I I C O
List of national infertility counseling organizations
Below you find a list with contact details of all infertility counseling organizations and individuals proving infertility counseling in their country. The list is in alphabetical order. Feel free to contact the organizations or individuals if you are seeking information on infertility counseling in their country.
Australia & New Zealand
The Australian and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors Association (ANZICA)
ANZICA is a subgroup of the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) Chair: Kate Bourne email@example.com
- ANZICA Policy and Procedure Manual
- ANZICA Terms of Reference
- ANZICA Donor Linking Guidelines
- ANZICA Surrogacy Guidelines
- ANZICA Position Paper on Donor Embryos
- ANZICA Position Paper on Egg Sharing
- ANZICA Guidelines for Professional Practice
You can find links to all of these Statements here
Currently, there is no organization in Austria. You can contact Eveline Paula Leitl, MSc Psychotherapist firstname.lastname@example.org for information on infertility counseling in Austria
Bulgarian Association of Reproductive Psychology
Chair: Dr. Vanya Savova email@example.com
The Bulgarian Association of Reproductive Psychology is the first professional organisation of infertility counsellors in the country. Our ultimate goal is to improve the well-being of people using Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). The foundations of this organisation are built of three key areas of focus:
- implementation of patient-centered care in medical treatment, and
In order to carry out these tasks we work closely with the patients’ organisations, reproductive medical centres and academics to assist in the facilitation and promotion of readily available psychological counselling, psychosocial interventions and care, and psycho-education in infertility. The psychosocial services are provided by the Association’s network of counsellors in big towns and cities across the country. Proceeding from the need of specialist training in the field, the Reproductive Psychology course was founded in two master programs at Sofia University in 2014 by Dr. Vanya Savova. Since then the Bulgarian Association of Reproductive Psychology supports the development of specialists, enhances their professional qualification and forms the local criteria for evaluation of those skilled in the field of infertility counselling, which leads to our aim to develop a European-wide recognized accreditation system. Currently the website (with English version) is under construction.
- Promote opportunities for communication and networking among Canadian counsellors;
- Provide professional development through education and training;
- Support counsellors’ involvement in research activities;
- Encourage multi-disciplinary collaboration and exchange;
- Develop standards of practice for counselling within the scope and context of the Assisted Human Reproduction Act of Canada;
- Encourage counsellors working in the field to become members of CFAS.
- The Counselling Practice Guidelines Committee was established in January 2008 to fulfill the mandate of developing standards of practice for Canadian counsellors. Committee members included Susan Bermingham MPs, Judith Daniluk PhD, Christopher Newton PhD, Janet Takefman PhD, and Samantha Yee MSW. Contributions by Sherry Dale MSW, Jean Haase MSW from Assisted Human Reproduction Canada, and Valerie Wilkie RN of the Nursing Special Interest Group are acknowledged.
At present in Canada, there is no complete agreement among those in the field of Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) concerning the minimum qualifications necessary to provide appropriate AHR counselling services. The Assisted Human Reproduction Counselling Guidelines are judged to reflect best practice and were developed to ensure optimum care for individuals considering AHR interventions. These guidelines are relevant for all professionals who provide AHR counselling, although different levels of training and experience might be necessary for different counselling interventions (e.g. third party reproduction or the administration of psychological tests).
SIG in Psychology Chilean Society of Reproductive Medicine
Irene Furman, PhD Psychologist, Certified Psychotherapist Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Irene Furman is a clinical psychologist at the Mother and Child Research Institute (IDIMI) at the School of Medicine / University of Chile. She is the coordinator of the SIG in Psychology of the Chilean Society of Reproductive Medicine
n Chile, the number of reproductive medicine centers has grown steadily over the last 25 years. One of the first and largest is a public program providing ART to couples of low and middle income who would otherwise have virtually no possibility to become biological parents. This clinical/academic program is supported by the Ministry of Health and is conducted at the University of Chile (IDIMI). This center pioneered locally and in Latin America the implementation of psychological assistance as an integral part of reproductive treatments. At present, most of the ART centers include a psychologist as part of their clinical teams.
Current Status of Infertility Counseling
The Special Interest Group in Psychology was established in March 2014 within the Chilean Society of Reproductive Medicine. Members are: four psychologists in private ART centers, one in the above-mentioned university-based ART center, and one representative of the national patients organization. We are currently in the process of exchanging clinical expertise and developing a guide of clinical orientations in infertility counselling.
Purposes of the Special Interest Group
- To increase the interaction with chilean physicians practicing reproductive medicine
- To promote better knowledge and understanding of the psychological/ social needs of patients undergoing infertility treatments
- To outline standards of practice (clinical and ethical) for current and future mental health professionals addressing ART
- To encourage research and systematic evidence-gathering on the psychosocial aspects of infertility in our national reality
China – Hong Kong
Celia Hoi Yan Chan (PhD, MSW, BSocSc, RSW, CT)
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Counsellor-in-charge, Centre of Assisted Reproduction and Embryology, The University of Hong Kong – Queen Mary Hospital (HKU-QMH CARE)
Email: email@example.com | Tel: +852-3917-2089 | Fax: +852-2858-7604
Address: Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
Infertility Counseling in Hong Kong
Unlikely other countries (e.g. Canada, Australia, UK) where counseling for people undergoing ARTs are mandatory by legislation, infertility counseling services in Hong Kong are mostly provided on needs basis. Since 2001, the Department of Social Work and Social Administration and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of The University of Hong Kong introduced psychosocial support services to support infertile couples who will undergo or have undergone assisted reproduction technologies.
Psychosocial Services includes:
- Psychological assessment for individuals (both donors and recipients) involved in gametes and embryo donation;
- Counselling and psychotherapy;
- Integrative Body-mind-spirit Intervention Program for women undergoing their IVF cycles, aiming to alleviate their anxiety arose from treatment and enhance their well-being. This psychosocial intervention model has been proven effective in enhancing patients’ physical and psychological adjustment to infertility and related treatments
Certificate Course in Infertility Counseling
Since 2009, as commissioned by the Hong Kong Society for Reproductive Medicine, our team has been organizing the Certificate Course in Infertility Counseling in Hong Kong on annual basis, which aim to equip doctors, nurses, embryologists, social workers, psychologists, and allied health professionals specialized in reproductive medicine with the knowledge in medical, psychosocial, legal and ethical perspectives as well as their implications towards infertility and assisted reproduction technologies.
Dr. Hana Konecna Faculty of Health and Social Studies University of South Bohemia B. Nemcove 54, Pavilon H 370 78 Ceske Budejovice Czech Republic firstname.lastname@example.org
ESHRE SIG Psychology & Counselling
(European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology – Special Interest Group Psychology and Counseling)
Psychologyservice Tunnetila Psychologist, psychotherapists Riikka Toivanen, Maiju Tokola, Terhi Vihko Annankatu 29 a 14 00100 Helsinki, Finland tel. +358405090797 www.tunnetila.net
The German Society for Fertility Counselling – BKiD – was founded in 2000 and has currently approx. 130 certified infertility counsellors plus additional members. It has issued accreditation and counseling guidelines, many of which have also been published in English. Although most information online is in German, there is an English section of the website here. Together with IICO, it has organized a post-graduate workshop 2000 (just prior to the IIFS conference in Munich) and again in 2014 (prior to the ESHRE conference in Munich). It has also published a counseling manual for professionals and in 2014, a guidance book for individuals and couples experiencing infertility was published in 2014.
Irish Fertility Counsellor Association (IFCA)
Chair: Roisin Venables email@example.com +353 1 807 2732
- Providing easy access to a patient-centered pathway and psychosocial care
- Organise information meetings
- Maintaining personal contact before, during and after treatment cycles
- Facilitate couple coping by engaging both partners in consultation
- Inform about normal emotional reactions within couples
- Address possible differences in experience between couples
- Provide information about coping with treatment and work
- Expressing positive and negative feelings
- Address social support
- Facilitate social support by information about support organisations /societies/ peer contacts
- Follow up to discuss other family building options and emotional status
- Recognising the need for grief work if treatment fails
- Cryopreservation / stored gametes follow-up
The Fertility Counseling Group
of the Israeli Fertility Association (IFA)
chair: Reut Ben-Kimhy
contact person: Hana Gilaie Guinor, Ph.D.
The Fertility Counseling Group of IFA was founded in February 2013. The group includes mental health professionals who work in public fertility clinics or in private practice and/or engage in research in the field of reproduction, currently 40 members in total.
We have initiated and held several activities:
- Organizing and running The Psychosocial Session at IFA’s Annual Conference.
- Holding an annual conference of the group.
- Holding peer-group for IVF mental health professionals.
- Running peer-group for Healthcare Services mental health professionals, working with patients at their initial stages of their infertility treatments.
- Offering a training program – Fertility Counseling Program for mental health professionals at The School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University. The first session (120 hours) was held in 2015-2016.
- Taking part in the Ministry of Health Committee dealing with medical and psychosocial services given to IVF patients.
Shiro Hirayama Clinical Psychologist, Family Psychologist, Reproductive Counselor Tokyo HART Clinic Minamiaoyama Court 1F 5-4-19 Minamiaoyama Minato-ku 107-0062 Tokyo Japan Tel +81 3 5766 3660 Fax +81 3 5766 3650 firstname.lastname@example.org and Misako Nakajima Secretary email@example.com
- was attended by approx. 300 people (30 psychologists and 200 nurses, the rest are other medical professionals).
- we conducted a Pre-congress 4-hour workshop (Feb 22): attending 20 certified reproductive counselors.
- we offer a training course for certified reproductive counselor (6 months/ 70 hours training)
- recently, 5 clinical psychologists have completed the course and certified our license. (Total 46 certified reproductive counselors exist.)
- our new project: setting a working group for oncofertility for constructing mental health care system for cancer patients/survivors to preserve fertility.
- Ongoing agenda: Publishing our journal regarding reproductive psychology.
Furthermore, in Japan, clinical psychology is changing as there is currently a bill before parliament regarding the national licensing of psychologist.
The SASREG Psychology and Counselling Special Interest Group was formed on the 31 October 2015.
The main task of the group is to set up goals involved of field of ART. This SIG group is part of SASREG –Southern African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy (www.fertilitysa.org.za).
Grupo de Interes de Psicología y Counselling de la Sociedad Española de Fertilidad
Diana Guerra firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently, there is not organization in Sweden.
Stina Järvholm Psychologist Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Sahlgrenska University Hospital Reproductive Medicine Blå stråket 6, 413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden email@example.com
- Swiss legislation clearly states that counselling should be offered before, during and after assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments.
- The members of FertiForum (approximately 30) work in the domain of psychosocial counselling for infertility. About one third are medical doctors, one third are psychologists and one third are counsellors or social workers.
- FertiForum organizes two meetings per year. The programs generally include the presentation of clinical topics and recent research, followed by a discussion on clinical situations.
- Infertility counselling in Switzerland is carried out in very different ways and settings. Some units and centres have counsellors in their team, some have the gynaecologists provide the counselling, and some collaborate with independent external psychologists or counsellors. The reimbursement of counselling by the medical insurances varies in function of the counsellor’s profession and the patients’ coverage.
- Counsellors should have basic training in counselling, medicine or psychology and can then acquire specific skills by training with counsellors integrated in ART units and by following FertiForum and/or international training sessions.
- Continuous clinical supervision is highly recommended.
- A representative of FertiForum participates in the annual ESHRE IICO meeting.
Ebru Alcolak Suatoglu (MSc)
Embryologist / Mindbody Stress Reduction Porgramme Trainer
Gurgan Clinic Women’s Health and IVF Center
Bulvarı Emlak Bankası Blokları No:27
Kat:1 Daire: 4 Alsancak/İzmir
Mustafa Kemal Mahallesi 2124.
Sk. No:4 06240
Ebru Alcolak Suatoglu is happy to be contacted by anybody interested in psychosocial issues of infertility in Turkey.
- BICA is the only professional association for infertility counsellors and counselling in the UK
- Seeks to promote the highest standards of counselling for those considering or undergoing fertility investigations and treatment.
- Offers a variety of training and education services to its members
- Is committed to the total well-being of people with fertility problems before, during and after treatment and of those who choose not to undergo any kind of medical intervention
- Is administered by an elected Executive Committee and supporting regional groups, it is financed almost entirely through annual membership subscriptions.
Training BICA is committed to improving the educational opportunities and training of Infertility Counsellors and seeks continually to raise the standard of support offered to people with fertility issues. Our committed training team run courses throughout the year and an annual foundation course for those new to the fertility field. BICA also runs an annual study day and AGM focusing on current issues. Please see the BICA website for more details, www.bica.net The Association is a registered Charity with its own constitution and guidelines for practice. Our members must adhere to the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy or another professional Code of Ethics. Tracey Chester Chair BICA
United States of America
The Mental Health Professional Group (MHPG) of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
Chair: Angela Lawson (2015-2016), Shelley Lee (2016-2017), Erica Mindes (2017-2018), Tara Simpson (2018-2019)
The Mental Health Professional Group (MHPG) is a multidisciplinary group that formed in 1985 with the full support of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). Its mission is to promote scientific understanding of the psychological, social, and emotional perspectives of infertility patients. We strive to be a source of patient and professional resources for mental health professionals interested in infertility counseling, including Third Party Reproduction and other issues related to reproductive mental health. The MHPG provides educational activities that offer continuing education credits at the annual ASRM conference as well as regional seminars. In addition, we also offer an online Mental Health Professional Certificate Course on Infertility Counseling through the ASRM eLearn platform to help educate mental health professionals and others about the psychological issues associated with infertility, infertility treatment, and other reproductive related concerns. The MHPG offers a professional mentoring program that is highly active and receives high ratings for usefulness by both mentors and mentees alike. The MHPG also engages members and encourages intelligent discourse, sharing of resources, and networking though an active email list-serve as well as a monthly teleconference meeting through our Connections Teleconference Group. Written and web-based resources for patients and professionals as well as a listing of educational seminars and recommendations for training are listed on our webpage. Additionally, the MHPG publishes a biannual newsletter and will have an active Facebook page in Fall 2016.
Mental health professionals are playing an increasingly important role in reproductive medicine due to technological advances and recognition of the complex psychosocial issues faced by infertility patients. As a result, there is a growing need for the skills and services of trained infertility counselors to assist patients and staff. The MHPG has provided recommended guidelines to help determine the qualifications and training for mental health professionals working in reproductive medicine. These guidelines can be located here.
MHPG members may be located in hospital-based fertility clinics, in universities, and in private practices. To locate an MHPG member please visit this site.