Therapist for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss
Archived Q&A and Reviews
I recently had to terminate a pregnancy at 19wks for a rare chromosomal abnormality. It was a heartbreaking decision. Can anyone recommend a good therapist in Oakland/Berkeley? I looked at the old BPN recs, but nothing recent. My husband is not dealing with this at all, and I need to find some outside support. Anonymous
Gena McCarthy, MFT, is a wonderfully kind, supportive therapist who specializes in issues around pregnancy loss and birth trauma, both with individuals and couples. She also does a lot of work with trauma and grief, including EMDR. She recently expanded her practice into Lafayette. I've sent several clients to Gena who have een very happy with her grounded approach. I know Gena would be happy to speak with you and your husband to see if you are a good match. She can be reached at 510-685-6827. Tara
I am so sorry for your loss. I highly recommend Diane Cote-Chang, http://www.dianecotechang.com/ She's in San Francisco, but is a block from the Montgomery BART station. She specializes in fertility and pregnancy and works with individuals and couples. My husband and I had to terminate a pregnancy because of a chromosomal abnormality and Diane has been invaluable in helping us deal with our loss. Please feel free to contact me if you want more info (or just an ear.) Jill
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I'd like to recommend a couples counselor, she's very down to earth and practical, on Solano Avenue, and has really helped us out Her name is Fran Wickner, phone number 510-527-4011. She's a marriage and family therapist so hopefully she can be helpful to you. Jill
Hi, I am so very sorry for your loss. I, too, had to end a pregnancy because of a fetal abnormality and it was one of the saddest, loneliest times of my life. I worked with Lee Safran (who is an MFT) and it was profoundly useful for me during that time. Her number is 510 496-6096 and I know she has a website as well. She is very experienced with pregnancy loss and helped me both practically and emotionally.
My husband and I also went once to a group at Alta Bates for couples who had a genetic abnormality. That was helpful too. I can't remember the name of the woman who ran the group, but you could contact them, or ask Lee if you call her.
I am fortunate to have a healthy baby girl now - and wish you well on your journey. Please try to remember that you will get through this experience and take good care of yourself now. In sympathy - from someone who has been there
Last year my husband and I lost our first pregnancy at 6 months. We were devastated. We tried to get pregnant again as soon as they said we could (a few months later) and had trouble with that as well. Finally after trying for 9 months we are pregnant again and, although I am overjoyed about being pregnant, I am also terrified. My husband is very supportive and optimistic about this pregnancy. However, I think that he is also scared but is having a difficult time expressing his emotions and doesn't want to be upset around me because he thinks it will make me feel worse. So, my questions is, can anyone recommend a good couples counselor who is familiar with grief counseling? I would specifically like someone who is familiar with pregnancy loss but it's not a deal breaker. We need someone who is compassionate but also to the point. We saw someone right after our loss who was very touchy feely and it just didn't work for us. My husband wanted to run out of the room! We live on the east side of the tunnel and would prefer someone in the walnut creek/pleasant hill area but would be willing to travel for someone amazing. thanks for your help melissa
I wholeheartedly recommend to contact Mary Stein-Webber for you and your husband. She is just the right combination of compassion, maturity, life experience, a great listener, also great in finding what is really the issue, great with leading you to where you want to be, gentle, but not too touchy-feely. Check out: http://safeplacetoheal.com/therapists.htm The website says Christian Counseling. But I am not Christian or into any other religion, and it does not matter at all. Mary is not bringing this into play when her clients do not wish her to do so. I have seen other therapists who weren't really working on the issue, but more on the surface. Mary is very helpful, also and especially with issues around pregnancy loss and trauma. Best wishes for this pregnancy.
Melissa, I am so sorry for your loss and wish you the best with your pregnancy. After trying for 2.5 years to conceive and then having to terminate a pregnancy at almost 16 weeks, my husband and I were directed to Diane Cote-Chang in San Francisco. She specializes in fertility and pregnancy. We met with a few therapists before Diane, but found that Diane understood what we were going through in a way we didn't experience elsewhere. We're expecting any day now and we have continued to see Diane through this pregnancy. Also, I wouldn't describe her as touchy feely at all. Here is her website: http://www.dianecotechang.com/ Please feel free to contact me if you want more info. I'll be sending good thoughts your way. Jill
Dr. Donna Rothert specializes in just this type of thing, and she's great. www.donnarothert.com Good luck - .
I know of a good, seasoned therapist who may be a resource for you. Her name is Jerolyn Peery Politzer. She provides children, family and adult therapy in Lafayette. She is very experienced with loss and grief issues and how loss can impact a couple relationship. I understand that she may have an opening in her practice. Call her to ask. Jerolyn Peery Politzer 1043 Stuart St, #100 Lafayette, CA 925-588-9588 a supportive mom
I have a great recommendation for you; Maria Mishkind Villela. She has a private practice in North Oakland. She is an excellent therapist, isn't ''touchy-feely'', and is quite skilled at engaging both sides in a couple, (even husbands:). Maria is very ''real'' and I know that she has experience in supporting people after pregnancy loss and she's easy to talk with. I'm not sure if she has any openings for new clients, but its certainly worth a call. Her office is located on Piedmont Avenue, right on the other side of the 24 tunnel. She may offer a sliding scale. Here's her contact info.. she'll be happy to give you a consult on the phone to see if you'd be a good match for free. Maria Mishkind Villela Community Family Therapy 510-219-3137 Good luck with everything. Christine
I am seeking a support group to deal with two prenatal losses which I had suffered last year. I lost one pregnancy in week 13 and one in week 8. The first loss involved a severe chromosomal abnormality, diagnosed through CVS. We had to terminate that pregnancy. The second loss was a blighted ovum, no heartbeat. I am just now awakening from the trauma of these two events and am beginning the grieving process, especially with regard to the pregnancy termination. I would like to share my experience with women who have been in a similar situation. My goal is to bring some closure around these losses and help me clarify if I want to try for another pregnancy in the future. If a support group of this nature already exists, I would like to join. Thank you! Anon
Hi- I had a miscarriage last year. Call the John Muir Women's Health Center at (925) 941-7900. They have an evening drop-in support group (away from the pregnant birth center classes) that I found very helpful. No cost. I know....
I am so sorry for both your losses and am glad for you that you are engaging in the grieving process. If you don't know about it yet, the Pregnancy & Birth Loss forum at Mothering.com is wonderful. I know you are looking for a group, but that forum might be a nice supplement. Here is the link: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=22 with good wishes
I'm sorry about your losses. I am a colleague of Donna Rothert's. She specializes in this area, and has a group as well as offering individual and couple therapy. http://www.donnarothert.com/pregnancy_loss_group.htm She is part of http://www.perinatalpsychotherapy.com/ which offers support for people who've had pregnancy loss. It's great that you're reaching out for support!
Having terminated two pregnancies for medical/genetic reasons I know where you are coming from. I highly reccomend a few things. First there is an online group -- I know it sounds odd, but its been tremendously supportive and I have met a number of women in the bay area thru this list - google A Heartbreaking Choice -- its a highly moderated listserve that is wonderful. Sign up today, you won't regret it.
Kaiser Oakland Genetics offers a group for women & their partners who have terminated a wanted pregnancy - you don't have to be a member of Kaiser to attend the group. Contact: Jeanne Menary, Ed.D. (510) 845-4656 or Ann Bourguignon (510) 752-6755.
I have also heard great things about individual counseling with Kim Kluger Bell (I think I have her name right). I did not see her myself as I already had a therapist. I did go on to have a healthy child but its been a hard road and the support from other women who have been through a medical termination of a wanted pregnancy have! proved invaluable. take care
First off, I am so sorry for your losses. I had to end a pregnancy last year at 19 weeks, and after attending a variety of support groups, I highly recommend the Beyond Choice group at Oakland Kaiser. This group is specifically for parents who've made the mournful choice of ending a pregnancy due to genetic or structural abnormalities, and I found it the most helpful for me (over other groups for all types of neonatal loss). the group is open to anyone...you don't have to be a Kaiser member to attend. Contact Jeanne Menary, Ed.D. at (510) 845-4656 for details. Good luck to you on your journey. Nanda
try the free warm-line SOLACE where you can call in and speak to someone: www.solace-southbay.org Therapists focus on pregnancy: www.perinatalpsychotherapy.com Esther
Kaiser Oakland has run a group focused on termination of pregnancy for genetic reasons. Some twelve years ago, it was usually referred to as the ''support group'' and was open to women and their partners, regardless of whether they were Kaiser members. It was enormously helpful at the time. Two facilitators alternated running the group. One was Dr. Jeanne Menary who may still have a private practice locally. All good thoughts for your healing. Been there
Help. Having a tough time with infertility & considering adoption. Has anyone used therapist Deena Solwren? Is she helpful? She advertises as ''All Things Maternal'' focusing, it seems, on women's issues. Any other therapist recommendations for these issues would be welcome as well. Thank you. anon
I think your best bet is to have a conversation with her, or with any other therapist that you are interested in working with, to see if it's a good fit for you. For me, after finally speaking with her for 15-20 minutes, I felt like it clearly was not the right fit, though I initially thought she'd be terrific. She phoned me back a few times to ''check in'' with me, and each time I told her that it wasn't going to work out. I got the impression that it was difficult for her to understand that, and I had to ask her a couple of times to not call me back to ''check in'' before she got the message, and having to ask her more than once made me extremely uncomfortable. However, I do think she is very interested in assisting with ''all things maternal.''
Can anyone recommend a good therapist for inferility issues who also would be considered in network for United Healthcare? I would prefer Oakland or Berkeley if possible and someone who had flexible hours (after work or weekends). Thanks anon
I highly, highly, highly recommend Kim Kluger-Bell, a psychotherapist and MFT in private practice on Solano Avenue in Berkeley. She is truly amazing and an incredible person to talk to about infertility. I had many sessions with her and her pervasive knowledge on the topic and her ease in which to allow her patients to cry and laugh is incredible. I am not sure about the insurance, but you can call her and ask, she is very welcoming on the phone. She also wrote a book titled ''Unforgettable Losses'' (you can find it on amazon.com I believe) that I read and found to be very helpful. Her office number is 510-524-1475. Good luck Dana
I would love to get names of some therapists (perferably in Oakland or Berkeley) who are good to talk to about infertility and the difficulties I am having conceiving. Thanks anon
My heart goes out to you. I endured the suffering for 7 years. My thought is that a really good therapist generally will be able to help. You can try Rose Phelps 510-658-4344, she is great. I remember that talking to other people who were going thru the same thing at the same time was often depressing; maybe talking to someone who is finished with the process might help. I've never given my info out before but if you want anyone to talk to, please email me.
Contact Donna Rothert, Ph.D. at (510)273-9548. She is part of Perinatal Psychotherapy Services, a collective that specializes in infertility and other issues surrounding pregnancy. anon
Gina Hassan is a psychologist in Berkeley who specializes in infertility and pregnancy issues. She's smart, warm and has a lot of experience in working with people through this experience. She's located on Shattuck near Cafe de la Paz. Good luck anon
I wanted to respond to the request for a therapist who specializes in infertility/pregnancy issues. Sheila Longerbean, MFT is a practices on Piedmont Avenue and works with these issues. I've found her to be a very compassionate and caring therapist. I believe her number is: 510-595-4664. Celeste
To find a therapist, you could check with Resolve (www.resolvenc.org). Dave
I am in need of a therapist to deal with secondary infertility issues. I need someone very smart and directive who can help me find tools to work with all the fears and sorrows this journey toward a second child has raised. I've check the web but would don't find much on the people my insurance covers. Does anyone have any experience or information working with anyone covered through United Behavioral Health? Thank you!
Peggy Orlin works at Pacific Fertility Clinic. If you just google her name, you'll get to their site and read her impressive bio, one which makes her sound well-suited to your needs. She specializes in infertility issues. We saw her for one mandatory meeting and liked her fine, but I honestly can't remember much because we ended up working with a different clinic, and pretty long ago at that. I'm sorry for your tough emotional time. Walking down that infertility road was about the hardest thing I (and we) have ever had to do. But I have to say, the demands of that journey also deepened us as people. Good luck. anon
We have nothing but praise for Dr. Cary Littell who is on your list. We now have a 3 1/2 year relationship with her dealing with an extremely difficult situation and cannot speak highly enough of her. She is insightful, compassionate and very respectful and supportive. Anon
I recommend Kim Kluger-Bell. She has a specialty in infertility- related therapy. I don't know if she's covered by your insurance (was not in your list) but you might check to see if she can be added as a provider. Her office is on Solano. She's very focused on developing action plans that CAN be implemented. Anon
My doctor suggested that I might benefit from some therapy/ counselling to deal with a recent pregnancy loss and some other issues. Have you had a good experience with someone that you'd recommend? I couldn't find anything in the archives on either person. Thank you.
I cant recommend Marilyn Wilts, PhD (233-1891) enough! She helped me when I had a miscarriage and I found her to be extremely sensitive, empathetic, and understanding of the issues around pregnancy loss. She also supported me through my next pregnancy (which resulted in my healthy happy son) and all the fears that go along with being pregnant after a miscarriage. Her office is on Solano Ave in Berkeley. anonymous
I am so sorry for you loss. I had a miscarriage a few years back & it was a really tough time for me. I read many books on the topic, saw a therapist & attended a support group for several months. My therapist's name is Kim Kluger-Bell. She is on Solano in Berkeley & specializes in pregnancy loss. Her number is (510) 524-1475. The group I went to was in Walnut Creek at the John Muir Women's Health Center. It met twice monthly. There is also a group at Alta Bates. Best of luck to you, virginia
Alta Bates has a support group that helped me tremendously called SAND, Support After Neonatal Death. Members of the group included those affected by miscarriage, still birth, and infant death. I found to very helpful to be a part of a group therapy, where everyone there had experienced a similar tragic loss. I think Summitt Hospital might have a similar program.
We're looking for a licensed therapist (preferably in the Oakland area) who can help us weigh the pros and cons of adoption vs. donor eggs. Thanks for any recommendations.
I highly recommend Anne Bernstein who helped us with a similar decision. Phone: 549-0598. Office: 2955 Shattuck near Ashby. She is an incredibly skilled therapist with a great deal of experience working with people on ''family-building choices'' and how children deal with having ''unusual origins.''
Hi, My sister works at a fertility clinic in SF. I asked her if she could recommend a therapist for your adoption/donor egg concerns and this was her reply: Her name is Peggy Orlin and she has a private practice in the east bay (i think Oakland or Berkeley). Don't know her number but she is listed. They should also look at www.resolve.org; then link over to the NC chapter. Hope this helps, Michelle
We used Dr. Ellie Schwartzman. Her office is on Piedmont Ave, (510) 869-1339. She was recommended to us by Dr. Eldon Schriock. She has gone through fertility treatments herself and understands what you are going through. She helped us through adoption vs. donor egg vs. no more kids. Friends of ours used her as well and thought she was biased toward donor egg. We didn't think so. I still go to her for general counseling. Happy mom
I experienced a miscarriage in January and realize now that I need help working through the grieving process. This has also affected my relationship and I think I need some counseling in that area as well. Can anyone recommend an experienced woman therapist, preferably someone who takes Pacificare? I reviewed previous postings but did not find anyone who was reviewed and on my provider list. Thank you very much. Anonymous
To help you with your loss, I highly recommend Kim Kluger-Bell, whose office is on Solano Avenue, 524-1475. I have no idea if Kim takes Pacificare, but I do know she has worked with people in the past to get on their insurance. Kim has written a seminole book on pregnancy loss, called Unspeakable Losses. If you can't get to see her, I at least highly recommend you read her book. Of all the books available about miscarriage, I consider hers the best. My husband and I were patients of Kim's for a while to help us with relationship problems stemming from multiple losses. We both enjoyed seeing her and found her to be both compassionate and practical in her approach. I hope you can manage to see Kim. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Amy
Kim Kluger-Bell MFCC, is an excellent therapist who specializes in helping women with fertility issues and miscarriage. 510-524-1475. She has written a helpful book, Unspeakable Losses, Understanding the Experience of Pregnancy Loss, Miscarriage, and Abortion. Her practice is in Albany on Solano Ave. I don't know if she is on your list of providers, but she may be able to recommend another therapist if you need it.
I received names of following counselors from my insurance company and I would like to hear from people about them. I occasionally feel that I wish I had a counselor that I could talk to about just daily life issues. I also have had infertility issue as well as pregnancy losses. I would like a counselor who is especially sensitive to those issues related to pregnancy. Does anyone know if one of those counselors listed above may meet my need?
I have heard that Kim Kluger-Bell on Solano Avenue is quite skilled in this area. She also has a book out called Unspeakable Losses -- I am sure you can find it on Amazon. Best of luck. Dayna