Coping & Dealing with Abortion through Counselling
Abortion is best described as a planned termination of a pregnancy. Abortion is the medical process of ending a pregnancy so that it does not result in the birth of a child.
There are many reasons why a woman (or a couple) may choose not to continue with a pregnancy, from risks to her own health, to personal circumstances or the possibility that the baby may be affected by a medical condition.
For some women, choosing to end their pregnancy may be a relatively simple and easy decision to reach, for others it will be one of the most difficult choices they ever make. The complex range of emotions that surround an unplanned pregnancy are often what make the choice so difficult.
It is these psychological factors coupled with social and economic influences and pressures that can sometimes lead to women feeling pressured into making a decision that is not entirely their own. Or the planned termination because of health risks to the women or child can and does have the same effects on the individual / couple / family.
This page does not in any way offer the voice of an expert but that of a non-judgemental Therapist who listens and supports the individual / couple through this turbulent passage in life, learning to live in a more accepting way.
Making The Right Decision
A woman might need support or counselling to make a decision about whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy. An unwanted pregnancy may result in an adoption, fostering, an abortion or the decision to struggle to care for a baby. Some of the organisations, which offer pregnancy testing, and advice are not impartial and cannot offer objective help by offering all the information needed to make the right decision. Their information may be biased or limited. And promote their own viewpoint and this can increase guilt and anxiety for a woman faced with an unwanted pregnancy.
Making a decision to end a pregnancy can be simple for some, and more complex for others, depending on their temperament, their relationship and the pressures of the community they live in. Often the decision is made under extreme pressure, without consulting family or friends. In situations like this counselling can be useful. The most vulnerable women are those who are not in stable relationships, those suffering abuse and those under 16.
Therapeutic Reasons For Women To Consider An Abortion Include:
- To save her life
- If congenital disorders are diagnosed in the foetus
- Preserving the physical or mental health of the woman
- Reducing the health risks in multiple pregnancies by reducing the number of embryos
Good, impartial medical advice should be sought at the earliest possible opportunity, as the choice of procedures can differ according to time and circumstance Counselling also offers support in this confusing time.
Common elective reasons for considering an abortion include:
- If the woman is a victim of rape or incest
- If there is no stable relationship
- If there is a financial inability to support a child
- If the mother is too immature to support to child
- If there are work or study pressures.
How Counselling Can Help?
Many women and their partners experience strong feelings of guilt and shame followed by sadness after having an abortion for which post-abortion counselling is hugely beneficial. One of the most common emotions to deal with along with the pain is anger as to why what we did what we did. The anger that presents many years later when dealing with the grief and shame caused by an abortion decision. It can be a stressful time, reinforced by feelings of isolation, if the woman is under pressure to conform to wider expectations without addressing her own needs.
Counselling at the earliest stages can help an individual reach the best-informed choice. A counsellor is non judgemental and able to help where the individual or couple are both involved in making the decision. It may be appropriate for them to attend couple counselling to explore the more complex needs of each and what these might represent.
The couple may also be living silently through the fact that it was years ago and never talk about it but it’s there. Each partner has a different point of view, which can swing and move & it is rarely a simple clear-cut decision. It does effect individuals in many different ways Anger / Isolation / Addictions / Depression and often leading to the ruining of the relationship because these factors are always at the top of the discussion.
If you have been personally affected by abortion, I strongly urge you to take time to explore all the options open to you. Remember that hope, help and healing is possible in every situation no matter how painful or traumatic. Counselling also helps for the fathers and partners involved in the abortion. Contact me using the form provided and I’ll be in touch.
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