Counselling for..

 

pregnancy loss

 

1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime.                                                            11 babies are stillborn each day in the UK.

Any pregnancy loss can be traumatic, and can sometimes result in a severe emotional shock and pain caused by a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

The loss can bring a complex mix of emotions. Crying is not the only outlet our bodies choose for grief. Grief can feel like a lump in your throat which makes it hard to swallow or talk. You may lose your appetite or begin to over eat in the hope to fill the void in your body. You can feel lethargic and more tired than you have ever felt before, yet restless and unable to sleep. You may even have trouble breathing and experience heart palpitations. You can be left with a deep deep ache and experience 'empty arms' feelings. 

Zaina spoke of her pregnancy as a ‘miracle’ that turned into a ‘curse’. She had a strong sense of having been given a wonderful gift only to have it taken away’
— Therapy Today May 2016

 

Multiple losses can cause you to question your very identity. They can bring strong feelings of resentment that your body has let you down.

It can deeply affect the relationships with our partners and family, causing rifts in friendships, causing us to question our place in society and the future.

At Alternatives we help to break the silence and hidden pain around the loss. During this time simply being heard and feeling connected is so important.

We’ve been trying to have a child for a couple of years and have had three miscarriages along the way. You feel so hopeful when you learn you are going to have a child, you start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience.
— Post-miscarriage client
Alternatives were there for me when I needed them most. When I lost both my girls they were truly supportive and made me realise that it’s ok not to be ok. I was given many techniques to use for the future to look after myself mentally, I cannot commend them enough.
— Louisa Michelle Jones, via Facebook

Sylvia spoke passionately about her sense of failure, ‘I felt as if I had failed the most, at the most profound and fundamental level, at being a woman.’
— Therapy Today 2016

infertility

 

1 in 6 couples in Britain may have trouble conceiving and unexplained infertility is the most common reason.

Infertility can be a very painful struggle. The pain is similar to the grief of losing a loved one, but is unique because it is a recurring grief. Infertile people grieve the loss of the child they may never know. Each month carries the potential hope that a baby might be conceived. No matter how hard they try to prepare themselves for bad news, parents hold to that glimmer of hope that this month will be different. Each failed attempt causes grief to wash over the infertile couple anew. This process happens month after month, year after year. It could be compared to a deep cut being reopened after it has begun the journey towards healing.

At Alternatives, our counsellors will not minimise the issues around this and can offer support and a space for reflection as they walk alongside you in the multi-faceted pain of infertility. 

Infertility can feel so painfully isolating. It was in the relationship with my counsellor I began to connect with my pain and not feel so alone
— Client

 

unplanned pregnancy

 

pre-abortion counselling

At Alternatives we will discuss and hear the options when someone is facing a crisis pregnancy in an unbiased way. This may be one or several sessions as required.

post-abortion counselling

To terminate a pregnancy is rarely an easy choice for any woman to make. Many women have to consider this difficult decision and may have to go through the process unsupported. In some cases both women and their partners can be left with unresolved sadness or even trauma. We offer a safe, non-judgemental space to unpack thoughts and feelings around the grief process.

The NHS website provides advice about the physical symptoms you may experience after an abortion in the following days or weeks and when to seek help. Some women can struggle with depression, guilt, difficult sleeping and feeling unable to get past the experience. If you are experiencing any mental or emotional issues in relation to an abortion, we can offer you support.

Moving you through the process of grief, hearing your pain and allowing you to express your feelings can help through the grieving process and validate the pain so you can find peace and healing.

I can’t thank Alternatives enough for supporting me throughout my journey. Coping after the abortion has been the hardest time in my life, but through non-judgemental support I have been able to re-build the shattered pieces of me back together again.
— Client

 

TERMINATION DUE TO FETAL ABNORMALITY

 

There are times when both women and men have to face the distressing and daunting prospect of ending a much wanted pregnancy due to detected abnormalities or an ectopic pregnancy. This can leave clients vulnerable to a range of deeply conflicting emotions and hidden pain. 

We work with clients both pre and post termination to give space to process and potentially resolve these conflicts and to journey alongside these processes.

I am so grateful for the time you gave me and the service that Alternatives provided. As you know I felt very alone during my experiences and you changed that. I am forever grateful
— client