THE RE-MAP PROGRAMME
At the heart of our programme is our five-step RE-MAP method – a learning pathway that uses psychological tools, mind body medicine, and fertility health habits. A blend of therapeutic components that have been researched through controlled trials – our RE-MAP Programme stands to positively influence your chances of conception. Bringing emotional health together with physical well-being, the robust programme comprises:
R ROUTINES AND RESEARCH
At a hectic time of doctor’s appointments, blood draws, and timed intercourse, a healthy lifestyle is crucial to maximise your well-being and your fertility. We give you the information, advice and support you need to make healthy choices and informed decisions.
- What lifestyle habits can positively impact fertility? What complimentary treatments make sense? As psychologists, we critically analyse the research on alternative treatments – from acupuncture to reflexology. We examine nutritional and lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise – and separate the effective from the unhelpful.
- We take the recommended practices and put them into an individualized Fertility Health Masterplan for you to follow, on a daily and weekly basis.
- We teach you principles that have been scientifically proven to increase the upkeep of healthy habits. From ‘monitoring’ to ‘accountability’ you will acquire the skills to help you stick to your plan.
E EXPRESSIVE TECHNIQUES
The “story” you tell yourself about your life has a big impact on who you are becoming and what happens next. We use expressive narrative therapy to help you re-plot your fertility story. Research supports that among couples experiencing infertility, expressive therapy is associated with reduced depression in women and less infertility-related stress in both men and women. You will move from feeling lost and powerless to confidently charting your course.
M MIND-BODY MEDICINE
The flux of hope and disappointment of infertility can be a hugely stressful time. Research has established that our minds and bodies are interconnected and, studies have shown that high stress is associated with decreased success with fertility treatments.
Our program teaches mind-body practices with the aim of breaking this cycle. We harness the power of your emotional and mental capacities to directly affect your health and body functioning, and hence your body’s ability to conceive.
- Techniques include mindfulness meditation, relaxation exercises, and self-compassion practices.
- With psychological distress given as the number one reason patients drop out of IVF treatment, we equip you with the skills you need to stay committed.
As the first step in our treatment programme, we conduct an ‘audit’ of your psychosocial and fertility health. This includes:
- Biological: we look at the contribution of lifestyle choices to fertility health, including nutrition, exercise, and naturopathic medicine practices.
- Psychological: we measure mood and thoughts surrounding infertility, including levels of anxiety, depression, and limiting beliefs. We also assess current strategies you use for managing stress and painful emotions.
- Social: we assess the impact of infertility on interpersonal relationships and social functioning, as well as the level of support you enjoy from a partner, family and friends.
Based on these sources of information, we generate a report and work collaboratively with you to set clear, measurable goals, as well as a Masterplan for reaching those goals.
P PSYCHOLOGICAL TOOLS
Research shows that changing our thoughts actually changes the neurocircuitry of our brains and reduces distress, which is important given the connection between reduced psychological distress and fertility outcomes. Consistent with this evidence, our RE-MAP Programme teaches strategies for coping with the typical negative thought patterns and emotions that can accompany infertility.
- We teach you self-talk strategies to coach yourself through negative moments
- You learn how to ‘reframe’ distorted critical judgments into more balanced compassionate messages
- We help you tolerate difficult emotions and build resilience so that you can recover more effectively from challenge
- To help minimize conflict and disconnection with your partner (if you have one), we teach you a set of practices to help you both enjoy increased compassion and understanding.