Josephine McCoy is a Fertility Counsellor at The Centre for Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. People come to the Centre for treatment, for example people receiving fertility treatment, those thinking of donating eggs or sperm, or people coming terms with the fact that they may never have children. Josephine helps them with the emotional and social issues surrounding their treatment at the Centre.
Josephine’s job is different every day. She has appointments with patients every day but also deals with any issues that patients in the Centre may have. Everyone responds differently to the emotional and stressful issues surrounding fertility and Josephine works with them to find the best way to help them. Josephine also attends regular meeting with other staff in the Centre to discuss which treatment would be best for each patient.
Josephine’s favourite part of her job is “making a difference with people” and “working on her toes…attending to whatever needs attending to”, as patients may react differently to the sensitive situations presented in fertility treatment.
To become a counsellor you must complete a training course in counselling. Josephine’s advice for anyone thinking of becoming a counsellor is to make sure that the course is BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) recognised. Many people who go into counselling do so when they have worked in another career for a while, although Josephine says that she has known younger people who have trained in this field.