel, the way out is through.  Sooner or later, everyone arrives at a place in their lives where what they need to cope exceeds their coping repertoire.  And it can be sweet to know that what else you need to know is available, as are people who can figuratively hold your hand through this difficult time. Mind/body coping skills can make all the difference in getting to feel competent in the face of life’s most challenging tribulations.

Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD

Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD

(Helen Adrienne, LCSW, BCD, the author of this blog will be joining the Mind Body Medicine Network for her webinar on “Finding the Fertility in Infertility” on Sunday, December 16th at 7:00 p.m. EST.  For more information and to register for Helen’s webinar, please go to: http://www.mindbodymedicinenetwork.com/Webinars.html

Ed Glauser, M.Ed., N.C.C., LPC

Owner and Principal Clinician

Mind Body Medicine Network, LLC

2 Comments »

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  1. Thank you for the work you’re doing! I’m a clinical herbalist specializing in Women’s Health & fertility, and the psychospiritual journey that my clients go through is just as (if not more) important than the physical support they need. I’m glad to know of your work and look forward to learning more from you.

    • Melanie, Thanks so much for your comments. I forwarded your remarks to Helen Adrienne, our facilitator of our next webinar on Finding the Fertility in Infertility that is scehduled for December 16th. For more info please go to http://www.mindbodymedicinenetwork.com/Webinars.html Happy Holidays! Ed Glauser, M.Ed., N.C.C., LPC, Owner and Prinicipal Clinician, Mind Body Medicine Network, LLC


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