Infertility and Stress on a Relationship

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As you know, for the month of April we are tackling the difficult subject of infertility.

In today’s video, Dr. Melissa Estavillo talks about how infertility can impact a couple. Each couple is different, and the stress from infertility can manifest in each person differently.

Dr. Estavillo talks about how to accept the other’s grief, and how to stay strong together during this difficult time.

Welcome to the team! Danielle Corrales LMFT

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We are happy to announce our newest team member, Danielle Corrales.

Danielle is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and joins our team of wonderful therapists and psychologists here at Biltmore Psychology and Counseling. Some of her specialties include relationships, marriage, grief and loss, life transitions, anxiety, and depression.

Click on the video to learn more about Danielle! If you’re in the Phoenix area and would like to make an appointment with Danielle, please call 480-999-7070.

#psychlopedia – Infertility

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For the month of April, we are talking about infertility. Here is the ‘clinical’ definition of the term:

Infertility is defined as the inability to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse or due to impairment to reproduce either as an individual or with their partner.

We know, however, that infertility is so much more than this. It is an emotional rollercoaster that takes its toll on an individual and a couple.

It’s a journey that can be filled with judgment, despair, hope, and loneliness. Infertility can bring even the strongest couples a great deal of heartache, and it is important to recognize the psychological impact that it has on people.

It is also important to recognize that it is very common, and many people go through infertility but are too ashamed to talk about it.

Here are Biltmore Psychology and Counseling, we encourage you to seek outside support. Whether it’s friends or family, or someone more professional like a counselor or a therapist who is able to help. You are not alone, and should not have to go through this hardship alone.

Male and female looking with worry at a pregnancy test

How infertility can impact a relationship.

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For the month of April we are talking about infertility. It is something that impacts so many women and couples, but yet it continues to be tip toed around. Often those involved do not want to talk about it with family and friends in fear of seeing the pity in their eyes. And the misconception that if you just “stress less” you’ll be able to get pregnant can be maddening to anyone.

Trying to get pregnant at first, can feel hopeful and exciting. But as time goes on and still no baby, these feelings can turn to anger and resentment. It can be incredibly trying on an individual and even more so on a relationship. We have all known a couple struggling to conceive, or have been that couple. It is easy to get lost in the despair of wanting a baby so badly, and not getting it.

“We are starting to argue a lot more.”

You might find you and your spouse arguing a lot more while experiencing infertility. When do we seek outside help? Should we tell our friends and family or keep it private? Seeking outside help is always a sensitive subject, but one that should be discussed at length with your spouse. It doesn’t mean you’ve ‘failed’ or there is something ‘wrong’, it just means that it might be best to try all avenues towards having a baby.

Keeping your struggles private is a personal decision. But you might be surprised at how many other people can relate, or who might be going through the same thing. Having a sold support group through this trying time, can be a huge benefit whether it is family, friends, or doctors.

“Is it my fault?”

A lot of couples who experience trouble conceiving, start to have thoughts of fault. Is there something wrong with me that I can’t get pregnant? Is there something wrong with my spouse? There is a real fear about a spouse leaving if fertility work is not successful. That can really put a lot of stress and strain on a relationship.

Seeing outside help during this time, like a counselor or therapist, can really help a relationship navigate these troubled waters. It helps to speak to your spouse about what exactly is expected, and what plans B and C are.

“I don’t understand my spouse’s coping mechanisms”

This can be a real issue when problems arise in a relationship. Often times two people do not cope in the same way. One may be very out and open about their struggles, while the other prefers to keep things private and personal. This can seem like one person ‘cares’ more than the other. Or one person is putting more effort into finding a solution than the other.

Recognizing that everyone copes differently, and you might not be able to physically see someone who is struggling. Communication can be key here. Talk to one another, and ask for what you need during this time. Understand that you are both feeling frustrated, hopeless, and stress, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be showing it the same way.

Male therapist smiling while taking notes talking to a young woman client

Difference Between a Therapist and Psychologist.

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What is the Difference Between a Therapist and Psychologist?

 

We get this question a lot. Since we have both Therapists and Psychologists at our office, we thought we’d do a blog post about the differences.

Therapist vs Counselor:

We often use therapist and counselor interchangeably, but there are a few differences. Usually counseling refers to a focus on a particular issue (like couples counseling or depression counseling) shorter term. Where as therapy can refer to a broader range of topics and longer term.

Our licensed therapists here have their Masters degree in psychology, and two years working with a qualified mental health professional after graduate school. They are qualified to evaluate and treat different kinds of clients depending on what they’re looking to come in for. They have been in the field for 10+ years, and have great experience helping all kinds of clients.

Psychologist vs Psychiatrist:

A psychologist has their doctorate degree, either PhD or PsyD. During their graduate studies they learn to evaluate and treat a wide array of mental health disorders. After they are done with school, they do an internship as well that can last 2-3 years where they further their knowledge of disorders, diagnosing, testing, treatment, and much more.

A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor who went to medical school. They can diagnose and treat different conditions with medication if they choose. They tend to specialize in mental health issues that might present with psychiatric issues as well. They are able to take a look at a person and their mental health conditions, and how those (along with certain medications) might impact their body (blood pressure, heart rate, organs etc).

Here at Biltmore Psychology and Counseling we have Licensed Marriage and Family therapists, who specialize in couples counseling as well as individual counseling.

We also have two Licensed Psychologists who specialize in everything from couples, grief, loss, anxiety, depression, infertility, and more.

Have more questions? Feel free to give us a call at 480-999-7070!