LIVE: Basic Diagnosis and Assessment of Maternal Mental Illness in the Forensic Arena

January 24, 2024  |  9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Pacific

Presented By Gina Wong, PhD | Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD
Gina Wong, PhD Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD

January 24, 2024
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Pacific

6 Hours

$350 Registration | $300 Early Registration (through January 10th)

Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, and Gina Wong, PhD present live professional training program Basic Diagnosis and Assessment of Maternal Mental Illness in the Forensic Arena. This is the first program in the Maternal mental Health and Its Application to Forensics: Training the Expert Witness series.

Women are exceptionally vulnerable to psychiatric illness during the childbearing years, with more hospitalizations over this period than at any other time during the female life cycle. Because maternal depression looks characteristically different from what is generally understood about the major depressive disorder, it is often misdiagnosed or ineffectively treated.

This introductory program is designed for mental health professionals from various disciplines preparing to work, or those already working in forensic settings. A broad understanding of this specialized area of forensics within the context of current research and a scientific understanding of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are provided. This foundational program prepares professionals for assessment and diagnosis as well as a deeper understanding of serious maternal mental illness with a special emphasis on its connection to filicide.

The clinical presentation of the wide range of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are addressed along with the factors that elevate risk. This program enhances understanding of the diagnostic tools generally used in assessment and diagnosis. Sociocultural attitudes and global perspectives on criminal charges and sentencing decisions are discussed. Case examples are used to highlight didactic material.

The information obtained for use in this program is evidence-based, empirically supported, and widely accepted as general practice in the field of maternal mental illness. Education around assessment and diagnosis is foundational in addressing the intersection between maternal mental illness and the criminal justice system.

Maternal mental Health and Its Application to Forensics: Training the Expert Witness

Series Overview: More psychiatric admissions are around the childbearing years than at any other time in the female life cycle. Women’s reproductive mental health is a highly specialized field of study with an increasingly critical role in the arena of criminal justice. This four-program series introduces participants to the foundations of maternal mental health as it applies to forensics and women who are criminally charged for harm to their child/children. Each program furthers the current empirically based understanding of maternal mental health forensics as well as promotes accepted standards and protocols in this emerging specialty. This series advances fundamental clinical, legal, and sociocultural perspectives in addition to encouraging critical dialogue in this evolving field. Basic diagnosis and assessment, the expert witness's role in evaluation and report writing, and advanced training in expert testimony is included. Case analysis and discussion are integral parts of the didactic learning inherent in this program.

Programs in this series include:

  1. Basic Diagnosis and Assessment of Maternal Mental Illness in the Forensic Arena
  2. Role of the Expert Witness in Establishing the Relationship Between Maternal Mental Illness & Criminally Charged Behaviour
  3. Advanced Issues in Maternal Mental Health Forensics
  4. Advanced Training in Maternal Mental Health Forensics and Courtroom Testimony

  5. Program Materials

    The materials listed below are not included with the program purchase and must be purchased separately.

    Strongly Recommended
    Foundational Texts

Intended Audience

This live program is intended for mental health and other allied professionals.

Experience Level

This live program is appropriate for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level clinicians.

CE / CPD Credit

APA, ASWB, CPA, NBCC: Click here for state and other regional board approvals.

Presented By

Gina Wong, PhD

Dr. Gina Wong, Ph.D., is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta, Canada, and a professor in the Faculty of Health Disciplines at Athabasca University. She specializes in perinatal mental health and has a program of research focused on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and is an educator on the topi...

Presented By

Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD

Dr. Diana Lynn Barnes, Psy.D., PMH-C, LMFT practices in Los Angeles, California. She has been a forensic expert in the specialized area of maternal mental illness for over 20 years. She is frequently retained by defense counsel on cases of pregnancy denial and neonaticide, postpartum psychosis, and ...

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program you will be able to:

Describe terminology used to describe maternal infanticide and filicide in the courtroom

Identify three basic competency areas necessary to develop proficiency as an expert in maternal mental health forensics

Describe the range of diagnoses that occur during the childbearing years and their clinical presentation

Describe the factors that elevate the risk for maternal mental illness

Describe the impact of maternal illness on birth outcomes

Describe basic diagnostic tools used to assess maternal mood and anxiety disorders

Describe the utilization of the DSM-5 to understand maternal mental illness in the courtroom

Describe a differential diagnosis regarding the state of mind in those women who are criminally charged

Describe pertinent legal aspects of maternal filicide cases

Describe the wide range of attitudes and perspectives that affect how charging and sentencing decisions are made around the globe


Live Event Policy

Event Communications

Event Communications

All program information will be available on your dashboard after registration. When registering, use an email that is active and that you check regularly. We are not responsible for communications not being received; if you do not add to your email safe sender list, our emails are likely to end up in your spam or junk folders.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

Have a sudden change of plans and are unable to attend live? No worries, you will be given access to the on-oemand version of the program once available.

Event Conduct

Event Conduct

Please conduct yourself in a professional manner throughout the event. Our goal is to make this as interactive an experience as possible for all who attend. We reserve the right to remove any participants who are disruptive or who act unprofessionally.

Develop a Specialty Area of Practice

Transforming mental health professionals into experts

Expert Instructors

Professional training developed and delivered by the field's leading experts

CE Credit

Earn CE credit for meaningful professional training that will elevate your practice

Convenience & Flexibility

Learn at your own pace, from wherever you might be!