At RADfertility, we understand that infertility can be a very isolating disease to face. It is important to know you are not alone. The purpose of the Making a Difference series is to highlight the dedicated organizations and individuals in the community available to help you on your journey.
Alisha McCanney, LCSW
Our patient community is filled with extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. As an experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Delaware, Alisha McCanney has had the opportunity to work with many different populations. It wasn’t until she personally faced a reproductive health issue that Alisha noticed a gap in reproductive mental health resources.
We had the opportunity to meet with Alisha to gather insight from her personal infertility journey and learn more about Willow Counseling Services in Dover, Delaware.
Tell us about Willow Counseling’s mission and the services you provide.
Alisha: Willow Counseling Services is focused on providing the highest quality of therapy delivered with trust, thoughtfulness and empathy. We offer individual as well as group counseling to meet the needs of our patients. Through advocacy, providing resources and offering therapeutic support we strive to help those struggling with:
- assisted reproduction such as IVF or IUI
- reproductive health issues such as endometriosis or PCOS
- pregnancy loss or complication
- traumatic birth
- adjustment to parenthood
- premature birth
- postpartum depression and anxiety
What inspired you to provide this resource and open Willow Counseling Services?
Alisha: Throughout my career as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker I have had the opportunity to work with different populations, but only noticed a gap in reproductive mental health when I was the one in need of support. After I was diagnosed with endometriosis, I quickly joined a club that no one ever wants to be a part of…The Infertility Club. Almost immediately I began to realize how many others surrounding me were in this club that no one ever really talked about. I started speaking with women I barely knew who shared some of the most difficult moments of their lives with me as well as their frustrations with the lack of mental health supports. I then decided to start the journey of opening a practice where women could stop suffering in silence and seek the support that is critical in addressing their behavioral health wellness. My experiences have shaped the way I approach therapy as well as the way Willow Counseling Services operates.
What advice do you give someone who isn’t sure if counseling may be right for them?
Alisha: I understand that people cannot fathom scheduling another appointment or delay reaching out for help because they are hopeful that the next month, they will become pregnant and life will finally go as planned. I know this because I was once that exact person. Putting off seeking help is completely normal as mental health is often the last to be addressed. The best advice I can give is to reach out and speak with a clinician over the phone to discuss your current situation and concerns regarding counseling. At Willow Counseling Services we are always happy and willing to provide phone consultations to address any of your concerns. Patients often tell me that they wished they would have sought counseling sooner in their journey.
What are some things that make Willow Counseling unique?
Alisha: While a therapist does not always need personal experience to be able to help someone going through a difficult situation, we believe that if you have not experienced infertility you may not fully understand the complexity of everything from the emotions of walking past the baby aisle at Target to assisted reproduction treatment protocols. At Willow Counseling Services the clinician has firsthand knowledge of how much infertility impacts everyday life. We will never tell you that in order to get pregnant you just need to “relax”!
Another aspect that makes Willow Counseling Service unique is our ability to accept most major insurance plans. We work with each patient individually to ensure that attending counseling sessions does not become an additional financial burden.
What was the hardest part of your fertility treatment?
Alisha: The hardest part of my fertility treatment was all of the waiting. People tell you to take it a day at a time, but I found myself taking it a month at a time. I was always counting down till the next phone call, appointment, pregnancy test and even when my period would arrive. Some of the most trying times came after I waited months and months just to get another negative pregnancy test and to start the waiting all over again.
What advice do you have for women facing infertility challenges?
Alisha: Take it easy on yourself! As much as you want to show support to family and friends it is important that you address your own needs. I often see women simply enduring pain from having to attend ANOTHER baby shower because they did not want to disappoint loved ones. It is important during these times that you put yourself first. Saying no to attending baby showers, family gatherings or other events is ok.
Can you tell us something people might not know about Alisha?
Alisha: People say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but I think that statement comes from those who have never owned a dog! I am a huge dog lover and feel that my Old English Sheepdog has helped me through some of the toughest parts of my infertility journey.
For more information about Alisha and Willow Counseling Services, call 302-313-1072 or visit: www.willowcounselingservicesde.com
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"I feel so lucky to have found RADfertility. I tried two other clinics before I expanded my search and found RADfertility. I drive an hour each way to go to them but I don’t regret a thing. They are so caring and so professional. Every time I message them they respond quickly. Every time I see them they have a friendly smile and warm welcome. They explain everything so well and I never feel lost in the process as I did elsewhere. They also took the time to figure out what was wrong. Other clinics threw up their hands, said 'I don’t know' and pushed me to try IVF."
"Dr. Feinberg and the entire staff at RADfertility are absolutely amazing. The receptionists, coordinators, nurses, and lab staff are compassionate, caring, and straight forward. I’ve had a 12-year infertility journey and I’ve tried other clinics but RADfertility was the only one I felt at ease with. They answered any questions that I had and were there any time I needed them. My coordinator, Amy, was the absolute best and always had my back. Dr. Feinberg’s dedication to his patients is incredible. You are not just a number there, you are a person with individualized needs and care."
"My journey with RADfertility and Dr. McGuirk started when my husband and I were trying to conceive and were having difficulty. We went to RADfertility, where we met Dr. McGuirk. I always say she changed my life and 'fixed' me. Dr. McGuirk is always learning more about endometriosis and how to help her patients. She’s brilliant and truly cares for you! I’m eternally grateful to her and everyone at RADfertility for their unwavering support, love, and care."
"Every step of our journey was tailored to us. We were treated so respectfully. Every detail was clearly explained and we felt so comfortable. Rhonda Wright was a Godsend and inspiring. I highly recommend this place! I cried when my weekly appointments were done and I 'graduated.'"
"The staff and doctors are amazing. It will feel like home every time you walk in the door. They gifted us with our miracle baby and we couldn’t be happier. I will always recommend RADfertility above all others!"
"RADfertility's staff has heart and provided me with exceptional health care. I knew I was in good hands and felt like we were in this together. The doctors and nursing staff always answered all of my questions and provided thorough information about all of my options. I am so fortunate and appreciative of the care that I received at RADfertility. They go above and beyond."
"I cannot begin to explain how wonderful RADfertility is. We were frustrated with trying to start a family and it not working for us. The entire team of doctors and nurses made us feel comfortable and hopeful that we would be parents. We experienced so many ups and downs but we never felt like we were on our IVF journey alone, we had our RADfertility team every step of the way. If you're looking for a supportive team on the IVF journey, look no further. RADfertility is the absolute best."
"Dr. Schillings always kept us informed and never gave up on us. She always explained our options and risks with each procedure. She called us personally when there were any issues or sensitive subjects to cover. Dr. Schillings was the first doctor that had answers for us and wanted to help us have our miracle baby!"
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