Shoshana Bennett, Ph.D. and Jane Honikman, MS are the founders of PAI. Their new-parent educational and community-based experiences began after their own postpartum illnesses. Both are authors, consultants, and public speakers.

Our Philosophy

PAI values pragmatic solutions. This Institute believes in challenging the status quo. We consider a “professional” to be any dedicated person committed to bettering his or her skills.

“I loved the Institute! It was wonderful coming together with those who are passionate, engaging and like-minded. I felt so comfortable and welcome.”

Robyn Pottorff
Documentarian, Nursing student, Parent Educator

Shoshana Bennett

shoshana-bennett-headshot2Internationally recognized as a leading maternal mental health expert, clinical psychologist Dr. Shoshana Bennett has inspired and transformed countless lives worldwide through her radio shows, books, lectures, interactive tele-classes, consultations, and videos. Affectionately known as “Dr. Shosh”, she educates, engages, and empowers her audiences while discussing serious and often uncomfortable topics using humor, the latest research, solution-based protocols, and firsthand knowledge she gleaned after experiencing life-threatening postpartum depressions.

She emerged from this personal nightmare to become a leading national advocate and pioneer in women’s mental health, establishing Postpartum Assistance for Mothers, which offers education and emotional support for women experiencing PPD and related disorders. Dr. Shosh also helped develop the official training curriculum for professionals and served as president of Postpartum Support International.

Dr. Shosh is an Executive Producer of the new award-winning documentary, Dark Side of The Full Moon. She is the author of Postpartum Depression for Dummies, Pregnant on Prozac, and is co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety. Her latest book, Children of The Depressed, was recently released. Dr. Shosh is the creator of the mobile phone app PPD Gone!, which provides advice and strategies to cope and recover from PPD.

Bennett has traveled extensively throughout the US and internationally as a guest lecturer and keynote speaker, training medical and healthcare professionals. She is well known for her popular Radio Show and has appeared as a guest expert on countless television and radio shows including 20/20, Ricki Lake and The Doctors. All aspects of the media consult, interview, and quote her regularly, including CNN, The Wall Street Journal, WebMD, NPR, Psychology Today, USA Today, Parenting, The Huffington Post, and Cosmopolitan. She has received numerous awards acknowledging and honoring her outstanding contributions and work as a women’s mental health advocate.

Early in her career she served as a special education teacher, working with autistic and other learning-disabled children. She later taught early childhood education, psychology and special education for several California colleges. She earned three teaching credentials, two masters degrees, a Ph.D., and her license as a clinical psychologist. Today, she has helped more than 20,000 women worldwide through individual consultations, support groups, group workshops, and seminars.

Maternal mental health is her life’s mission. She provides hope with compassion, personal experience, and the application of sound knowledge and research. Dr. Shosh helps her clients and colleagues understand that these disorders are completely treatable. With proper help, women can emerge from the crisis of these illnesses in charge of their health, making the best possible decisions for themselves and their families, and happier than ever before.

Jane Honikman


Jane Honikman, M.S., began her career in maternal mental health in 1977 when she co-founded Postpartum Education for Parents (PEP). In 1981 Jane received a grant from the American Association of University Women to study the Growth and Dynamics of Postpartum Support Groups.

She became the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Birth Resource Center in 1984 and that same year attended her first Marcé Society conference. In 1987 she founded Postpartum Support International (PSI) after organizing a conference on Women’s Mental Health Following Childbirth. She was elected as PSI’s first President in 1989 and served as the Executive Director operating the organization from her home until 2004.

As the Founder of PSI, Jane became the leader of a social movement to promote the emotional wellbeing of mothers and their families. Jane initiated the PSI Coordinators’ network by recruiting volunteers all over the world when she attended international scientific conferences. After receiving letters from women incarcerated for infanticide she started the PSI Pen Pal Network in 1990. In 2001, Jane initiated the PSI Memory Quilt to honor the memory of women and family members who have died because of postpartum mood disorders.

She has authored many articles and educational materials on postpartum issues and how to start community support networks. Her first publications were Community Support for New Families (2013), and I’m Listening (2014). In 2012, I’m Listening was adapted by the humanitarian organization CARE as a Facilitator’s Training Guide for use in Bangladesh. It has also been translated into Chinese and Hebrew.

Her expertise is based upon her struggles as a new mother and is described in her 2015 My Diary A Postpartum Journey from Pain to Purpose. Jane’s Postpartum Action Manual (2015) is a Workshop Training Guide.

She continues to lecture and train internationally on the role of social support and the emotional health of families. Jane’s own family includes her supportive husband of 48 years, 3 adult children, their spouses, and 8 grandchildren (and a cat). She enjoys living a healthy and active lifestyle in Santa Barbara, California.

Upcoming Workshops

Parental Action Institute is now a ONE DAY Workshop from 9 AM to 4 PM

Gather a group and set a custom date for your workshop. Fully customizable and hybrid options are available. Please contact Jane for more details.

March 9, 2024

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Learn more and sign up!

All workshops are held in a private home located between the mountains and the ocean in Goleta (near the University of California and airport) west of downtown Santa Barbara. Nursing babies are welcome. Please note that lodging is not included. If you prefer, you can attend the workshop through Zoom.

For questions, contact Jane at [email protected] or Shoshana at [email protected].

What our graduates say

  • "The Institute was wonderful and I had a great time meeting other maternal mental health advocates. It was comfortable and welcoming and I was glad I got a chance to participate!"

    -Lisa A., Executive Coach

  • "Thank you Jane and Dr. Shoshana, the PAI training is incredibly informative in an relaxed, safe and intimate setting. I believe this training is truly unique."

    -S. Jensen, Marriage and Family Therapist

  • "I left the PAI workshop feeling empowered to make positive change in my community. Having continued access to Jane and Dr. Shosh – true thought leaders and pioneers in this field – is extremely valuable."

    -Laura K., Parent Advocate

  • "This is by far the best training that I’ve attended in my professional career because of the intimate setting, and the closeness that Jane and Shoshana create. It’s wonderful to learn from two women who are so open about their experiences, and who have been supporting moms for so many years. I left feeling confident in my ability to provide support to moms in my community, and with specific ideas and support around how to do so. I highly recommend this training to anyone considering working in Maternal Mental Health."

    -A. Taverner, Marriage and Family Therapist

  • "Jane and Dr. Shosh came to our fledgling Connecticut chapter of Postpartum Support International to help us with "next steps" in our development and to mentor us in our care of perinatal families. One word: AMAZING! Another: WARM! Finally: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!"

    -Sharon T.

  • "This workshop definitely increased my confidence in operating a successful support group in my area. I was reminded of all the community connections I can draw upon and have been encouraged to really evaluate the personal needs of my community. Jane and Shoshana make for a fun, relaxed and intimate learning environment. I left feeling inspired and confident. Thank you both!"

    -R. Ivison

  • "Such an amazing opportunity to train with two pioneers in this field! After this two day training I am READY to begin my own support group and do this good work!"

    -C. Ospina

  • "This weekend was a deeply moving personal experience. I feel that I developed a stronger mission for my goals and also was able to connect my shared experience with like-minded souls. I strongly recommend PAI to anyone considering working in this field."

    -R. Irish

  • "Jane and Shoshana brought different strengths that complimented each other, and they were fun to be around! Throughout the weekend I grew as a person and developed a plan that will merge my personal passions and professional goals. I recommend this experience wholeheartedly!"

    -Ann L.

  • "It was a powerful experience to learn from two such inspiring leaders in the field. Each brought tremendous passion, knowledge, and understanding to the group."

    -J. Masse

  • "This was a tremendous opportunity to learn from two movers-and-shakers in the field of postpartum support—women whose work stems from their own experiences. I left feeling more empowered and able to reach out to moms who are struggling."

    M. Gordon

  • "Having the one-on-one time on Sunday to address participants’ individual goals and questions was key to making sure each one left with ideas and solutions."

    Alina H.

  • "It was awesome! I felt empowered and inspired, and came away with new plans and the confidence to pursue them. The content and pace were perfect- individualized and results - focused but not exhausting. I felt my passions had crystallized into a workable plan. I felt very encouraged/ inspired by my fellow participants."

    -A. Litwinski

  • "Interacting with such strong women was inspirational. It was great to meet people from different backgrounds with one common goal. The environment was so welcoming and supportive and the educational component was even more helpful than I had expected."

    -Jenni M.

  • “Great to be a participant!”

    -J. Moyer

  • "PAI was an incredible weekend, filled with authentic support, witnessing, brain-storming and relating. The weekend flowed beautifully with a balance of learning, sharing and self care. The group was small, intimate and provided space to explore each individual’s goals and means to attain them. There was beautiful chemistry and space to share experiences and differences. PAI was an incredible weekend, filled with authentic support, witnessing, brain-storming and relating. It is a rare opportunity to connect and evolve."

    -Lisa H.

Please feel free to reach us by email:
[email protected]
[email protected]