Last week I shared why the denial of our emotional and spiritual selves when it comes to our reproductive health is the #1 disconnect in addressing infertility–and why, if you’re trying to fix your fertility, your emotions are key.
I’m so certain of this, in fact, that I went back to school to become a registered psychotherapist–specifically to gain the tools to help my fertility clients with the emotional trauma of infertility and pregnancy loss.
Today I want to tell you about that choice.
I started working with women trying to conceive over a decade ago, and I began by developing a fertility yoga and meditation program with a mind-body focus.
I knew that Moon Goddess touched on the spiritual and metaphysical in addition to the mind and body, but after a while I saw that there was still a huge emotional piece to infertility that couldn’t be fully addressed by doing a yoga practice on your own.
My students were making headway clearing their subconscious blocks and healing their hearts, but a solo yoga and meditation practice just can’t take on the deep emotional work that’s possible only by working closely with another person who can help you see your blind spots, navigate your experience of failure and your belief in your own worthiness or unworthiness, and work with you through the infertility rollercoaster of depression, stress, and hopelessness.
Because infertility and miscarriage–especially if they’re prolonged or repeated–bring up very complex emotions.
Few of us know how to deal with grief and loss even in “regular” life, but miscarriage is a loss that almost everyone feels helpless to deal with.
I saw that many of my students needed more than a mind-body practice, even an in-depth one, to help them with this complex emotional process.
So I began working one-on-one with private clients who had complicated cases. We focused on healing all levels of their being–mind, body, and spirit–and on healing the source of their negative beliefs.
And then came the client who showed me that there was still a missing piece.
She was 38 and had tried to conceive for 3 years. After multiple miscarriages she finally decided it was too painful, and she had a child through surrogacy.
By the time she came to me, her son was a toddler and she was ready to try again to conceive and carry her own baby. She wanted to see if she could address her recurrent miscarriages through the mind-body connection.
And as we began to work together, something became clear to me.
Healing mind, body, and soul–conceiving and carrying a successful pregnancy–wasn’t just about improving egg quality and blood flow to the uterus.
It wasn’t even about shifting negative thoughts, finding the source of limiting beliefs, or energetically calling in your spirit baby.
Those things were important. They were, potentially, the next step.
But there was a necessary step before that.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t known it before. It was that I saw in a new way how non-negotiable it was.
And that step was dealing–deeply and intentionally–with the emotions.
In order to heal from trauma, you must move the experience of trauma out of your brain.
It’s the only way that has been shown to work.
And the only way to move the experience of trauma out of the brain is to address it.
But if you’re in a terrible place emotionally, you might not have the capacity to be with that emotion. It’s so painful, you’re desperate to skip over it.
And even though emotional healing was one of the stated intentions of my coaching work, I too found myself wanting to jump too quickly to problem-solving and avoid the painful part of the emotions that my clients were not only suffering with but stuck in.
Just like the medical model.
This is when I realized I needed more training to be able hold space for someone experiencing the trauma of miscarriage and infertility. I needed the skills to learn how to do that.
This spring, after 5 years of study, I became a registered psychotherapist.
And the most important skill I have developed is the how-to of working with trauma.
It might surprise you to learn you NEVER want to relive the traumatic experience. So most coaches will navigate you over the difficult emotions towards focusing on what you want (ie. being pregnant) and feeling what that would be like, so you can start believing it.
The difference between their approach and the coaching I now offer is that first I go into the emotions with you so that we can make space for healing the hurt.
That’s the difference between the coaching I offer and what you’ll find from most other fertility coaches out there.
P.S. If you're looking for a place where you can begin opening up about the difficult emotions you've experienced in infertility, the Yoga Goddess Facebook Support Circle is a safe space filled with others walking the same path. It's free to join–just request access here.