Maternal Mental Health Intensive Online

Maternal Mental Health
Online Training

For Mental Health Professionals

16 Hours, 16 CE Credits | 8 Credits x 2 Modules

As a mental health professional, it's very likely you'll treat clients who face mental health challenges such as postpartum depression and anxiety during their reproductive years and who need specialized treatment to cope and move forward successfully.

If you are a psychologist, a social worker, a midwife, or another mental health professional currently practicing or just entering clinical practice, consider this training to help you update your knowledge base about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders and grief and bereavement relating to perinatal loss. This will help you build your practice and push your career forward.


Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are among the most common pregnancy complications.They affect as many as 1 in 5 women – more than twice the number of women who develop gestational diabetes. Here are the facts:

  • Up to 20% of women experience prenatal or postpartum depression, and postpartum anxiety affects 20% of first-time moms.
  • 10-15% of women experience depression during pregnancy, but it often goes untreated.
  • Women with infertility can feel as anxious or depressed as those diagnosed with cancer.
  • Half of women experience significant distress following a miscarriage.
  • Also, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, and 1 in 160 babies are stillborn.


Have you ever seen a client post pregnancy and had difficulty determining whether they have the common baby blues or a diagnosable mental health disorder?

Do you feel less confident treating new mothers and those who are dealing with reproductive challenges such as IVF, adoption, and perinatal loss and want to become more skilled in these areas?

Are you interested in learning this and more from multidisciplinary experts in the field who specialize in these topics in their clinical practice and training?

Most graduate programs do not offer training on how to treat these common disorders, or provide in-depth exploration of other topics (such as infertility and miscarriage) that deeply impact the emotional well-being of even more women and families. To address this need, we created our Maternal Mental Health Intensive which equips clinicians and counselors with critical, evidence-based tools to fully support clients through one of the most challenging times of their lives.

What does this training cover? Our online training is presented as two modules, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD) and Perinatal Loss: Grief and Bereavement.
  • Each module consists of a series of lectures with specific learning objectives and quizzes designed to reinforce students’ learning and test their comprehension.
  • Our PMAD Module includes examination of theoretical and clinical applications for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders; screening instruments and models of intervention and effective counseling and psychotherapy practices; as well as principles of perinatal psychiatric care.
  • Our Perinatal Loss Module addresses ways to differentiate between normative and non-normative grief and provides an in-depth exploration of various psychotherapeutic approaches. The training includes activities to help clinicians become more aware of their personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences, which can play an important role in their effectiveness.
  • Special coverage is given to factors that may influence how patients experience PMADs, Grief and Loss. These include considerations for ART/Third Party Reproduction, minority and low-income patients, LGBTQ+ patients, fathers, immigrants, and young parents.
  • There are several reflection and learning exercises throughout the training designed to engage learners and allow them to ponder their own experiences to strengthen and inform their learning.
  • At the completion of each lecture in the training, learners will take a comprehensive quiz in order to gain their Seleni Maternal Mental Health Intensive Certification and continuing education credits if applicable.
Who should take this course?

Our training is appropriate for psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, social workers, nurses, mental health counselors, physicians, graduate students, marriage and family therapists, pastoral counselors, and midwives.

Our typical participant is an experienced clinician who seeks out our training after encountering patients experiencing PMADs and/or perinatal loss and realizing that there is a lack of coverage in the education received around these common but often misunderstood disorders and experiences.

Post-doctoral students and other mental health professionals transitioning to clinical practice also report benefiting from our training as it gives them early exposure to issues and considerations around diagnosis and treatment around diagnosis and treatment of PMADs.

What people say about our course:

“This was genuinely the most valuable training that I have taken, and I look forward to taking more in the future and to continuing my relationship with Seleni." Sara, Psychologist & Training Graduate

“The instructors provided information clearly, using evidence-based skills. Instructors integrated case examples, which were helpful to learning and enhanced understanding. All topics were relevant and applicable to my work." George, Social Worker & Training Graduate

About Seleni

The Seleni Institute prioritizes the emotional health of individuals and families to improve the lives of our generation and future generations.

There is a gap in knowledge and understanding of emotional health and its impact on individuals and their families. We see an opportunity to close this gap-changing the way we treat emotional health both for our generation and future generations.

At Seleni, we recognize that many factors affect emotional health:

  • We focus on individuals, not disorders.
  • We value emotional health as much as physical health.
  • We recognize that multiple factors impact emotional health, including genetics, environment, and personal circumstances.
  • We empower healthcare professionals and employers to support people's emotional health with expert-led training.
  • We seek to normalize, not stigmatize.
Learn more about the Seleni Institute.


Christiane Manzella, PhD
Lead Instructor & Senior Psychologist

Dr. Manzella possesses extensive experience as a clinician providing psychotherapy and supervision and as a professor of psychology at New York University.

Dr. Manzella’s focus at Seleni is to provide clinical care and to provide training and supervision, especially around grief and bereavement, her specialty. She is an empathic clinician, helping women, men, and families navigate the complex terrain of grief related to perinatal loss, manage the unique issues associated fertility challenges, and move through the challenges of recovering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Manzella is also an expert on the relationship between loss and trauma. She continues to use and teach mindfulness-based clinical interventions, including those she developed through her research and teaching as an international consultant on managing loss and trauma.  

Dr. Manzella earned both her master's degree in clinical psychology and doctorate in counseling psychology from New York University.

Dr. Manzella has also completed postdoctoral training in grief and bereavement, at Postpartum Support International, the Postpartum Stress Center, and the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy.

David Hein, LMSW

David brings an analytically informed approach to his work with individuals and couples navigating such life transitions as pregnancy and parenthood.

Originally from the Midwest, David received his degree in social work from New York University and has completed psychoanalytic psychotherapy training through the Contemporary Freudian Society. In addition to his work as a clinician, David is an active volunteer with the SPRING project which promotes education and affordable treatment of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders in the New York City and Washington DC areas.

Ann Simmons, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Simmons has more than 20 years of clinical experience. As a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, she focuses on how women experience their own bodies and emotional lives before, during, and after pregnancy. She believes that the many different, and often confusing, feelings around pregnancy deserve to be explored, and that some feelings, such as depression, may be unexpected. In therapy, a woman can more easily understand and overcome frightening and confusing feelings as well as more freely celebrate her condition. Also, in the unfortunate case of pregnancy loss, Dr. Simmons has expertise helping clients manage grief and mourning. Dr. Simmons recently returned to New York after more than 10 years in St. Louis, Missouri. As a faculty member at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute, she taught a variety of courses in the adult psychoanalytic training program and was part of the clinic and practicum program there. She received her doctorate in comparative literature from the CUNY Graduate Center in New York and earned her MSW from New York University. She has trained at both IPTAR in New York and at the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.

Venus Mahmoodi, PhD
Psychologist, LP

Venus Mahmoodi, PhD, LP, specializes in maternal mental health during the perinatal period. She treats patients with a wide range of mental health challenges, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, psychotic disorders, and emotional dysregulation from various conditions.  

Dr. Mahmoodi takes an integrative approach, incorporating psychodynamic relational work with cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies. Her diverse clinical and diagnostic expertise ranges from working with refugees and torture survivors to veterans and perinatal women.   

Dr. Mahmoodi completed her PhD in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University and her predoctoral internship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel. Through a unique collaboration between Stanford and Palo Alto Universities, she completed an emphasis in women's mental health. Coursework and research examined the role of endogenous hormones on mental health throughout women's life cycle. She also completed specialized training through Postpartum Support International on screening and treating PMADs.

For questions about this training, please reach out to [email protected].


Sign up to receive early bird discounts, launch information, and more.