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FIND A THERAPIST/COACH

‘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 (in alphabetic order):

  • 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.
  • Beth Rivelli Coaching (US): http://www.bethrivellicoaching.com
    Beth Rivelli is a professionally trained coach committed to working with women whose lives have been disrupted by divorce, those who are angsting about missing their motherhood timeline, or those who have missed it. She creates a safe place to land for those in their grief as they clear the clutter and find a new version of themselves and a future they want to create on the other side. Her foundational paradigm is ontological life coaching, meaning she believes that the relationship we have to ourselves is the genesis of every other relationship we have in our lives. She also brings a wealth of experience with multiple healing modalities that have supported her own healing and development over the last 25+ years.
  • 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 and recently won an award for her research into how coaching can help childless women.
  • Full of Life Wellness Coaching (US): https://www.fulloflifecoach.com
    Anastasia MacDonald 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.
  • 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.
  • Your Lemonade Life (US) https://yourlemonadelife.com
    Ruth Berkowitz is based on the US East Coast and offers coaching for childless women whether the loss is fresh, or you have been living it with it for many years. She holds an MA Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in spiritual psychology and applies this in a holistic way, 1:1, to soothe all levels of consciousness – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Possible ingredients include mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation, mindful movement, writing, nature-based support and inspiration, spiritual psychology as well as more conventional mental wellbeing approaches.

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 (organised by country):

  • UK
    • Meriel Whale – Counsellor. UK: Lewes/Brighton. In-person/Online https://www.merielwhalecounselling.co.uk/ (Read her excellent article on ‘10 Things You Need to Know about Involuntary Childlessness’ article (for therapists) here.
    • Sarah Lawrence – Counsellor UK: Kent. https://sarahlawrenceonline.com/ Sarah is a qualified counsellor, who specialises in working with people who find themselves childless-not-by-choice. If you are looking for some support from a counsellor who understands the issues through personal experience, then you can find Sarah’s website above. Sarah is also one-third of the Full Stop podcast – the podcast for the childless-not-by-choice, providing our community with a voice and covering the topics that affect us. Sarah is a also a licenced Gateway Women workshop faciliator and you can find out more about her work with Gateway Women and watch a short video interview with her here.
    • Liane Preston – Counsellor (also Gateway Women’s Reignite Weekend Facilitator for Scotland):  UK: Edinburgh, Scotland: https://www.innerwilderness.co.uk/about Liane was originally trained as an Integrative Psychotherapeutic Counsellor and has since trained in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (for trauma), couples therapy, and Systemic Constellations work. Liane is a also a licenced Gateway Women workshop faciliator and you can find out more about her work with Gateway Women and watch a short video interview with her here.
    • Bridget Grant – Psychotherapist. UK: Edinburgh, Scotland –  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 & CANADA
  • AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
    • Judy Graham – Counsellor. Australia (Gold Coast). In-Person/Online https://www.womenhood.com.au Judy is a also a licenced Gateway Women workshop faciliator and you can find out more about her work with Gateway Women and watch a short video interview with her here.
    • Sarah Roberts – Counsellor. Australia, Brisbane. In-Person/Online  http://www.theemptycradle.com Sarah is a also a licenced Gateway Women workshop faciliator and you can find out more about her work with Gateway Women and watch a short video interview with her here.
    • Dr Vicki Connop – Psychologist. NZ: Auckland. In-person/Online https://www.wiseminds.co.nz/
  • GERMANY
Download Jody's guide to help you navigate the process of finding a suitable 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.

4 Comments on FIND A THERAPIST/COACH

  1. I have been in a relationship for 18 months having been really clear that I am only interested in a relationship which is about making a family. We have found out that we have very low fertility and so unlikely to conceive naturally. I am stricken with grief about the idea of maybe ending up childless having never been able to try. He won’t start trying because the relationship has been rocky and he is scared to start a family in a rocky place. I can totally understand that. What makes the rockiness though is my feeling of being unable to move forwards together. He is still married and though they separated just as we met the divorce paperwork has only just started. It is running late and I have no way to influence the process to move faster or even to move which is exasperating. He feels that he is moving as fast as possible and is also exasperated that I feel so let down. It feels we made a plan to wait til June or November to start trying but I got nervous that this might never happen and then I will have waited too long. How can we retain our individual needs. Redevelop Trust AnD have a loving family in time. There is so much pressure and grief. And of course all of my friends are pregnant or into a second and everywhere I looknis people getting on and me just being stuck

    • Dear Water Dater – The panic and fear you’re experiencing over waiting to start to try to conceive sounds really hard. However, what I’m hearing is that the relationship is ‘rocky’ too and your partner is also perhaps not ready. Divorce is more than paperwork… I’d really suggested you seek some support for yourself from a counsellor to help manage your anxiety and to think and feel your way through all this. Hugs, Jody x

  2. I am 37, childless. I found the love of my life who already has a son and does not want any more children. After 7 years I’ve realized that i will never be able to change his mind. He proposed, I said yes, but I struggle to move towards acceptance that I will never be a Mum. This is so frustrating as I feel so miserable. Any tips for me, please?

    • Hi Ramona – your situation, being ‘childless by relationship’ is one that quite a few other women in our private online community have either come to terms with, or are in the process of doing so. My tip would be to join us there where we can have a private conversation and both I, and our wonderful members, can support you. Hugs, Jody x

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