Beyond the treatment for infertility: “Creativity as a resource”

Many personal stories – of infertility, of the difficult search for a pregnancy that doesn’t arrive, of suffering too often experienced alone – become a single collective narrative written by several hands, thanks to which one can discover within oneself new inner resources and strength.

This is what happened with the conclusion of the pilot project Parole Fertili: la creatività come risorsa. Viaggio nel Paese delle maschere narranti (“Fertile Words: creativity as a resource. A journey through the Land of narrating masks”), a Digital Integrated Drama Therapy activity aimed at 30 women who have received a diagnosis of infertility and have started the Medically Assisted Procreation path. Two months long, the pathway has been offered completely free of charge, thanks to the unconditional contribution of IBSA Farmaceutici. The participants responded to the call to action launched through the social channels of the Parole Fertili community. 

The project was born from the collaboration between CDI-NarrAzioni, the Integrated Drama Therapy Center created by Sandra Pierpaoli, psychologist, psychotherapist and art therapist; DNM, the startup that created the PsyDit platform for innovative digital psychological support paths; and Rossella Nappi, professor at the University of Pavia, gynecologist, endocrinologist, sexologist and director of the Fertility Center.

This experience made it possible, for the first time, to evaluate the applicability of Integrated Drama Therapy (a methodology already used with in-person workshops, in the healthcare context) to the digital tool, as well as to assess the usefulness that such methodology can have in supporting women involved in a MAP path. All participants valued the path very positively, underlining both the aspect of group sharing and the possibility to experiment with creative languages. Divided into three work groups, the women met online every 15 days for 5 times on the PsyDit platform, while also working asynchronously and individually, from home, on inputs provided by the work team.

Led by the psychology team, the participants compared their experiences and difficulties using the languages of the arts, theater, music and storytelling. Il Paese delle maschere narranti (the “Land of the Narrating Masks) is a fairy tale that each one of them could create, starting from a trace, and enrich with the group’s support, through the construction and use of different masks. The masks allowed the women to meet, recognize and express different parts of themselves, both those that are stressed during a difficult maternity experience, and those that can intervene to “cure” and “transform” this experience, and that can be identified and metaphorically told with the dramatization and with the narrative path.

“We are very happy with the results of the pilot project, and above all with the positive evaluations made by the participant”, explained Patrizia Puppi, Corporate Communication & CSR Manager at IBSA Farmaceutici. “For us at IBSA – who since 2016 have been supporting Parole Fertili and its evolution – this initiative represents a further opportunity of support for women. The issue of infertility is a great challenge, that we cannot consider only from a medical perspective: we must be present, welcome, support the couple, and go beyond treatment. Only in this way can we really make a difference”

At the end of the path – thanks to a reworking of the treating team and the technical support of PsyDit – a video was made for each group, aimed at enhancing the experience carried out within each individual group.

GROUP A) “In search of the lost harmony”

GROUP B) “The land of the enchanted forest”

GROUP C) “The land of the masks in bloom”