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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

TPPN Professionally-Led Support Group Info....The Power of Words…Spoken in a Group

The Power of Words…Spoken in a Group
By Nancy Kaufman LCSW, LP

Last night a woman told her story out loud for the first time in front of other people. It had taken her years to summon up the courage to attend this group, years to come to terms with belonging here. But the look of relief as she spoke and her feelings of comfort as she heard others speak was palpable from across the room. She was, after all, talking to a room full of men and woman who all understood how she felt because they too had traveled this same long road. This is a group for men and woman who have taken the arduous journey of infertility and arrived (or are arriving at the decision to involve a third party in the creation of their families. We call the group The Third Party Parenting Network.

TPPN was created several years ago with the intent of providing an arena for people who were already parents of children conceived through third party reproduction (sperm donation, egg donation, and surrogacy) to meet one another and discuss ongoing concerns related to raising this unique generation of children.  Issues like disclosure as well as identity, self esteem, extended families, siblings, etc.

Led by Nancy Kaufman LCSW, LP a psychoanalyst with many years experience working in the field of infertility and with groups.

The latest research shows that women who are in some kind of talking therapy along with their medical treatment for infertility end up having more babies! Why? Because the emotional rigors (and rollercoaster ride) of infertility treatments can be overwhelming. What we have found is that when people come together to tell their stories they gain strength from hearing others who are in the same place or have, miraculously, passed through it. This is a very fluid setting. Not everyone comes to each month’s meeting. Sometimes spouses and partners come…sometimes not.

Sometimes the participants are already parents to children conceived through Third Party Reproduction and issues related to raising these children are discussed. These parents report that, unlike the total preoccupation they felt during the process of struggling to make this difficult decision, they now, rarely even think about the conception of their children and relish the group to have a special time and place to think about these issues. When a new member comes, desperately struggling with how to make these decisions they often report feeling relieved and hopeful from the combination of support, information and simply (or most importantly!) just feeling comfortable to have all their feelings and say them out loud. Sometimes someone comes who has just gotten pregnant or found a surrogate….sometimes a baby comes.

When someone is given the chance to “Just Say Everything” and their fears, frustrations and devastating disappointments are verbalized, heard and understood….miracles can occur and families are made.

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