Fertility and IVF treatment can be stressful at times, both physically and emotionally. We recognise the importance of supporting you throughout your journey with a competent, compassionate fertility counsellor who you are able to access whenever you need to.
The empathy and objectivity of a fertility counsellor is to help people deal with the stress and emotions involved in trying to achieve a pregnancy or in dealing with other fertility issues. This may include providing support with relationship difficulties and helping couples or individuals explore better ways of dealing with anxiety or stress, work through the complexities of treatment decisions, debrief and share experiences, and explore family building alternatives.
It is important to know that you are entitled to a free counselling session for every IVF cycle undertaken, this is a great opportunity to obtain additional support during your journey. Our experienced counsellors located on the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg are registered psychologists with many years of experience.
Fiona Stark, Fertility Counsellor
Fiona is a PACFA and ANZICA-registered Counsellor, located on the Sunshine Coast, who holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Counselling. Fiona finds the counselling space full off purpose and strives to have a meaningful impact in people’s lives as she supports people on their journey towards healing and growth. Clients are met with a warm and friendly therapist who genuinely cares. Fiona provides empathy and understanding as well as helpful strategies that foster self-compassion and resilience.
Fiona has a special interest and passion for supporting women (and partners) along their fertility and perinatal journey. This led her to become a parent supporter with SANDS Australia (Miscarriage, Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Support), supporting bereaved parents on the 1300-phone line and facilitating SANDS monthly support meetings on the Sunshine Coast as well as the online TFMR group. Fiona works comfortably with the grief and loss space and has also completed further professional development around birth trauma; fertility counselling; and compassion focused therapy. She also conducted her quantitative research thesis on Fertility-Related Quality of Life in 2019.
Jeanne Strahan, Psychologist
Jeanne, a registered psychologist born and raised on a farm in Alberta Canada, first touched down on Australian soil in December 1974 as a registered nurse. She then furthered her nurses training the Australian way by obtaining her Midwifery, Maternal and Child Health qualifications and has worked in this area for 25-30 years. An interest in psychology throughout much of her nursing career resulted in further studies and qualifications to practice as a private psychologist.
Jeanne is based at the Bundaberg Specialist Centre, 102 Woondooma Street, Bundaberg on Tuesdays & Wednesdays 9am-5pm and can be contacted on telephone 07 4153 3942.
Barb Wood, Psychologist
Barb Wood has been working in the fertility field for 20 years and offers a range of counselling options to help at all stages of the fertility journey. She is trained in many approaches such as relationship and family counselling, ACT, hypnosis, and EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). These can be helpful to deal with anxiety about the whole IVF process, using needles, getting pregnant, not getting pregnant, childbirth and all the feelings that go with these situations.
Carla Anderson, Psychologist
Carla Anderson is a clinical psychologist who has been working in her private practice since 2005, with a special interest in working with families within the perinatal period. Carla is passionate about supporting women and their families in all areas related to the perinatal period such as infertility and IVF concerns, pregnancy related concerns, antenatal/postnatal depression and anxiety, grief and loss, and birth trauma.
Carla has also been involved in a number of national projects, training programs and research including: “Bearing the Unbearable” a training program for professionals working in perinatal grief and loss, a recent publication in the Australian Psychologist Journal on pregnancy-related fears, presented at the Sunshine Coast Fertility Expo on Emotional Wellbeing through the Fertility Journey”. In addition to this in past roles Carla worked as an honorary national trainer for Bonnie Babes Foundation, training professionals in supporting families experiencing miscarriage and stillbirth, co-ordinating Postnatal Disorders support groups and training of peer support volunteers for the Gladstone Communities for Children Initiative, as well as providing information sessions to professionals and parents within the perinatal period.