First Friday Forum: President's Conference: Supporting Women: Post Partum Mental Health and Early Childhood Parenting

When: Friday, November 3, 2023
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Lunch Break 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm (no credit given)

This program will be held virtually via Zoom. Details with instruction on how to view the webinar will be sent to all registrants the day before the program (11/2).

Get involved today by being a sponsor of the MPA President's Conference. As a sponsor, you will receive recognition before and throughout the conference. Click here for information on sponsorship opportunities!

Bronze Sponsor:

Click here to be a sponsor!  

Program: This session is at the intermediate level and is designed for psychologists and other mental health professionals.

Friday Forums are cosponsored with the Metropolitan State University Psychology Department.

This program qualifies for 6.0 continuing education credits. Attendees must attend entire session to gain credit. Registration fee includes access to live webinar, program agenda, program PowerPoint, and continuing education certificate.

About the Program:

This full day conference will focus on supporting women’s and gender-expansive person’s mental health during the reproductive period of life.  It will also focus on the crucial period of birth to three and how to increase awareness of interventions that psychologists can provide in Minnesota to support people forming new families.

R. Featherstone, MSN, PMHNP, WHNP, PMH-C, is a practicing Psychiatric and Women’s Health practitioner and will present on ways to support the mental health of women and gender-expansive people during pregnancy and after giving birth. 

Catherine Wright, PsyD, LP, LPCC, is the Early Childhood Mental Health Systems Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Human Services.  Her presentation will focus on supporting the parent-child relationship, and will describe interventions and resources, as well as services available in Minnesota to support new families.

About the Program: 
9:00 a.m.

Psychiatric Treatment of Women Across the Reproductive Lifespan

Psychiatric providers are often inexperienced or uncomfortable with treating pregnant or lactating patients. They can be reluctant to prescribe medication out of disproportionate concern for risks to the patient or infant, or delay treatment out of ignorance, causing further harm. Featherstone advocates for early and evidence-based intervention, but also shares their clinical experience in order to further educate peers and interested health care professionals on the considerations of psychiatric treatment across the reproductive lifespan. Today, their practice includes individuals with eating disorders, sexual health concerns, gender exploration or transition, and those involved in nonmonogamy or other alternative sexual practices. As a telehealth-only provider, they have extensive experience with the unique treatment environment of video-based care that many have grappled with during the COVID pandemic. 

Participants will be able to:

  1. Identify unique manifestations of major mood, anxiety, and psychotic disorders in the postpartum period.
  2. Review the role of breastfeeding in postpartum mental health.
  3. Analyze common cognitive distortions of early parenthood and interventions for addressing grief and cognitive dissonance.
  4. Review transdiagnostic symptoms of eating disorders sexual dysfunction that commonly occur in the postpartum.
  5. Synthesize intersecting identities related to ability, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and nonmonogamous lifestyles, as they relate to the postpartum experience. 

About the Presenter:

R. D. Featherstone, PMHNP-BC, WHNP-BC, MSN, PMH-C, As a practicing Psychiatric and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, R. Featherstone, PMHNP-BC,WHNP-BC, MSN, PMH-C specializes in treating women and gender-expansive people in the periods of pregnancy, infertility, loss, and postpartum. Their experiences in obstetrics, gynecology, and interventional psychiatry add depth to treating complex and varied populations with a history of being underserved. Featherstone’s lived experience adds to their professional credentials of being one of the few reproductive psychiatric providers. They know that parents often struggle during or after pregnancy, and maternity care providers aren’t deeply familiar with treating depression or anxiety. Today, their practice includes individuals with eating disorders, sexual health concerns, gender exploration or transition, and those involved in nonmonogamy or other alternative sexual practices. As a telehealth-only provider, they have extensive experience with the unique treatment environment of video-based care that many have grappled with during the COVID pandemic. Feather received a Post-Graduate Certificate, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Frontier Nursing from the University, Hyden, Kentucky.

The presenter has indicated no conflicts of interest to report. 


12:00 p.m. Break (no credit awarded)


1:00 p.m.

Early Childhood Mental Health in Minnesota: Supporting the Parent-Child Relationship

This course will discuss how early childhood mental health is an outcome of developmental experiences, conditions and genetic predispositions. The course will also discuss Minnesota’s policies and system development to support clinicians in assessing and treating early childhood mental health conditions. Specifically, the course will discuss Minnesota’s early childhood mental health clinical system which strives to provide developmentally appropriate, family guided, culturally relevant and evidenced based mental health assessment and treatment services for young children. The presentation will also briefly describe an evidenced-based infant-parent intervention, of which the State provides free training to licensed clinicians. 

Participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the importance of early experiences on the development of young children.
  2. Describe the importance of supporting caregivers parenting young children. 
  3. List the policies surrounding assessing and treating young children with mental health conditions in Minnesota. 
  4. Identify free trainings on assessing and treating young children in Minnesota with mental health.

About the Presenter:

Catherine Wright, Psy.D., LP, LPCC, is a licensed psychologist (LP) and a professional clinical counselor (LPCC). She is a former Zero to Three Fellow, a current National Registered Health Psychologist and an Endorsed Infant Mental Health Mentor. Catherine has over 30 years of experience providing direct children’s mental health services and managing children’s mental health programs and systems. She is the Early Childhood Mental Health System Coordinator within the Behavioral Health Division of the Department of Human Services for the State of Minnesota. At the State of Minnesota, Catherine is responsible for developing the early childhood mental health system of care, including arranging for and managing trainings in evidence-based practices for early childhood mental health clinicians, supporting policy development around early childhood mental health, and integrating clinical services within family serving systems such as childcare, Head Start, schools, primary care clinics and the adult mental health system. She is interested in developing evidenced based treatments for parents with serious mental illness who are parenting their young children. Catherine received her Psy.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of St. Thomas.

The presenter has indicated no conflicts of interest.

The Minnesota Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Minnesota Psychological Association maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

ACCESSIBILITY ACCOMMODATIONS:  If you need disability related accommodations to make this event accessible, please contact the Metropolitan State University Center for Accessibility Resources, 651-793-1549, or [email protected] 

Member Type    MPA Member    Non-Member    Student/Retired (No CE Credit)     Non-Member (No CE credit)
Fee      $149      $169                   $30                  $75

*Retired members have the option to pay the regular member rate to receive CE credit or take advantage of the discounted price with no CE.

MPA wants all members to have access to quality CE opportunities. If you are an MPA member and due to COVID-19 you are unable to work full time and can’t pay the full registration fee, please contact [email protected] to make other arrangements with staff. 

Registration is now closed 

Click here to view and download a PDF program flyer and registration form.

Refund/Cancellation Policy: A 100% refund will be made if the event is cancelled. Refunds, less a $5 handling fee, will be given if a written cancellation is received at least two working days before the scheduled program begins. No refund or transfer is given the day of the program.