Fabienne Coquillat


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    Ambivalence about pregnancy: "Toolbox" for professionals

    Fabienne Coquillat, Lauriane Pichonnaz, Saira-Christine Renteria Centre for Sexual Health and Planned Parenthood, Unit for Psychosocial Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Ob Gyn Department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), Lausanne, Switzerland - fabienne.coquillat@chuv.ch

    Introduction: Our annual statistics show that half of the women consulting for elective abortion with an ambivalent attitude end up continuing their pregnancy. This observation led us to question our interview techniques used to guide women and couples with their choice. Objectives: - Identify and describe the necessary or useful elements to the guidance of a woman and/or a couple who has/have to make a decision (continue or not a pregnancy). - Conceptualize those various approaches by making them easily reproducible for other professionals. Material and method: The six sexual health counsellors of the Centre for Sexual Health of the CHUV shared their different interview and communication techniques, as well as their developed reflective methods used on a daily basis. Those methods and techniques have subsequently been conceptualized by the team. Results: These "tools" are based on the following main lines: 1) The attitude of the intervener? Having trust in the ability of the other to make a choice and not feeling responsible for it. 2) How to establish a framework? By providing accurate information about confidentiality, gestational age or the limits of the law. 3) What "key factor" to keep in mind when gathering information? 4) The techniques that encourage the narration, the verbalization of feelings, the identification of strengths and paradoxes, the strengthening of the person's resources. Conclusion: This toolbox for professionals gathers the essential and helpful elements to conduct an interview with a woman or a couple in a situation of ambivalent attitudes towards pregnancy. Gathering, describing and conceptualizing the individual experiences of each counsellor makes them reproducible and thus usable by other professionals. The development of this toolbox has allowed the team to conceptualize personal skills and know-how built up over daily practices and, as a result, to "specialize" and enhance skills.