Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ah, to be clueless

Tonight in my theories of psychotherapy class we were talking about PCT (person-centered therapy). One of the hallmarks of this kind of therapy is empathy, which can be defined as the ability to recognize & share feelings with a patient. The professor used an example of a therapist he knew professionally who was doing couples therapy with a man & woman who were having marital difficulties due to being unable to have a baby. No biggie right? Wrong!

This therapist was herself pregnant & as time went on this became more obvious as her belly grew. My professor said such a situation may make it difficult for the patient to believe the therapist had empathy for their situation. While I concurred with him, I also couldn't keep my big mouth shut & asked him if she knew if this therapist had disclosed her pregnancy to the couple; he did not. Someone else in class piped up about how that was really none of their business & I almost cut a bitch, but then thought the better of it. Instead, I explained to this person (likely a fertile) that much like it wouldn't be acceptable for someone who is dealing with the loss of a baby to SIDS to have a therapist with pictures of his or her children prominently displayed in their office it isn't acceptable to me as an infertile to be continually subjected to reminders of what I don't have when I'm trying to feel better about myself & not leave therapy in tears.

Thankfully, my professor (a man; I don't know if he has kids or not) had my back on this. This also made me incredibly thankful for my therapist who has herself gone through IVF & eventually did conceive but has enough sense not to bring up her experience unless asked. Some people...

1 comment:

baby hopes said...

I was going through counselling about 4 years ago for depression following two miscarriages. The psychologist is highly qualified, but has no experience in counselling for fertility issues. When I first started with her, she seemed to have a little tummy which I attributed to having had a child. But as the weeks drew on her tummy got bigger and bigger. It wasn't until about my 2nd last session that I realised she was in fact pregnant so that just made me feel even worse. I would have had to travel about 2hrs each way to find a counsellor who specialised in fertility issues so I was stuck with this woman til the very end.