My Profile and Counseling Approach

Patricia Mendell believes that each stage of one’s life presents new challenges. For many, these challenges can be an impetus for change and growth. For others it can create roadblocks. As a coach and therapist, Patricia has been fortunate to have helped hundreds of individuals, couples and families at these Life Crossroads discover their inner strengths, create effective life tools, and overcome damaging beliefs that hinder their decision-making abilities and life choices. Life is about possibilities. Having professional support can create a safe and healthy environment that encourages self-exploration, creates new skill sets, and implement a realistic strategy to meet these challenges. Whether individuals are faced with career, relationship, family or parenting questions, Patricia is able to offer both practical and therapeutic advice to enable them to discover new ways to approach their life concerns.

For those who have experienced the pain of infertility, the sorrow of pregnancy loss and confusion about treatment options, Patricia’s broad knowledge and extensive professional network create unique opportunities to become educated consumers and have confidence in their abilities to ask the challenging questions and make the difficult choices. As an infertility and pregnancy loss survivor, Patricia understands the uncertainties that confront those seeking accurate information and solutions to their family building dilemmas. She is able to provide both practical and therapeutic advice for those at an impasse with their fertility treatment options, from low-tech approaches, to IVF, to identifying and procuring egg/sperm donors, through in-house IVF programs, free standing donor agencies, seeking help in locating a surrogate or gestational carrier, and making the tough decision to end fertility treatments and move on to adoption. Patricia believes that effective decision-making can only happen when one understands the questions that need to be asked.

As a wife and mother who has advocated for and raised two sons with their own unique learning styles and abilities, Patricia is well aware that identifying problems early can be the key to raising self-confident children. Her work is based on the premise that skills as parents are not instinctive, but learned. Patricia feels the hardest job as a parent is being consistent and knowing how to be supportive without overdoing. She coaches parents to work with their children by developing effective observation tools, valuable listening skills, and useful and timely interventions.

Working together as a couple can also be a challenge for parents who may find themselves divided on their parenting approaches. Setting firm limits and being able to hold firm on the family rules can be challenging even to the most secure adult when confronted by an unhappy child or adolescent. Patricia feels that parents have a unique opportunity to learn effective communication techniques that will nurture the connection with their growing child, while encouraging new skills of self-advocacy and self-reliance.

When children are faced with unique challenges developmentally or in their approach to learning, it is important that parents be able to ask the difficult questions and make the hard choices about how best to help their child become confident and successful. Knowing how to ask for help and being able to seek the answers that will open the door to your child’s unique gifts is often where parents find themselves at an impasse. Patricia assists parents in identifying these issues and creating effective tools that enable them to teach their child self-advocacy. Every child needs help in developing their own set of effective life skills. As parents, we need to understand the difference between supporting our children’s efforts and doing the work for them. Knowing this difference is the key to creating a confident, independent and self-reliant individual.



Education and Training

  • BA in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT
  • MS from Columbia University School of Social Work
  • Milton H Erickson Society for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • The Parsons-Fein Institute for Psychotherapy and Hypnosis
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
  • Hypnosis with Children
  • Family Therapy Training

Professional Memberships:

The American Fertility Association (AFA)

  • Founding member
  • Currently Co-Chair of its Board of Directors
  • Facilitator of twice yearly Ovum Donor Series

American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)

Mental Health Professionals Group (MHPG)

  • Co-Chair Task Force on Surveying Donor Compensation
  • MHPG Mentor
  • Chair of the E-Communications Committee

National Association of Social Workers

Academy of Certified Social Workers

EMDR International Association



AFA Family Building Award

Publications and Presentations:

  • Mendell P, Singer D. Raising Resourceful and Confident Children, Elisabeth Irwin High School, January 2009
  • Mendell P, Singer D. Teaching Your Child to Self-Advocate, the Berkeley Carroll School, October 2008
  • Mendell P, Benward J. Talking with Children about Ovum Donation AFA, Fact Sheet 2009
  • Mendell P. The Disclosure Dilemma: When Does It Begin? InFocus Quarterly Special Interest Newsletter by AFA, Summer 2002
  • Mendell P. Difficult Decisions: Multiple Pregnancies and Reduction New York, AFA, 2003 Revised 2009
  • Mendell P. The Complexities of Choosing a Donor: Thoughts to Ponder When Selecting a Donor AFA, 2004 revised 2008
  • Mendell P. Psychological Screening of Donor Oocyte Recipients in Programs and Abstracts of the Third Annual ART of Donor Oocytes 2001: Third Party Reproduction Conference, Charleston, SC, 2001, no.4 pp 1-25
  • Mendell P. New Concepts in Parenting in Programs and Abstracts of the Ninth Annual ART of Donor Oocytes 2007; Third Party Reproductive Conference, Charleston, SC
  • Mendell P. When Counseling is Required excerpted from
  • Mendell P. Nursing concerns: psychological issues working with individuals/couples in ovum, sperm, and embryo donation in Programs and Abstracts of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Postgraduate Program of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Orlando, FL, 2001, pp 113-129
  • Mendell P. From Cells to Super Babies: Ethical Considerations in Egg Donation ASRM, October 2007
  • Mendell P. What Do We Tell The Children Serono Nurse’s Symposium, May 2006, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Mendell P, Hammond, K. Abstract, Perceptions of Infertility Treatment, ASRM, 2002
  • Mendell P. The Mental Health Professional in Assisted Reproductive Technology: The Clinics of North America, Chapter, Fall 2002

AFA Presentations include:

  • How to Find a Donor and a Program
  • Navigating Donor Egg Agencies
  • Surviving Pregnancy Loss and Infertility
  • Disclosure Issues
  • What to Consider When Deciding on Egg Donation
  • Understanding Pregnancy and Parenting in Ovum Donation
  • Preparing for Parenthood after Infertility
  • Couples in Conflict
  • Beyond Success Rates: Other Things to Consider When Choosing an IVF Program
  • The Donor Insemination Decision
  • A Couple’s Guide to Coping with the Holidays

Guest Appearances:

  • CBS Morning News
  • Fox 5 Cable
  • Inside Edition
  • Morning Show with Mike & Juliette
  • Spokesperson for Clearblue Easy
  • A.Time
  • Maimonides Medical Center
  • Beth Israel Medical Center

Quotations in Periodicals:

  • New York Times
  • Washington Post
  • Time
  • 614
  • Choice Moms
  • BBW
  • “W”
  • Conceive