Step-by-step support to help people living with an unfulfilled wish for children based on Contextual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

A growing number of people worldwide are faced with an unfulfilled child wish, when they exhaust their chances to have children, or as many children as they desire, and have to adjust to this loss. People can face an unfulfilled child wish progressively as they experience unfavourable circumstances to trying to have children, or in a more sudden way, for instance, when finishing unsuccessful fertility treatment. Facing an unfulfilled child wish triggers an intense and protracted grief period and challenging adjustment process that is reported to last on average 2-years and from which some people never recover. Consistently, people with UPGs report impaired well-being and mental health.

Despite practice guidelines and regulatory bodies highlighting the need to provide tailored support for people with unfulfilled child wishes, there were no accessible evidence-based interventions that can be used. To address this gap, we developed MyJourney, a self-guided online intervention theoretically informed by the Three Task Model of Adjustment to Unmet Parenthood Goals (Gameiro & Finnigan, 2017).

MyJourney resulted from a 2-year iterative development process that followed the methodology recommended by the UK Medical Research Council for the development of complex interventions and integrated feedback from multiple evaluation activities. It applies contextual cognitive behavioural therapy to promote healthy adjustment.

Resources produced by the MyJourney project

Project Team

  • Dr Sofia Gameiro

    Cardiff University School of Psychology
  • Dr Ana Galhardo

    University of Coimbra
  • Dr Bethan Rowbottom

    Cardiff University School of Psychology
  • Dr Zoe Lee

    Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Strategy
    Cardiff University Business School
  • Dr Helen Penny

    Clinical Psychologist, Senior Therapies Tutor, and Honorary Senior Lecturer
    Cardiff University School of Psychology