Perinatal Mental Health Certification (PMH-C)
Updated: Oct 28
Introducing Matthew Braman, LCSW, LCSW-C, PMH-C
Matthew Braman, LCSW, LCSW-C, PMH-C is now one of the 3,000+ and counting perinatal mental health specialists in the United States and around the world.
As the Founder / CEO & Therapist of Verve Psychotherapy, Matthew helps men, new dads, and their partners feel more confident, compassionate, and connected in their emotional and relational lives.
The journey into parenthood is a remarkable and transformative experience, typically marked by joy, anticipation, and profound changes in one's life. Yet, for many expecting and new parents, this period can also bring about a range of emotional challenges and stressors. It is crucial to recognize that the perinatal period, which encompasses pregnancy and the first year postpartum, is a critical time not only for the physical health of parents and infants but also for their mental and emotional well-being. For therapists who specialize in working with parents and expecting parents, obtaining a perinatal mental health certification is becoming increasingly essential. In this blog, we will capture the significance of perinatal mental health certification, its benefits, and its potential impact on the well-being of families and broader society.
UNDERSTANDING THE SIGNIFICANCE OF PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH
Perinatal mental health is a specialized field of mental health care that focuses on the emotional and psychological well-being of individuals during pregnancy and the postpartum period. This is a time when (new and also experienced) parents, especially mothers and gestational parents but also fathers and non-gestational parents, are vulnerable to a range of mental health issues including perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and psychosis. These psychiatric conditions can have serious acute and long term consequences for both the parent(s) and the child, affecting attachment, bonding, and the overall family dynamic.
Here are some key reasons why perinatal mental health certification is essential for therapists specializing in working with parents and expecting parents:
Addressing Stigma: Perinatal mental health certification helps therapists address the stigma associated with mental health issues during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Many individuals feel ashamed or reluctant to seek help for their emotional struggles during this time. By obtaining this certification, therapists can create a more inclusive and judgment-free environment of support for their clients.
Tailored Support: Perinatal mental health certification equips therapists with the evidenced-based knowledge and advanced skills needed to provide tailored support for parents and expecting parents. It enables them to understand the unique challenges and emotional needs of this population, and offer more effective therapeutic interventions.
Improved Client Outcomes: Research has shown that clients who receive specialized perinatal mental health care experience improved mental health outcomes. By becoming certified in this field, therapists can significantly enhance their ability to help their clients navigate the emotional and social complexities of pregnancy and postpartum parenthood.
BENEFITS OF PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH CERTIFICATION
Now, let's dive into the numerous benefits that perinatal mental health certification can bring to therapists specializing in working with parents and expecting parents.
Enhanced Knowledge: Certification in perinatal mental health through PSI offers in-depth and advanced skills training on the components of care for the emotional and psychological aspects of pregnancy and the postpartum period. Therapists gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and risk factors associated with this phase, enabling them to make informed decisions when providing support.
Evidence-Based Practice: Certified therapists are equipped with evidence-based practices and therapeutic interventions specifically designed for perinatal mental health. This ensures that the care provided is rooted in scientific research and best practices.
Increased Client Trust: When therapists are certified in perinatal mental health, clients are more likely to trust their expertise. Clients seeking support during pregnancy and the postpartum period feel reassured knowing they are working with a professional who has specialized knowledge and advanced training to care for their unique mental health needs and challenges.
Professional Networking: Certification often offers opportunities for therapists to connect with other certified professionals in the field. This networking dynamic can be invaluable for sharing experiences, insights, referrals, and resources, ultimately benefiting the therapist and their clients.
Expanding Career Opportunities: Perinatal mental health certification can open doors to new career opportunities. Many healthcare organizations and practices value therapists with this expertise, increasing the demand for certified professionals in the field.
IMPACT ON FAMILY WELL-BEING
The impact of perinatal mental health certification extends beyond the therapists themselves. It has a profound influence on the well-being of families and the broader community. Here's how:
Strengthening Parent-Child Relationships: Certified therapists can help parents build stronger and more secure relationships with their children by addressing emotional challenges early on. This can lead to healthier parent-child bonding and attachment.
Reducing Mental Health Disparities: Perinatal mental health certification enables therapists to address mental health disparities by offering culturally sensitive and inclusive care. This can help bridge the gap in access to mental health services for underserved and marginalized communities.
Preventing Long-Term Consequences: Untreated perinatal mental health issues can have long-lasting effects on families. Certified therapists can identify and address these issues, potentially preventing long-term consequences and improving the overall quality of life for parents, children, families, and the communities in which they live.
IMPACT ON BROADER SOCIETY
Perinatal mental health certification is a vital step in providing effective, compassionate, and evidence-based care to expecting and new parents. As therapists who specialize in working with parents and expecting parents, it is essential to recognize the unique emotional challenges that individuals face during the perinatal period. By obtaining certification in this field, therapists can create a supportive, stigma-free, and inclusive environment where parents can access the care they need to thrive during this transformative journey into parenthood. In this way, it contributes to nurturing not only the minds but also the hearts of all those who are embarking on the beautiful yet challenging path of parenthood. The impact of perinatal mental health certification goes beyond the therapist's practice, reaching families, communities, and society at large.
Anyone searching for perinatal mental health support could benefit from the extensive amount of resources available through Postpartum Support International which includes:
PSI Help Line (*anyone actively experiencing a mental health crisis and/or an emergency should call 988 and/or 911, or go to their nearest hospital emergency department)
If you're located in Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, or New York and you're searching for a perinatal mental health specialist, then you're in the right spot to take the next step.
Let's talk. Book a free 15 minute phone consultation here.
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As your Right Hand Therapy Man, it's my mission to empower your verve.