‘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.
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. As well as being one of Gateway Women’s licenced Reignite Weekend workshop facilitators, she is also a graduate of the Gateway Women Plan B Program and in 2021 won an award for her Master’s research into how coaching can help childless women.
- Sheri Johnson (CA): https://sherijohnson.ca/
Sheri Johnson helps women who are childless by circumstance to awaken their worth in a world that makes them feel inadequate. Her passion is inspiring these women to live joyful lives of meaning instead of lack. After 3 miscarriages and 6 years of infertility, Sheri’s coaching background and spiritual training led her to discover a process for navigating the triggers, the feelings of exclusion and the lack of purpose. You can listen to a 2022 podcast interview she recorded with Jody here.
- Your Lemonade Life (US) https://yourlemonadelife.com
Ruth Berkowitz, MA is based on the US East Coast and offers coaching for childless women whether the loss is fresh, or you have been living with it for many years. She holds a 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, as well as more conventional mental well-being 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):
- 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://sarahlawrenceonl
ine.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 also a licenced Gateway Women workshop facilitator 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 also a licenced Gateway Women workshop facilitator 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
- Dr Vula Baliotis – Psychologist. USA, CA: Santa Barbara. https://www.drvula.com/
- Tracey Cleantis-Dwyer – Psychotherapist. USA, CA: Los Angeles. http://www.traceyhappy.com
- Catherine-Emmanuelle Delisle – Psychotherapist (TRA ‘Therapist for Relationship Assistance’™ ). Canada: Quebec: French/English; online and in-person. https://www.facebook.com/cedelisletra or via https://femmesansenfant.com or ‘4 Good Reasons to Choose Me as a Therapist.’
- Tanya Hubbard – Registered Therapeutic Counsellor (RTCc) Canada (licenced to work in-person, online & internationally too). https://www.tanyahubbard.com
- Vera Fleischer – Psychotherapist. USA, CA: Online only: http://www.verafleischer.com
- AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND
- Judy Graham – Counsellor. Australia (Gold Coast). In-Person/Online https://www.womenhood.com.au Judy is also a licenced Gateway Women workshop facilitator 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 also a licenced Gateway Women workshop facilitator and you can find out more about her work with Gateway Women and watch a short video interview with her here.
- Narelle Hudson – Counsellor. Australia, Brisbane. Telephone/Online support www.narellehudson.org Narelle is a qualified counsellor (ACA registered), who specialises in grief, loss, and trauma with a focus on infertility, IVF or being childless-not-by-choice.
- Dr Vicki Connop – Psychologist. NZ: Auckland. In-person/Online https://www.wiseminds.co.nz/
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.