Listening Visits in
Perinatal Mental Health

We are now offering a 'Train the Trainer' course in Listening Visits which provides an awareness of the impact, risk factors, assessment and subsequent management of parents who may encounter problems with their mental health during pregnancy and the first year following childbirth.

This CPD accredited course is skills-based and is designed to build on the Health Practitioners’ knowledge of antenatal and postnatal mental health, and allow them to train other health and social practitioners

One of the most successful management techniques is the ‘Listening Visit’. Devised over 25 years ago, it has gained an international reputation for the most acceptable and satisfying form of a therapeutic intervention.  The empathetic method of listening allows the Health Practitioner to gain a greater understanding of the needs of parents, to support and empower them and help to improve their own mental health wellbeing, without the need for being prescriptive.

Course Overview

It includes an overview of history, risk factors, impact on parents and wider society. It explores mood assessment, listening techniques and management strategies.

The course consists of 4 modules and Trainers will be expected to attend the 2 days training. However, when the modules are being delivered by the Trainers they can be split into 4 separate sessions, depending on the expertise of their participants  

Trainers’ Pack

The teaching methods are modelled on the Salutogenic approach; concerned with health and creating a healthy society.

The Learning experiences include:

  • Formal presentations                     Audio/visual presentations
  • PowerPoint presentations               Structured exercises
  • Simulated role play                       Group discussions
  • Brainstorming                               Use of case studies / scenarios
  • Feedback and debriefing

The Trainer will receive a Training Pack, which will consist of:

The Manual:

  • An overall instruction to help the Trainer understand the sensitivity and direction of the training
  • A Guide containing the process of the training
  • Barriers that may be encountered during the training
  • A PowerPoint presentation printout and a data stick
  • A table of exercises
  • Case studies
  • Scenarios
  • Handouts
  • Folders

There will be additional materials which include:

    • Badges
    • Certificates
    • Relevant literature
    • The book – Listening Visits in Perinatal Mental Health
    • The Journal for Parents – My Journey
    • Access to the eLearning – Man Up Man Down – Fathers and Perinatal Mental Health
    • Access to the eBook for Parents- Demystifying perinatal Mental Health

In addition to the resources

We offer a fortnightly Zoom session where Practitioners can meet up with our Team to discuss any challenging, or successful, issues



  • Introductions /ice breakers
  • Hopes and concerns
  • Exploring societal changes and social construction of mental health
  • Examining the rites and rituals around pregnancy and childbirth,
  • exploring the Practitioner’s experiences
  • Exploring the Parent/Infant dyad
  • Discussing the perinatal period as an area for intervention with parents
  • Exploring the exposure of the foetus to stress and excess maternal cortisol
  • An overview of current research which includes neurogenesis, gut biomes and other influencers


  • Identifying possible risk factors
  • Examining the process of perinatal mental health and the differing factors
  • Understanding the personal and wider impact of perinatal mental health and illness
  • Dual recognition of parent’s condition
  • Assessment processes and implementation
  • Preparation for the Listening Visit
  • Challenges and Barriers to communication



  • An overview of the theoretical frameworks
  • Evidence based research and literature on the efficacy of the visit
  • Exploring preparation and environment – of parent and self
  • Exploring and developing the existing skills of listening
  • Importance of and understanding the concept of, being non-judgemental
  • Understanding thoughts and feelings
  • Exploring empathetic responses
  • Reflecting, paraphrasing and summarising
  • Understanding complex approaches and cases


  • Stepped approach and ACT
  • Exploring confidentiality and safeguarding
  • Consideration of inclusion of alternative approaches – mindfulness etc
  • Examining the process of Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic interventions (CBT)
  • Implementing CBT as part of the therapeutic approach
  • Revisiting the Parent / Infant dyad
  • Promoting recovery and social inclusion
  • Promoting care of self
  • Understanding limitations


...Although I have been doing Listening Visits for a while (without any training) , I have always  felt I have missed something. Following the course, I now feel I am doing okay and have learnt techniques to improve my own practice”.


“A great course, where I have learnt how to manage the Listening Visit…”


“Before I found it very hard not to tell mothers what to do, but feel much more confident now about delivering the Listening Visit. Thank you”


I have not done many Listening Visits as I did not feel I had the skills, now I know I do and can go on and feel that I do make a difference”.