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The SEED Center

SEED Center for the Study of Early Emotional Development

Opened in 2018, the mission of SEED (Study of Early Emotional Development) Center is to advance the welfare of children and families through rigorous scientific study, innovative therapeutic programs, professional training and the promotion of public advocacy.
Focused on the parent-infant relationship and its influence on a child's development, SEED employees scientific knowledge as means to nourish an infants’ neurological, biological, cognitive, and emotional development so to develop into a healthy adult and beneficial contributor to society.

Academic Research

SEED explores infants’ emotional wellbeing and cognitive development using state-of-the-art technology that can track even the most minute reactions such as eye movement, and monitor the influence of even non-verbal interactions between parents and babies.
SEED research has been shared throughout the world through academic journals, scientific conferences and professional training.

Integrated Training

SEED offers advanced training to students, educators, nurses, therapists, and care-takers, to equip them with useful tools for handling complex situations they can apply in their relationships with infants, to support children’s happier, healthier, and more satisfying development.

Community Intervention

Empirically examining the effectiveness of the intervention provided by the Jaffa Jewish-Arab Center for Parent-Infant Psychotherapy's team. The newly established Jewish-Arab Center for parent-infant Psychotherapy offers, in collaboration with Wizo's day care units, culturally-sensitive, parent-infant interventions provided by highly trained clinicians who are experts in early childhood development. The aim of the study is to compare infants’ cognitive, emotional, and social functioning before and after the intervention. Additionally, infants in the intervention group are compared to a control group of infants attending the same daycare units, but without the additional intervention of the Jewish-Arab Center team.

Advocacy and Policy

SEED looks to be an international leader in the field of parent-infant relations by serving academics, professionals and policy makers around the world through academic publishing, collaborations, workshops, conferences and exchanges.
By combining research, preventive services, professional training and advocacy, SEED will promote a new paradigm in relation to high-risk families, among Israeli scientists, clinicians, educators, social service professionals and policy makers in Israel - and beyond.

Leadership / Dana Shai PhD / MTA Faculty Member

Dr. Shai completed her PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology in 2011 at the University of London under the supervision of Profs. Jay Belsky and Peter Fonagy. Her academic background includes psychoanalytic developmental psychology, Dance Movement Therapy, and Philosophy. She is a developmental psychology researcher, interested in early interpersonal development, with particular interest in nonverbal interactive processes and parental embodied metalizing (PEM). Dr. Shai also studies parenting, the transition to parenthood, co-parental relationships and the child's early social and emotional development within the family matrix.

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