Choices is committed to both the physical and the emotional wellness of our patients. Our Counseling Department exists to ensure that each and every patient feels comfortable with the medical care they choose to receive and is able to process the many important and complex emotions that reproductive health care involves. Patients are provided individualized counseling and education by licensed clinical social workers in a warm, non-judgmental, supportive and confidential environment.
Patients will be given guidance and support in the following areas:
In a private counseling session, each patient has the opportunity to discuss her decision to have an abortion. In this safe, confidential space, the patient can have an honest dialogue about this very important decision that she has been empowered to make for herself.
An affiliate of Choices Women’s Medical Center, Spence-Chapin is an accredited non-profit agency that has been offering quality adoption services for more than 100 years. Spence- Chapin is a member of the Child Welfare League of America, which sets standards for adoption and child welfare practice, and the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, the oldest and largest professional affiliation of international adoption agencies. If a woman is interested in adoption Choices counselors will work with the staff of Spence Chapin to insure she will immediately be assigned a Spence-Chapin Counselor. The Spence-Chapin Counselor will meet with them at a location convenient to them. Spence-Chapin will provide pregnancy counseling, financial and medical support, explain and facilitate in the adoption process and provide post-adoption services. The Independent Adoption Center (IAC) is a licensed, nonprofit adoption agency that builds families through open adoption nationwide. The IAC advocates fully open adoptions in which the birthmother chooses the family who will raise their baby and enjoy open communication and visits throughout the child’s life. If you are interested in learning more about IAC, Choices can connect you to a site located in 8 states (NY, CT, NC, GA, FL, TX, IN, CA). More information can also be found at iheartadoption.org or by calling 1-800-877-OPEN(6736).
You may experience a wide range of feelings after your abortion. Most women ultimately feel relief after an abortion, however, some women may feel anger, regret, guilt and/or sadness. Serious, long-term emotional problems after abortion are about as uncommon as they are after giving birth. You may be more likely to have emotional problems after the abortion for certain reasons. Some of these reasons are:
- Having a history of emotional problems before your abortion
- Having important people in your life who aren’t supportive of your decisions to have an abortion
- Having non-supportive religious beliefs
- Having a history of physical abuse or sexual violence
- Having to terminate a wanted pregnancy because your health or the health of the fetus is in danger. If you want to talk with someone after your abortion, we at Choices Women’s Medical Center are here for you. We will arrange an appointment for you with a licensed social worker so you may talk it over a confidential, non-judgmental counseling session.
Patients will meet with a mental health professional to diagnose, address, and treat depression. Additionally, our counselors are trained to address internal issues of anxiety, stress, trauma, low self-esteem, grief; and can help cope with stress from external factors such as economic stability and relationships. If the patient’s emotional state is negatively affecting her ability to carry out her everyday routines, the counselor will guide her to appropriate referrals in the mental health community.
At Choices, we understand that a women’s experience with her partner can deeply affect her choices in reproductive health. Violence is so common in many woman’s lives, and because there is help available at Choices for woman being abused either physically, emotionally, or financially, we now ask every patient about domestic violence.
All patients are provided with educational information about birth control methods. By comparing different forms of birth control, the patient and the counselor will determine the right form of birth control. Together, the patient and the counselor will develop a personal plan to ensure that the patient takes her birth control method as often as is required. Additionally, the patient will learn how to refill a prescription and obtain a new one. She will also learn how to schedule appointments with her gynecologist as needed for routine care.
The counselor will speak with the patient about the risks associated with contracting HIV, and will review the reasons to be tested. If a patient tests positive, the counselor will explain the specific health care issues that the patient needs to be aware of and can provide medical referrals. It is our goal to empower HIV positive patients to make informed and responsible health care choices. HIV counseling, like all counseling, is completely confidential and non-judgemental.
Each patient is provided the opportunity to process her feelings about her pregnancy, and together with the counselor, she will have the space to explore all of her options and alternatives to make the best choices for herself.
From joyful anticipation to fearful concern, pregnancy is an emotionally complex process. Based on a psychosocial assessment of the patient, an individualized plan will be developed to address all of her concerns and prepare for the arrival of the baby. After the patient has given birth, a counselor will meet with the patient to conduct an assessment of patient’s emotional status. Together, they will work to identify the patient’s emotions, and the counselor will help teach the patient how to manage her feelings while providing support to make sure all of her emotional needs are met.
At Choices, we understand how difficult it can be to stop smoking. Smoking, like any other addiction, is multidimensional: it involves a person’s emotional and social life, as well as a physical dependence. In order to fight addiction on all levels, our program involves several different approaches, from medication to individual counseling. We are committed to educating patients about the effects of smoking on their health and overall well-being, which can be a very useful tool in recovery. Most people who successfully quit smoking use a combination of treatments and techniques. The medical team at Choices will assist the patient to create a plan to quit smoking and will provide support to the patient in implementing their quit plan in their everyday lives.