Autopoeisis ,a Greek word meaning “self” ( auto ) and creation” ( poeisis ); also defined as “ a system capable of maintaining itself”. I love this word in relation to my work as a Fertility and Adoption Coach because it reflects the heart of what I do : supporting people as they build their own creative systems for navigating the challenges of bringing children into their lives.
Coaching lends itself beautifully to the work of family building because there are so many options, decisions, and forks in the road, which often are not clearly marked and sometimes murky. Having someone walk beside you, asking questions to raise awareness, explore values,and make meaning is like opening an ancient gilded box and shining a bright light onto all the hidden treasures. Each new awareness supports you. A coach neither directs, nor gives answers, such as what clinic to choose or when to stop treatment, this is best left up to your well meaning friends and family members! The right coach will help you find clarity so that you can make choices and also provide a soft spot in which to land during the pilgrimage.
Coaching is a process of discovery, awareness, action and meaning making. It is very present focused, inviting clients to stay with what is happening now, rather than dwelling on what has happened in the past. You may get to where you want to go without a coach, but you will likely get there faster, with greater focus, intention, and awareness of choice, with one. In coaching there is always an element of action and accountability, woven loosely together, providing solid ground for movement and growth.
Clients come to me at all different stages of their family building journey: they may have just gotten a diagnosis, or just beginning IVF, or maybe exploring their values around adoption. Whatever the moment in time, these pieces are generally part of the coaching process:
Articulate what is most important right now
Identify and explore inner strengths and barriers
Develop clear and achievable goals
Discover what is the best way to steer toward those goals
Explore strategies for getting through the hard parts
Help find meaning from experiences that carry forward
As a coach I don’t take your struggle away, as much as I would love to. However, together we explore the query: How can you struggle successfully? That is – how can your struggle be productive, support you in taking action,and move your toward resolution?
Working with any coach is is a leap of faith. Clients bring their sadness,vulnerabilities and unspoken fears into the sacred space, so who you choose is critical. Look for a coach who is ICF credentialed, which means they are accredited, have formal training, are committed to continuing education, and have been supervised in their work. You will also want to look for someone who has proven expertise in a particular field such as infertility, adoption, parenting, etc. Most importantly, listen to your heart when you speak to them; your internal barometer is the best and truest friend.
While you are not the author of your infertility, you do get to be at the helm of how you scramble, dither or beeline along this unknown path. If that raises your heart rate, then a coach may be able to support you in claiming authorship over the parts of your story you do get to write.