Best Counselling Practices for Career Women who are Facing Real or Potential Infertility
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The purpose of this thesis is to establish a best practices protocol for counsellors working with women who have postponed childbearing to achieve career success in traditionally male dominated occupations and are now facing real or potential infertility, as well as to better understand how the context of career and the desire for motherhood interact and influence women's response to real or potentially infertility. This thesis provides the first part of a best practices study: the systematic analysis of both scientific and professional literature. The literature review identifies psychological stressors career women face such as isolation, discrimination, role conflicts, and social and family pressures. The research demonstrates that these stressors may cause women to experience feelings of anger, guilt, grief and depression when facing real or potential infertility. This thesis addresses gendered role identity, career role identity, motherhood identity, and societal pressures for career and motherhood achievements. Women face real or potential infertility after postponing childbearing to pursue career goals may experience significant grief. This grief can produce maladaptive attempts to gain control of their experience with infertility that increases women‟s sense of guilt and distress, and may impact their ability to cope with the stressors presented. Implications for counsellors working with this population are offered, and areas in which further research is needed will be pointed out.