Healing workshop in London April 25th/26th

Healing–A Workshop for anyone facing fertility losses

Followed by a Fertility Loss Ceremony (optional) at 6.15pm, Sunday, April 26th

April 25th & 26th, Sat & Sun 10am - 5.00pm

Venue: North Bank
28 Pages Lane
Muswell Hill, London
N10 1PP

Cost: £140
(some bursaries for unwaged or low-income individuals)

This workshop is for anyone who has experienced infertility, failed
fertility treatment, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, premature
menopause, secondary infertility, stillbirth, neonatal death, sperm
problems or unwanted childlessness–whatever the cause.

Women, men and couples are welcome.
Partners are particularly encouraged to attend.
Men who find the courage to attend report great satisfaction from having done so.
Afterwards, they urge me to do more to get other men involved! That said, often male partners are deeply reluctant and usually there are several women attending alone.

The outcome of this workshop varies: Most people do some grieving, gain valuable insight and perspective. Important links are often forged in the group that frequently lead to ongoing supportive relationships of some depth and value. Occasionally groups decide to do further work together.

Healing and growth usually always occur but the result takes various forms:
Sometimes it helps people come to terms with childlessness and decide to stop further treatment. Sometimes it helps couples to undertake treatment, but in a different spirit.
Sometimes the door to adoption opens, when it had seemed firmly closed.

Some ‘ways in’ include visualisation, art work and movement.

Great care is taken to create a safe, compassionate atmosphere.

Following the workshop there will be a Fertility Loss Ceremony for anyone who has experienced losses. This will open to anyone who has experienced fertility losses–not just members of the workshop. It is free.

FACILITATOR: Meredith Wheeler

I’m a psychotherapist who has specialized in therapeutic group work around this issue
for 19 years and have experienced infertility myself. I’m a graduate of Stanford University
and live in southwestern France with my husband and far too many cats and hens.

To book on-line, email for a registration form.
Some bursaries are available to people who are unemployed or on low incomes.

To sign-up for the April workshop, please request a registration form.

Meredith Wheeler
St. Martin de Dauzats
Lautrec, 81440 France
Tel: (00 33) 563 59 11 32
Fax: (00 33) 563 59 11 31
email: mw@meredithwheeler.org

Comments from past participants

I found the workshop valuable in many ways: meeting all the other participants was especially good as it was nice to feel understood and less isolated in a group of people. I also felt empowered by the realisation that I wasn’t alone in how I felt. I found peoples stories humbling and came away feeling that I should be more grateful for what I have got. I also felt incredibly moved by people’s acceptance, over the weekend, of their situation.

I finally put to rest some old wounds; realised there are a lot of other people out there suffering with all the same problems & that it is still possible to come through it all a creative, fulfilled, balanced person.

I have a stronger feeling of my identity as a woman having a place among women, even though I have no family and haven’t conceived. I no longer feel isolated.

Coming to the group helped me to summon the courage to undertake the fertility treatment that I then had.

It seemed to crystallise that I don’t want medical intervention yet….

The experience of sharing has taught me that most of the fears & anxieties are okay…My sense of purpose is not entirely bound up in being a mother–and I can’t rely on a child to give me a sense of direction.

‘I sometimes feel positive about being able to make loving and open connections with women who are pregnant or who are mothers, without squashing my own needs and feelings. I tell more people about my fertility problems and I feel less shame.

Hearing other people express emotions that resonate with mine puts me in closer touch with myself–I live a little bit more fully through the sharing of experience; I don’t feel so alone and “other”. I’m kinder to and more hopeful about myself. I’ve eased off on my impatience to be pregnant, and realised that maybe there’s some important work that needs doing first….

I have taken away a better sense of self-worth, inner strength.

I realised why infertility was so painful for me. I had thought I was unhappy just because I couldn’t have children, but came to see how other things in my present and past were interwoven with my infertility problems.

I can see that having a child won’t solve my own feelings of inadequacy….I am already less concerned about what others think and am trying to treasure what I already have, rather than yearn for what I think I should have.

Eighteen months ago I was ready to give up my job, I was punishing myself or thought I was being punished, and on my own I have managed to get my perspective on life back on track. This workshop made it clear that I wasn’t just kidding myself that life is going to be okay. It has brought to light very clearly how important, vital even, my spiritual needs and beliefs are….

The thought that I can live with all this grief, longing, loss and lead a good life nevertheless, began to germinate.

I valued the chance to meet other women in similar circumstances and the opportunity to explore my own inner conflicts in context with their views; it was revealing to be able to express my feelings fully to others who would listen and really understand, and to hear their responses; equally, it was valuable to listen to their stories.

I thought the visualisation and drawing were incredibly powerful and helped to understand my situation, not only in relation to infertility, but on many different levels.

I was apprehensive about doing the visualisations and art therapy, as I do feel that I’m not in touch with my subconscious most of the time, to the point I feel I don’t have one! I was very surprised how things turned out.

Unfulfilled Dreams–memorial service for fertilitiy losses

Unfulfilled Dreams

a ceremony for anyone who has experienced losses associated with
fertility problems or unwanted childlessness

Sunday, April 26th 2009  6.15pm

‘Unfulfilled Dreams’ is a non-denominational memorial service and ritual for anyone who has experienced losses associated with infertility, subfertility, failed fertility treatment, lost pregnancies or unwanted childlessness.

It takes place at North Bank, 28 Pages Lane, Muswell Hill, London, N10 1PP.

This is fifth time that this service has taken place in London.

The event lasts about an hour and is a mixture of readings, music and group ritual.

Feedback from past services has been very positive–most people found it powerful and healing. Usually about 25-50 people attend, half couples, half women alone or accompanied by a friend.

Those attending have suffered losses associated with failed fertility treatment, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, subfertility, secondary infertility, premature menopause, destruction of embryos, blighted ovums, stillbirth, neonatal death, terminations or sperm problems. Couples who have had a child via assisted conception techniques or who have adopted may also find the event helpful.

There is an opportunity to light a candle for any ‘lost’ children, including children who lived only in the inner world of the would-be parent(s). There is a chance to write or to draw a message for the child who, for whatever reason, never arrived.

The service was put together by three women with counselling backgrounds who have an interest in healing rituals and personal experience of fertility losses. No clergy officiate. An effort has been made to create a service that will be meaningful for those with or without a religious faith.

There are opportunities, but no pressure, to participate in the various ways throughout the service. The main goal is to come together in a compassionate setting with others who have experienced similar life events in order to recognise, honour and mourn losses that are often invisible and poorly understood by others.
The service takes place in a beautiful room overlooking the pleasant garden.

Adult family members, friends and medical staff are also welcome.

Space is limited, so please reserve your place(s).

It’s free.

If you would like to help with the organization of the event, volunteers are very welcome.

Refreshments will be served after the ceremony.

For more information or to book a place, contact Meredith Wheeler: mw@meredithwheeler.org

Fertility Loss Ceremony in London (UK) Sunday April 26th 6.15pm

Just received permission from the venue where the April workshop takes place to hold a Fertility Loss ritual.

This is a ceremony for anyone who has experienced fertility losses of any kind.

It provides a compassionate setting for meaningful and participatory ritual that helps validate these real (though sometimes hidden) losses, enabling us to grieve and move forward with a lighter heart.

The service is free and will take place in Muswell Hill at North Bank, the same venue as for the workshop of April 25th/26th.

The ceremony lasts about an hour.

No clergy officiate.

The service was launched in 2000 and has been run in London for several years (though not recently).