Today we are joined by Dr. Loree Johnson, a licensed marriage and family therapist who has more than 25 years of experience coaching clients in her private practice. She helps others overcome the emotional challenges that come with infertility. Dr. Johnson has served on state and national boards, and she is on the board for the Society of Reproductive Medicine. So, needless to say, she is the perfect guest to bring on.
According to Dr. Loree, having a therapist on board is key for a few reasons: 1) physical well-being sacrificed through all of the medications and procedures; 2) close relationships being sacrificed from support exhaustion; and 3) mental well-being takes a big hit through each of the milestones, so having that support from a third party is vital to staying healthy through the journey. Do you find yourself saying, “not ANOTHER appointment to schedule!” when someone mentions seeing a therapist? If so, iit might be a good time to prioritize going to therapy over other activities because of how much it can greatly benefit your health in multiple ways.
Dr. Johnson introduces therapy as an invitation to explore through having a simple conversation that that person might not have otherwise. She counsels women, men, and couples alike, so each person in the journey has a role to be recognized. Her role to her clients is to help them practice skill building to manage stress/emotions, offering encouragement/support, and often act as a coach to help her clients get through their fertility journey intact.
Some of Dr. Loree’s top conversations she hears from clients are that the woman’s husband does not understand what she’s going through, or that he doesn’t care enough. She also discusses how sex is such an obstacle for couples because a lot of times women don’t actually feel sexy but are pressed for timed intercourse during ovulation, or that the man has performance anxiety as a result from the pressure. She enjoys helping couples reclaiming the fun in sex to produce authentic sex.
Dr. Johnson also shares how her own fertility journey has been a struggle, including losing a child, and she explains how her own experience inspires her to help others get through theirs. “Infertility issues can feel like trauma. You can’t mindset your way out of trauma.” – Dr. Loree Johnson
Therapy doesn’t have to be a lifelong commitment. You can come in with specific issues you want to discuss, even if it has nothing to do with your relationship with your husband or anxiety about your fertility journey. You can breeze in for 5 sessions and utilize the tools you learn, or you can continue on for continued support and skill building. Having an amazing therapist like Dr. Loree Johnson could help you make great strides in enduring the trials and tribulations throughout your fertility journey — if you’re just beginning it, or if you are in the trenches — anyone is welcome.