How was IVF-Assist developed?
The client base of the developer of the protocol, Alan Patching, was increasingly female, and the subject of fertility challenges arose with an increasing number of those female clients.

He undertook a course in the use of hypnosis to assist with fertility challenges with a leading US based practitioner, Lynsi Eastburn, and was eventually appointed regional Director (and
trainer) for Australia and New Zealand of the Hypnofertility Foundation founded by Eastburn and another prominent US hypnotist, Art Leidecker.

Patching developed the view, notwithstanding Eastburn’s personal success with hypnosis as an intervention for those facing fertility challenges, that he wanted to explore the field more deeply, and along a more academic and formal approach. He undertook an extensive study of existing formal academic literature, and drew a number of conclusions from that review. He was particularly taken by three characteristics of the

  • There was strong support for a correlation between stress and infertility but no strong support for a causal relationship between the two – this contradicted the evidence from his practice experience
  • Where stress was recognised as an issue, the emphasis in the literature appeared to be on stress induced from the IVF experience, and it focused on three phases of the IVF process
  • While a significant body of research studied the effect of coping mechanisms employed by those undergoing IVF, no strong body of research existed for the proposing of a stress reducing protocol to be used during IVF

Patching developed IVF-Assist in response to the knowledge gap he recognised in the formal literature. He developed it as a five-phased process incorporating hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and counselling .

Patching recognises that, while the programme does include some innovative techniques, most of the phases comprise traditional therapeutic techniques taught on most advanced psychotherapy and hypnotherapy courses. It is the phasing, timing and structuring of the techniques that make the difference in IVF-Assist and set it apart from standard ad-hoc application from a basket of therapeutic approaches. Having said that, the core philosophy behind the development of the programme still applies – and that is that its success comes from the use of an integrative rather than eclectic application of correct and appropriate therapeutic technologies.

Who developed IVF-Assist?
Alan Patching developed IVF-Assist. Alan is an experienced Gold Coast-based Australian hypnotherapist and UKCP Registered Psychotherapist. Some of the hypnotherapy protocols used in the programme are based on or are extensions of techniques taught by the founder of Hypnosis for Fertility, Lynsi Eastburn of the USA.

What type of research has been done regarding IVFAssist?
Alan Patching’s 2014 research followed a qualitative paradigm that is internationally respected in the field of humanities research studies. You can learn more about that research from the research overview on this site.

Is further research contemplated regarding IVFAssist?
The programme developer is currently contemplating following up his qualitative research study, completed in 2014, with a quantitative study using the widely recognised Random Controlled Trial approach. Programme developer, Alan Patching, does not regard this as ideal because it necessitates every patient (apart from the control group) receiving precisely the same intervention, despite the obvious reality that different people have differing background stressors and different reactions to the various stressors associated with undergoing IVF. However, for as many people as possible to get the value that IVF-Assist promises, based on evidencebased practice to date, quantitative research will probably be necessary.

This is largely because a substantial number of the medical profession, to whom many people who could benefit from IVFAssist are likely to turn for advice, cannot be expected to recommend the programme without it first undergoing the ‘medical standard’ of RCT (despite the fact a large number of the 365 – increased from around 198 not many years ago – disorders defined in the latest edition of the world’s most recognised diagnostic manual for mental disorders, appear to have been defined primarily based on medical practitioners’ practice observations, and many stress-related disorders are diagnosed on subjective input from patients and not from any objective analysis of stress bio-markers). For balance and fairness, it must be noted that the majority of patients who have undergone the IVF-Assist programme to date have been referred by medical practitioners.

Can you guarantee the results from using IVF-Assist?
No, we cannot, any more than can an IVF clinic, for example, guarantee success from its procedures.

While the evidence to date, and the qualitative research findings, suggest the programme can greatly enhance the prospects of success from IVF, the research sample to date, out of necessity during the development phase, has been relatively small. Of course, it must be recognised that qualitative research often depends on detailed analysis of relatively lengthy narrative provided by quite often small numbers of people who have experienced whatever is being researched.

This is quite a different approach from quantitative research, which tends to prefer far larger numbers of people in research sample bases.

We know of no medical or therapeutic protocol or programme that can sensibly guarantee outcomes. All that can be provided for such medical or therapeutic protocols or programmes is a probability of success based on statistical analysis of previous cases, or an anecdotal expression of possible outcomes based on the experience of others.

For how many rounds of IVF should I use IVF-Assist if I want to become pregnant?
That cannot be defined. Our research study showed the majority of participants became pregnant in the first cycle for which they used IVF-Assist in concert with their IVF. No participant, with the exception of one woman who is still not pregnant and has ceased trying to become pregnant, took more than three cycles to become pregnant. For context, most of the research sample were ‘difficult’ cases, either because of age (several between 37 and 44 years of age) or because of the number of failed previous cycles (up to 12).

Where can I get access to the IVF- Assist programme?
You can click here to make an appointment for a consultation with Alan Patching. Alternatively you can click here to purchase the ‘use-at-home’ digital version of the programme.

Is IVF-Assist available outside of Australia?
At this stage, the only clinic offering the programme is Hypno- Psych Solutions at Southport on the Gold Coast in Australia. However, the developer has some plans for gradual training of others in the use of the protocol and details of centres providing the programme will be provided on this site in future.

A digital version of the programme, comprising the eBook, audio and video files intended to be used for a future quantitative research study into the protocol, will soon be available for purchase form this web site. Click here for information.

The developer, Alan Patching is considering offering a version of the programme via telephone and internet-based communication technologies, commencing during 2015. Click here for further information

What is the cost of IVF-Assist?
The cost of the programme varies depending on circumstances and the means by which it is delivered. To discuss fees in relation to your personal circumstances please contact Alan Patching direct.

As a general guide regarding costs, IVF-Assist is a little more expensive than typical standard therapy sessions, but far less expensive than the additional rounds of IVF that current research indicates it might help obviate.

Where can I undertake IVF-Assist?
If you are interested in more information, or want to make an appointment for a consultation with Alan Patching, you can use the ‘contact’ page of this site, or click here.