Fertility-Treatment BLOG interview with clinical psychologist Mag. Karl-Heinz Brandt:
(Click here to read the first part of the interview)
Mag. Karl-Heinz Brandt (l) | Rene Winsauer (r)
Mr. Brandt, the IVF Centers Prof. Zech offer their patients the possibility to have access to psychological counseling. We have already talked about situations in which this option may prove to be very important. Now I will address in greater detail the social environment and how it may impact patients dealing with fertility issues.
Buzzword: “world wide web”. How do the couples concerned deal with information from the Internet, for instance information provided by community forums?
Mag. Brandt: Let me start with a comparison: The proverbial other side of the coin can also be observed with respect to Internet fora. Firstly, the positive side: Forums usually offer useful tips and competent assistance, and in addition give the couple the feeling that they are not alone with their concerns: “We are not the only ones being treated for this“. Exchanging experiences and information with others concerned may become very important, especially for women. The reason for this is that it is often hard for them to talk about the issue with the people in their surroundings. As their husband/partner is the only person to whom they can talk about the matter, it is often too much for him to handle. Such forums offer a valuable platform for discussion and exchange of experiences, in which women console, support and advise one another.
Let us now turn to the negative side: Theme forums may seem confusing at times, because users post their individual experiences with a strong personal and emotional touch, leaving out important aspects of the very complex issue of unwanted childlessness. Such statements can be perceived as “suggestive truths” by the readers. In this way, women can drive themselves “crazy” – which may very well be carried to extremes.
How would you describe the influence exerted on the couple by their immediate social environment, for instance by family and friends?