by: Carol Fulwiler Jones, M.A.
Reviewed by: Harriette Rovner Ferguson, LCSW and Irena Milentijevic, Psy.D.
“Hopeful Heart, Peaceful Mind: Managing Infertility” by Carol Fulwiler Jones is a highly recommended book for infertility patients. It is supportive, informative and integrates Carol Jones’ professional experience in both traditional psychotherapy and alternative health treatments. She provides her readers with an easy-to-read guide that they can put on their bedside table and pick up at any time to find comfort, validation and ways to cope with the stress of the infertility journey. The first part of the book describes common struggles patients face during their infertility treatment; and the last part of the book presents techniques on how to overcome them.
Carol designed her book to calm the emotional upsets and inspire couples to continue on their journey of building a family. It also was written to help family and friends become educated about infertility and learn how to be sensitive in giving comfort and support. It educates professionals in the field of reproductive medicine about the many challenges of infertility and how they can be managed.
When asked what inspired Carol to write this book she says, “Almost two decades ago, I started counseling men, women, couples and groups who were passionately pursuing their dream of becoming pregnant and parenting a child. I remain in awe of their strength and determination as they resolved the many challenges of infertility. It has been a privilege to watch them explore deeper, unfamiliar parts of themselves, which have often led to personal growth and transformation. This has been my inspiration for writing my book. I spent many years creating a ‘book box’ which contained notes from my infertility talks and workshops, notes from my clients who shared their personal intimacies and private struggles, and strategies I developed which incorporated the use of music-evoked imagery, visualization, relaxation, meditation, mindful breathing, and yoga. The results of practicing these techniques with clients were often profound and always exciting. The contents of my ‘book box’ were used to help create my book.”
Carol’s approach to using both traditional psychotherapy and alternative medicine treatments offers her patients a blueprint with which to deal with future life crises. She believes that “We live in a fast-paced, technological world which is stressful. People are feeling the discomfort and ill effects of stress; and they often seek ways to live a happier, healthier and more balanced life. I have studied, taught and practiced yoga for the past 26 years; and the various tools of yoga (breath, movement, meditation and sound) provide a powerful alternative to managing the challenges of infertility. I often teach specific yoga practices, as well as visualization, relaxation and music-evoked imagery to clients. These practices are designed to improve physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health and create inner peace. When you are experienced and trained to teach complimentary treatments; and when you have a clear understanding of the complex psychological and emotional struggles of the infertility population, blending complimentary treatments with traditional psychotherapy expands opportunities to create health and healing from within.”
We were interested to know how Carol integrated these treatments with couples. She said that she has designed various music-evoked imagery practices for use with couples. “There is one practice I designed to help them remember the pleasurable sex they shared before infertility. This simple practice often rekindles their sexual desire; and they are more touchy and playful as they leave my office.”
Carol Fulwiler Jones, M.A. Hopeful Heart, Peaceful Mind: Managing Infertility. Fraser Davis Press: 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0578025957
Publications may be obtained at your local library or bookstore or in some cases ordered from the publisher’s address provided. Generally, titles reviewed on this site are restricted to those published within the last five years. This list is in no way comprehensive or intended to replace, dictate, or fully define evaluation and treatment by a qualified professional. It is intended solely as an aid for persons seeking general information on issues in reproductive medicine. The views expressed in these book reviews are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect those of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.