When My Body Fails Me

Therapy for Women with Infertility


  • Leslie Ann Costello




infertility, maternal mental health, pregnancy loss, assisted reproductive technology, mothering


This paper discusses the emotional processes that occur when a couple faces a diagnosis of infertility. There are gender differences in how people relate to this problem. Women’s experience of infertility may include pregnancy loss, medical intervention, and separation from the creative self. Issues that arise in therapy include the struggle with the diagnosis, coping with social relationships, grief and bereavement, and treatment decision-making. The treatments can alienate women from their bodies. A woman’s history of fertility struggles may underlie other reasons for being in therapy. The somatic focus of bioenergetic analysis is particularly helpful to women as they re-connect to the body through expressing a wide range and intensity of feelings. Case examples illustrate some of these points.

Author Biography

Leslie Ann Costello

Leslie Ann Costello, Ph.D., CBT, is a psychologist, former university professor, and Local Trainer with the Atlantic Canada Society for Bioenergetic Analysis. She brings a developmental perspective, with training in infant and perinatal mental health, attachment, and child-parent psychotherapy in addition to her bioenergetic training. She offers workshops for therapists and clients in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. She is in private practice in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, where she specializes in perinatal mental health and trauma.
095-108 36016




How to Cite

Costello, L. A. (2020). When My Body Fails Me: Therapy for Women with Infertility. Bioenergetic Analysis, 30(1), 95–108. https://doi.org/10.30820/0743-4804-2020-30-95