Meet our counsellors
Counselling support and advice when you need it most
IVF treatment can be challenging emotionally, and sometimes places strains on our relationships. At IVFAustralia, your fertility counsellor will work with the nursing team to support you throughout your journey.
Talking with a counsellor doesn’t mean you aren’t coping – it’s an important part of your treatment. It’s helpful to have someone really listen to you without giving ‘advice’, and be able to talk to someone you can be completely honest with.
Melissa Stephens is our Senior Fertility Counsellor and has practised as a psychologist for 15 years. Having worked previously with the NSW Department of Health and in private practice, she has extensive expertise in working with children and families with issues around relationships, parenting, anxiety and depression.
Her team is committed to helping you feel that you are doing the best you can in a difficult and unexpected situation, and they understand that you need support to stay positive and maintain your relationships.
You may have just one session, or ongoing sessions with or without your partner. Importantly, counselling is provided free of charge to IVFAustralia patients during and after your cycle, and it is available at all IVFAustralia clinics. We can also do phone consults if you can’t make it to the clinic for any reason.
You may need strategies for different scenarios – for example, if you’ve decided not to tell anyone else about treatment, juggling the demands of work or family, managing awkward questions and well-meaning but unhelpful advice from friends.
Your counselling session could focus on issues such as:
- Preparing for fertility treatment, and making decisions about your treatment
- Impact on relationships
- Coping with unsuccessful treatment cycles and/or pregnancy losses
- Coping with emotions around other people’s pregnancies, births and children
- Talking about how your family, friends and colleagues behave or react
- Specific concerns related to donor treatment cycles, or feelings of anxiety or loss of control