A support group can be most beneficial at certain points of the infertility experience:
- When faced with making a difficult decision
- When embarking on new parenting options
- When dealing with a major loss
If any of the following statements apply to you, consider joining a RESOLVE support group:
- I’m feeling lonely and isolated
- I have very few people to talk with about my infertility. No one understands
- Everyone I know is pregnant or has children
- My partner is the only one I have who provides emotional support
- Infertility is affecting my work and career
- I feel that my life plan is out of control. I’m having trouble navigating through my medical treatment options
- I can’t decide when “enough is enough”
- Holidays and coping with family and friends is becoming more and more difficult.
Myths and Facts about Support Groups
You may hesitate to join a support group because of some assumptions about what happens at the group. Consider these myths and facts:
Myth: Being in a RESOLVE support group is like going to therapy.
Busted: A support group is not designed to offer professional counseling or psychological therapy. It is, however, therapeutic to talk with others about an intense experience like infertility.
Myth: I’ll have to bare my soul and talk about the most private areas of my life.
Busted: It is up to you to decide how much information and emotion to share with the group. You remain in control.
Myth: Joining a support group of infertile women or couples will just make me feel worse.
Busted: You will receive support for your pain and disappointment and will also learn new methods of coping that can help you move forward.
What Are RESOLVE Support Groups?
RESOLVE offers two different support group options.
Peer-led Support Groups
- A RESOLVE volunteer hosts and facilitates peer-led support groups.
- A peer-led support group is not intended to be a replacement for private counseling or a professionally-led support group.
- Peer-led support groups are composed of a varying number of people.
- Groups are often “drop in” in nature.
- Generally a peer-led group lasts two hours.
Professionally-led Support Groups
- A mental health professional leads a professionally-led support group.
- The support group leader will provide a safe place where individuals can process feelings relating to infertility or their family building efforts.
- Professionally led support groups are often composed of 8 to 10 individuals or 4 to 5 couples.
- Sessions are scheduled weekly for 10-12 weeks. Support group leaders often have an intake appointment with each participant prior to the start of the group.
- The support group leader will bring up specific topics for discussion.
- The support group leader will ensure that no one person dominates the group.