The SEED (Study of Early Emotional Development) Institute


The SEED (Study of Early Emotional Development) Institute conducts developmental research focusing the parent-infant dyad, the main relationship influencing a child's development. The institute further makes a contribution to the welfare of young families in Jaffa.

Research at the Institute

Faculty and graduate students research the effectiveness of developmental interventions, based on the treatments at the Institute, and using a state-of-the-art developmental lab.

Community Intervention

The institute staff provides free therapeutic services for families-in-need focusing on young parents and toddlers; and workshops for parents. By providing accessible integrative and wholesome parent-infant treatments and guidance to parents, the Institute helps identify and treat problematic, high-risk parent-infant dynamics in their earliest stages.

Training at the Institute

Under supervision and mentorship of the center's staff, graduate students conduct a range of interventions, from house-visits to parent-child treatments. This fieldwork complements the rigorous training for MA psychology students who specialize in early development and intervention, giving them sensitivities and experience that will serve them throughout their career.


Dr. Dana Shai is a faculty member at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo and the head of the College's Parent Child Research Center.


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.