How do I find a counsellor, therapist or coach to help me with my childlessness?
‘Childless Coaching’ is tangible, goal-oriented, short-term support to help you move towards some aspect of your ‘Plan B’. I know personally and can recommend the following coaches:
- Apricot Lane Coaching (UK): https://apricotlanecoaching.co.uk/ Sarah Bradley offers online and in-person coaching for those dealing with ‘Unplanned Childlessness’. She has a background in working in schools so also understands the complexity of being a childless woman in a family-centric working environment. She is also a member of the GW Private Online Community on MightyNetworks if you wanted to reach out there.
- Butterfly and Beyond (UK): https://www.butterflyandbeyond.com/
Personal coach and yoga teacher Sophia Andeh offers weekend yoga retreats, online coaching, and private yoga classes in Oxford and online for childless not by choice women. She is a graduate of the Gateway Women Plan B Program.
- Full of Life Wellness Coaching (US): https://www.fulloflifecoach.com Anastasia McDonald is based on the US East Coast and offers coaching packages for childless women looking to focus on their health, self-care and wellbeing as part of their recovery from involuntary childlessness. Anastasia is a graduate of Gateway Women’s 2018 ‘Online Bee’ (our year-long Plan B mentorship program) and an active member of the GW Private Online Community if you are also a member and wished to reach out to her there.
- Your Best Life Without Kids (CA) https://www.yourbestlifewithoutkids.com/
Lauri Sanci’s coaching and Facebook community for childless and childfree women.
- Your Childless Heart (US) https://www.yourchildlessheart.com/
Laurie Spellmeyer is a licenced social worker. Involuntarily childless herself, she offers coaching specifically for childless women looking to move forward with their lives in tangible ways.
Therapists (psychotherapists or counsellors) offer more in-depth support for those working through childlessness and are strongly recommended if you are experiencing intense grief around your childlessness or you have a trauma history.
- UK: London – Lucy Johnson MA, Adv Dip, UKCP, Psychotherapist www.lucyjohnsonpsychotherapy.com Lucy wrote her psychotherapy dissertation on the experience of childless women in therapy so she really understands how crucial it is to find the right therapist. She later went on to have a child but has remained connected to her experience of childlessness and continues to work sensitively with childless clients.
- UK: Lewes/Brighton – Meriel Whale Counselling. In-person/by video: https://www.merielwhalecounselling.co.uk/ (Read her excellent article on ‘10 Things You Need to Know about Involuntary Childlessness’ article (for therapists) here.
- UK: Edinburgh, Scotland – Liane Preston (also Gateway Women’s Reignite Weekend Facilitator for Scotland): https://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/therapist/liane-preston/. Please note Liane does not currently have the capacity for new clients – we will update this list when she does.
- UK: Edinburgh, Scotland – Bridget Grant (psychotherapist) working both in-person and online. Bridget has a background in Art Therapy so if you are looking to access some of the non-verbal aspects of your healing, she can help you with that (and if not, that’s fine too!) http://www.edinburghtherapypractice.co.uk/bridget-grant/
- USA: Dr Vula Baliotis (Santa Barbara, CA.): https://www.drvula.com/
- USA: Tracey Cleantis-Dwyer (Los Angeles, CA): http://www.traceyhappy.com
- Australia: Sarah Roberts (Brisbane and also by Skype) http://www.theemptycradle.com
- NZ: Dr Vicki Connop (Auckland, New Zealand and also online): https://www.wiseminds.co.nz/
Download my guide to the process of finding a therapist or counsellor here
- You might want your prospective therapist/counsellor if they have experience with childlessness-related grief as many of us have found that therapists are not immune to the same unconscious prejudices as the rest of society. Read and share/discuss this article (for therapists) with your therapist/potential therapist and see if they are suitably receptive to the issues: 10 Things You Need to Know About Involuntary Childlessness
- If you’re in the UK, you can find a therapist/counsellor near you via the UKCP or BACP.
- In the UK you could also try Wellbeing’s ‘Find A Therapist’ questionnaire designed to help you identify the therapeutic approach that may work best for you. http://welldoing.org/find-a-therapist/
- If you have experienced infertility, you may like to find someone via the BICA website (British Infertility Counselling Association). They are aware of the work of Gateway Women and I have spoken at their events.
- In the USA and Canada, you can search using the Psychology Today listings (search for ‘infertility’ therapists even if you are not infertile/never had treatments as they may well have experience of working with the grief of childlessness – be sure to ask them!)
- If you are feeling in deep despair about your childlessness, I really recommend contacting The Samaritans if you are in the UK. YOU DON’T NEED TO BE FEELING SUICIDAL TO CALL THEM. They have a 24-hour number 08457 90 90 90. Sometimes the feelings of grief and hopelessness that childlessness can bring up can be very deep and talking to someone can really help. The middle of the night, weekends, Christmas and other holidays can be an especially tough time for childlessness so please don’t feel you’re being melodramatic…
Please let us know in the comments below if you know of any other resources in this area that we might include.