Is a peer support group right for me?

By RESOLVE New England

At RESOLVE New England (RNE), we offer a variety of Peer Support Groups, led by people who understand the unique challenges and stresses of dealing with infertility and the many varied paths to family building. All of our Peer Group leaders are volunteers who have experience with infertility. While they are not mental health professionals, they offer compassionate, empathetic support from a place of deep understanding and are overseen and trained by a mental health professional on our RNE Board of Directors.

We offer Peer Support Groups on general/primary infertility in a number of communities throughout the New England region. We also offer group support for issues such as Adoption, Donor Egg, Secondary Infertility, Pregnancy After Infertility and Pregnancy Loss.

The Benefits of Face-to-Face Peer Support

A peer-led group can be helpful at any time, and sometimes most beneficial at certain points of the infertility experience:

  • When faced with making a difficult decision
  • When embarking on new parenting options
  • When dealing with any major loss

Does this sound like you?

If any of the following statements apply to you, consider attending a RNE peer-led group:

  • I’m feeling lonely and isolated
  • I have very few people to talk with about my infertility. No one understands or “gets it”.
  • Everyone I know is pregnant or has children
  • My partner is the only one I have who provides emotional support
  • Infertility is affecting my work and career
  • I feel that my life plan is out of control. I’m having trouble navigating through my medical treatment options
  • I can’t decide when “enough is enough”
  • Holidays and coping with family and friends is becoming more and more difficult.

Myths and Facts

You may hesitate to attend a Peer Support Group because of some assumptions about what happens at the group. Consider these myths and facts:

  • Myth:Attending a RNE peer group is like going to therapy.
    FACT: A peer group is not designed to offer professional counseling or psychological therapy. It is, however, therapeutic to talk with others about an intense experience like infertility.
  • Myth:I’ll have to bare my soul and talk about the most private areas of my life.
    FACT: It is up to you to decide how much information and emotion to share with the group. You remain in control. Listening to others can be as powerful, or more, as speaking yourself.
  • Myth:Attending a peer group of infertile women or couples will just make me feel worse.
    FACT: You will receive support for your pain and disappointment and will also learn new methods of coping that can help you move forward.

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