PEI

Infertility counselling now available through Family Service PEI

Kathy Jones, a clinical therapist and the executive director of the service, experienced infertility in her own life and now she's hoping to help others going through the same thing.

'It's very important to work through any underlying anxiety that you've had through the infertility process'

For some, adoption can be a 'happy conclusion' to discovering infertility. (Shutterstock)

People who are experiencing infertility can now access counselling through Family Service PEI.

Kathy Jones, a clinical therapist and the executive director of the service, experienced infertility in her own life and now she's hoping to help others going through the same thing.

Jones decided to develop the program after first stepping into the role at Family Service PEI last fall, and noticing there was a "tremendous gap in our community" regarding supportive counselling in infertility.

"Because it was a personal interest of mine, that made the decision easy to start venturing down this road in developing our own service for infertility counselling," she said.

Jones went through discovering infertility 25 years ago and told CBC's Island Morning that it was heartbreaking as she'd always dreamed of becoming a mother.

Like many others, she had a "happy conclusion", as she'd adopted two infant daughters.

'You really have to move through that emotional process'

For some, said Jones, being a parent can be a huge part of someone's core identity growing up and being unable to birth children can cause major emotional issues similar to a "grieving process."

Some couples experiencing infertility can also go through bouts of situational anxiety, depression and social isolation, she said, as it can be difficult to be around young children or expecting parents.

The new counselling service, she said, is to both listen and help parents understand that infertility is normal — and to help couples see the next step.

Kathy Jones says 'you really have to move through that emotional process and you have to resolve that emotional process before you're really ready to adopt.' (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

"It's very important to work through any underlying anxiety that you've had through the infertility process, even if you are successful in becoming pregnant, because if you're not cautious that anxiety can weave its way into the parenting of your child," she said.

"You really have to move through that emotional process and you have to resolve that emotional process before you're really ready to adopt."

There is an hourly fee for the service, although Jones said many insurance plans cover the service and there are also subsidies and fee waivers as well.

More information can be found at the Family Service PEI website.

With files from Island Morning.

now