January 8, 2020
Editor’s Note: The FACTS Advisory Council consists of a talented and diverse group of individuals whose guidance and support are essential to the success of our organization. Being a member of our Advisory Council is a voluntary position and all their work with FACTS is a generous contribution of time and expertise. Since last year, we have featured an Advisory Council member each month to highlight their unique contributions to our mission. Our series continues with Geraldine Matus, PhD, who founded the Justisse Method in 1987 and has served on the FACTS Advisory Council since its inception.
Meet Geraldine Matus, PhD
Geraldine Matus, PhD is a lay midwife, sexual and reproductive health educator, depth psychologist, and founder of the Justisse Method, a sympto-thermal fertility awareness based method (FABM). She is the Academic Director and Dean of Justisse College International, a Canadian not-for-profit corporation. She collaborates with four other faculty members to provide the Holistic Reproductive Health Practitioners (HRHP) training. Dr. Matus designed, wrote, and continues to refine the Justisse College HRHP curriculum, and the college is considered the gold standard for secular fertility awareness educator training.
Her Path to FACTS
Geraldine Matus, PhD joined the FACTS Advisory Council when we first formed it five years ago. She is passionate about ensuring women receive accurate information about their reproductive health and gain knowledge about their bodies. Between 1977 and 1986, she completed natural family planning educator training in the Billings Method, SERENA Canada, Couple-to-Couple League, and the Creighton Model FertilityCare System.
Taking a secular approach, Dr. Matus developed the Justisse Method to ensure all women, regardless of faith, have access to fertility awareness options for family planning, to track their cycles, and to monitor their reproductive health.
Dr. Marguerite Duane, executive director of FACTS, appreciates that “as the founder and developer of an FABM, Geraldine brings a unique perspective to FACTS and to the field of fertility awareness as regards reproductive health promotion and the desire to empower women with information and choices.” Dr. Duane is grateful that, “like other members of our Advisory Council, she helps us consider different aspects of fertility awareness and perspectives on women’s health to ensure we reach a broad audience.”
In Her Own Words
As a member of the FACTS Advisory Council, she values the opportunity to support efforts to expand the availability of fertility awareness education so more people are exposed to this vital information. She emphasizes the need to “keep the focus on the science behind FABMs and how these methods can be made more available through legitimate medical and educational services.”
She appreciates the unique contributions of each of the evidence-based FABMs and recognizes this as one of the strengths of FACTS. “Wherever those of us in the FABM field support each other,” she says, “the greater (our ability to) serve the individual who would benefit from the knowledge of and practical applications of our services.”
Reflecting on what lies ahead in the field of fertility awareness, she sees FACTS positioned to impact the medical field and women’s health in unique ways. “Based on the history of FACTS’ success in breaching the biases against FABMs, I can only imagine the successful continuance of their endeavor. Of most value is FACTS’ invitation to the medical field to investigate the facts before holding FABMs in contempt.”
Contributions to the Mission of FACTS
Over the years, Dr. Matus experienced frustration with the lack of support of the medical community toward patients interested in using FABMs. “Having been in the field of fertility awareness for decades,” explains Dr. Duane, “Geraldine grasped the need for an organization like FACTS focused specifically on educating medical professionals about FABMs. She wants information about FABMs to reach every woman and, for this to happen, the support of medical professionals is a fundamental catalyst.”
Dr. Matus also recognizes the benefits of FABMs go beyond family planning. She understands the interplay between the various hormones and how they affect a woman’s health. In particular, she has raised concerns about synthetic hormones in birth control and their potential risks, with the goal of sharing accurate scientific information with all women so they are informed to make the best choices for themselves and their families. This includes education about the potential risks of hormonal methods of birth control as well as up-to-date, evidence-based information about FABMs.
“We value Geraldine’s willingness to collaborate and exchange information,” adds Dr. Duane, “which is essential in the field of fertility awareness. Some proponents of a specific FABM are understandably passionate about their method, but Dr. Matus is willing to engage in respectful dialogue with everyone about the strengths and benefits of the different FABMs.” We value this important perspective and are grateful to have Dr. Geraldine Matus as an integral part of the FACTS Advisory Council.
More About Geraldine Matus, PhD
Dr. Matus believes a woman’s reproductive cycle is the 5th vital sign of her health which depends on healthy and regular ovulatory and menstrual patterns from menarche to menopause. She works with the Core Competencies Committee of the Association for Fertility Awareness Professionals (AFAP) to oversee the development of standards and testing for certification of Fertility Awareness Educators (FAE). She completed her doctorate in depth psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2014. Her work integrates her experience in reproductive and sexual health with a depth psychological view of healing.
MEDICAL STUDENTS AND RESIDENTS!
Would you like to enroll in our two-week ONLINE COURSE
to learn about fertility awareness based methods (FABMs)
and their applications in women’s health and family planning?
Here’s what your peers think about this unique elective…
“The online medical student elective empowered me with the knowledge to share with patients and coworkers about the true effectiveness of FABMs. I learned the physiology of the woman’s menstrual cycle with great detail so that I can read charts systematically like an electrocardiogram. Not only are FABMs useful for family planning but even for diagnosing and treating medical conditions.”
— Chris Galletti, MD (participated in FACTS elective as a 4th year medical student)