Panelist Preview with Laura Covington, LCSW
Updated: Apr 29, 2019
I was so excited to be connected with Laura Covington for our upcoming discussion on fertility. As you'll read below, she supports women and couples struggling with infertility and coping with medical interventions. When I first spoke with Laura, you could hear her passion to help women during this difficult time in their lives.
I'm looking forward to learning from her at Mothering Yourself in Your Journey to Motherhood, and how we can all take better care of ourselves while we're trying to conceive or make sense of our journey weeks, months, or even years later.
Buy your tickets today to learn more from Laura.
Who's Laura and how would you describe what you do professionally?
I started out in my social work career working in domestic violence and mental health. I have had a strong interest in families and the many ways families come together. Infertility and reproductive health was something that was a part of my family history growing up, and it was something I was always aware of. As I explored expanding my career, I began to think more about wanting to incorporate those piece of myself in my practice. In doing so, I went back to school to get my PhD in Social Work and focus my study in reproductive health. My dissertation research was in combat-injuries and resulting infertility.
How do you frame infertility and pregnancy loss to a couple?
I often talk about the grief associated with this experience. I often find that many don’t know how to describe the feelings that they are experiencing. Grief is typically associated with a more tangible loss of a person. Yet, infertility is a loss too, including mourning for a much wanted child. There is no right way to experience for it, and there is no one “healthy” way. When couples come to me and each partner is processing it differently, I explain that there are many different ways, and different isn’t bad. It’s just different! I even point out how difficult it might make it if they were both feeling the same way, and these differences can allow a space to support one another in various ways.
What is your approach to counseling women and couples experiencing challenges getting a staying pregnant?
I use various techniques when meeting with people who are experiencing infertility. I use a variety of techniques including cognitive behavioral, psychoeducational, and psychodynamic (meaning talking about the whole person in the context of the past history and what is currently going on from them). I find that people have many misconceptions about infertility and are hard on themselves when they experience an array of emotions.
When do you recommend a couple or woman reaches begins seeking counseling with you?
This varies for person to person, but in general the sooner the better. People often come in during a crisis, such as after a pregnancy loss, or when they need to make a decision about something or are changing treatment (i.e.-are considering infertility treatment, are moving forward with IVF, or exploring adoption or third party reproduction). However, counseling can be a proactive way to help a person develop and maintain resilience in the infertility experience. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
What are some common challenges couples face when experiencing infertility?
When a patient calls me to ask about counseling for them as an individual, I encourage people to consider coming in as a couple. While one person (usually the woman who is going through fertility treatment) is having stronger feelings and lows, this is something that they are experiencing together, and it can helpful for talk more about the experience individually in the context of the couple.
Laura Covington, Therapist, Covington and Hafkin and Associates