While people often discuss having a child as perhaps the most life changing event a person will ever experience, it is seldom acknowledged how impactful it is for a woman or couple leading up to that time. For some, it is years of both mental and physical agony going through invasive treatments, all the while questioning whether or not it will ever work. For others, pregnancy comes easily, but is full of uncertainty, anxiety and self doubt. Dr. Sera Lavelle, Ph.D uses a variety of techniques and expertise in the field to provide an integrative and healing approach to infertility and issues that arise in response to pregnancy. She is well versed in the area, using hypnosis for positive visualization, promoting relaxation, and addressing stress and fears, while using her knowledge of infertility and pregnancy to enhance success, connect patients to NYC’s top resources and navigate difficult medical decisions. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at both Adelphi University and Brooklyn College, developing and teaching courses in Gender and Sexuality. Her in-depth knowledge of pregnancy and fertility helps individuals through this wonderful and yet challenging time.
While pregnancy is a wonderful experience, it is also quite normal to experience difficult emotions surrounding pregnancy, fear of medical procedures, anxiety over pregnancy options, worry that something will go wrong, or fear of life changes. This is often in sharp contrast to what we are told in society - that both men and women should be nothing but hopeful, optimistic, and glowing from the experience. We can, and often do, feel a mixture of emotions. We can be happy about being pregnant, while suddenly feeling anxious and fearful of life changes. We can be cheerful and envision a positive future with our child, while also feeling resentful of timing, uncertain about our relationship, or fearful that it will interfere with life goals. This can be hard to discuss with our friends and family or even admit to ourselves, believing it wrong to have ambivalence, fears, or doubts.
Dr. Lavelle works with a variety of people through the pregnancy process. She offers a supportive, nonjudgmental form of therapy which allows clients to discuss and explore their thoughts and feelings about pregnancy, while also utilizing her knowledge of the production process and resources available to help them during this time.
Integrating hypnosis and therapy can be powerful through preparing for pregnancy, the pregnancy itself, and birthing process. Hypnosis can aid in visualizing a positive pregnancy and life for a child, calm the mind , and help a person access inner resources to help them through this process. Therapy, on the other hand, works to address fears and concerns, stop obsessive thoughts surrounding pregnancy, and promote the transition to the next state of life. Dr. Lavelle integrates the two flexibly, allowing a person to choose and understand what kind of support they need, and develop an integrated plan to aid a person through the process.
It is difficult to describe to others who have not struggled getting pregnant what is so stressful about the process. For those suffering from infertility, the experience can be traumatic. You can spend years going from doctor to doctor, trying to understand what is wrong. It takes a lot of time, energy, and money, for something you don’t know will even work. You feel isolated; surrounded by those who get pregnant easily, and can feel jealous or resentful that you have to experience so much difficulty while others seem to have it easy.
Dr. Lavelle works with individuals and couples during the process of trying to get pregnant and understands how traumatic this can feel. She is not only an expert in using hypnosis and therapy techniques to help a person through the process, but also has vast knowledge about infertility, which can also help a person understand their medications, connect them to resources, and develop a plan that incorporates western medicine with top practitioners, integrative and nontraditional medicine and nutrition according to the patient’s preferences and situation.
Dr. Lavelle’s form of therapy blends hypnosis and psychotherapy with clinical research. While hypnosis and therapy will not directly help a person get pregnant, there are several aspects that will aid in the process. Hypnosis can be used to alleviate the intense anxiety that results from fertility treatments, increase positive thinking, and relax self doubting and blaming thoughts. Therapy helps to address the struggles associated with infertility and fertility treatments, like limited time, social isolation, and difficulties with romantic partners that often arise at this time. By combining therapy and hypnosis, Dr. Lavelle helps a person move through this process with less anxiety, greater confidence, and better connectedness in their relationships.