Course Description

World Health Organization (WHO) defines infertility as a disease of the reproductive system that affects millions of people, with significant individual, family and community impacts. Estimates suggest that approximately one in every six people of reproductive age worldwide experience infertility, and when we include people accessing fertility treatment due to sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship status and underlying medical conditions unrelated to reproduction, this number grows exponentially. Further estimates indicate that 15-20% of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage, yet individuals and couples often suffer alone due to stigma, society’s lack of awareness of reproductive realities and discomfort with grief, loss, and reproductive trauma.

The devastating impacts of infertility and loss should be of particular interest to mental health practitioners, as research suggests that people experiencing ongoing infertility and reproductive loss have similarly high rates of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress as those diagnosed with cancer and heart disease.

With so many Canadians struggling to build their families, whether due to infertility or the need for fertility treatments (2SLGBTQ+, singles), it is essential that clinicians working closely with adults have a foundational understanding of reproductive technologies and options, industry terminology, and patients’ lived experiences. In this way, our clients can focus on accessing therapeutic support without the need for lengthy explanations to their clinician.

This workshop is designed to help professionals in their understanding of and ability to connect more deeply with the issues faced by clients who are experiencing infertility and loss. Throughout this two-day workshop participants will:

  • Become familiar with differing classifications of infertility, common reproductive diseases and disorders, relevant terminology and treatment pathways.
  • Develop an awareness and sensitivity to the fertility needs and challenges for 2SLGBTQ+ people, single individuals, BIPOC clients and others from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.
  • Learn about fertility preservation, gamete donation and surrogacy within a Canadian context.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the significant and complex impacts of infertility and loss on individuals, couples and families.
  • Obtain practical and theoretical skills and knowledge in counselling clients dealing with infertility, loss and/or decision-making in regard to fertility treatment options, costs and accessibility.
  • Identify and combat myths about infertility and loss.
  • Explore how stress reduction, anxiety management and boundary building are essential for fertility self-care and when and how these skills can best be utilized to foster resilience.
  • And more!

This workshop will be of interest to mental health practitioners, nurses and other clinicians working with adults who are actively trying to conceive or might consider doing so in the future. Note that this workshop alone does not fulfill the requirements necessary to work as a fertility counselling specialist or to conduct 3rd Party assessments for gamete donation and surrogacy.


For more information contact the Faculty of Social Work Professional Development office:

Email: fswprofessionaldevelopment@wlu.ca
Phone: 548-889-4967

Cancellations and Transfers
Be sure to carefully review our cancellation and transfer information before registering.

Website: wlu.ca/fswpd

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

This workshop is currently not available. The 2024/2025 Faculty of Social Work Professional Development course and workshop dates will be available on July 8, 2024.
Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.
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