Redeemer Counseling Newsletter
Mother's Day can be hard for many, especially those that are struggling with infertility. In 2021, 12% of women struggled to get pregnant or carry a baby to term. Even though that statistic is so high, this topic is still not often talked about openly and understanding the grief of infertility can be daunting. One reason is that the pain of infertility is different from other types of grief. It is not only the demise of an intimate and cherished dream, an expectation or hope that might never be realized, but it is also the loss of identity in socially approved norms. Infertility reveals the hidden hopes and dreams of the heart that have never necessarily been spoken out loud - what your child might look like, what you would name it, what it might become one day. When that is denied, it can be devastating.
It is important to understand that infertility is complex and traumatic in that it penetrates every area of a person's life. The grief it produces can be persistent because of the ongoing and cyclical nature of the condition. As embodied souls, one important area that is commonly overlooked is the physical component of infertility, and that's why spiritualizing it or general comments of moral support can sometimes prove more hurtful than helpful. So how can we be sensitive and caring towards women that are struggling with infertility?
This month's toolkit will imagine experiences women with infertility undergo in several major areas of identity. This will help you gain basic knowledge on how all-encompassing their experience of pain and loss can be. From that point of awareness, the tool will then help you see, respond, and engage them with kindness and care.
If this topic is one that strikes close to home, please give yourself space and time to review it, as this tool might stir up some of your own grief.
Anita Sung, Mental Health Counselor
Anita Sung completed her master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regent University. Her areas of counseling interest include anxiety, depression, relationship issues, childhood trauma, infertility, grief, and spiritual formation.
The Toolkit PDF will open in a new tab or download directly to your computer, depending on your browser settings.
The Redeemer Counseling Fellows Program is now accepting applications for our 2022 / 2023 online cohort, which begins in September. This 9-month, intensive counseling training program is designed to build skills and teach ministry leaders how to integrate the Gospel with best counseling practices, as well as how to better care for themselves as they serve others. The class is led by a team of experienced, professional counselors at Redeemer Counseling Services.
The Fellows Program is featured in this Gospel in Life article, "Building Communities that Care for the Broken Well."