Interviewing leaders

in mental health

Interviewing leaders in mental health

Professor Ruth Feldman Legacy Interview recording advert

– Watch this recording for £39 includes a 2 hour CEU/CPD certificate –

Professor Ruth Feldman Legacy Interview: Visionary Pioneer of the Neuroscience of Human Connection

Exploring her groundbreaking research on biobehavioral synchrony, empathy, Tools of Dialogue for youth, the biology of resilience, kangaroo care & maternal depression.

Special Guests

Colleagues Dr. Daphna Dollberg and Dr. Shafiq Masalha, discuss Professor Ruth Feldman’s innovative interventions

“I heard Ruth Feldman interweaving the many layers of her life’s experiences and breadth of research… I am so enriched by her thinking.”

Professor Ruth Feldman

In this MINDinMIND Legacy Interview we share the groundbreaking work of Professor Ruth Feldman, a pioneer in the field of developmental social neuroscience.

As the Simms-Mann Professor of Developmental Social Neuroscience at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, with a joint appointment at the Yale Child Study Center, Professor Ruth Feldman has revolutionised our understanding of the long-term effects of premature birth, maternal depression, chronic trauma on brain and behaviour and the benefits of touch-based interventions with premature babies.

Professor Feldman explains her concept of biobehavioral synchrony, which describes how lived experiences within close relationships shape the brain, foster relationships, build resilience, and nurture creativity.

We also explore the origins of Professor Feldman’s passion for music and how that led her journey into the world of research, highlighting her significant impact on our understanding of human relationships and the biology of love.

Joined by her Special Guests, colleagues Dr. Daphna Dallberg and Dr. Shafiq Masalha, Professor Feldman discusses her innovative interventions, such as for mothers with postpartum depression and their infants, and the Tools of Dialogue intervention for Israeli and Palestinian youth.

Her pioneering studies on empathy, the parental brain, and resilience have gained international recognition and inspired new generations of researchers and clinicians. She talks about the vital biological changes that occur during parent-child interactions and how these early relationships lay the foundation for emotional well-being and brain development.

With a multidisciplinary background in music composition, neuroscience, clinical psychology, and developmental psychology, Professor Feldman integrates insights from various fields. Her research on oxytocin and human social bonds has opened new avenues for understanding the biology of connection.

Prof Feldman also shares how her translational research has informed numerous international interventions, with her observational tools used in 17 countries and translated into multiple languages. Her long-term studies and public engagement has earned her extensive media attention and prestigious awards, including the EMET Prize, Israel’s highest honour in arts and sciences.

Special Guests

Dr Daphna Dollberg

Dr Daphna Dollberg photo on green circle bgDaphna Dollberg, a master clinician, discusses her experiences working alongside Ruth in developing programs that promote better mental health outcomes through improved parent-child interactions. She is a Clinical and Developmental Psychologist, senior lecturer, and Chair of the graduate program in Developmental Psychology at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo,Israel.

  • Dr Dollberg emphasises the importance of Ruth Feldman’s work in understanding the biobehavioral mechanisms that underpin healthy emotional and social development.
  • She talks about her work on parental mentalization and early child socioemotional development in various contexts, showing that parental mentalization can protect children’s wellbeing in high-risk situations.
  • Dr Dollberg collaborates with Ruth Feldman on an RCT study examining the effectiveness and therapeutic processes of a short-term, manualized, video-assisted, dyadic psychotherapy for mothers with postpartum depression and their infants.
  • She is also a Co-Principal Investigator in a longitudinal study on maternal mentalization and empathy in the emergence of infant empathy and social cognition.
  • Dr Dollberg is a practitioner and trainer of CPP, the trauma-focused parent-child psychotherapy model, and chairs the research committee of the Israeli Association for Parent-Child Psychotherapy.

Dr Shafiq Masalha

Shafiq Masalha photo on green circle bgDr Shafiq Masalha, a Palestinian and Israeli citizen, is another master clinician. He talks about his work with children and families affected by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He highlights Ruth’s innovative approach to translating empirical research into practical, evidence-based programs that make a real difference in families’ lives.

  • Dr Masalha shares insights into his collaborative work with Ruth on interventions aimed at supporting at-risk mothers and children.
  • Dr Masalha offers valuable insights into the challenges therapists face in complex settings and strategies to overcome them.
  • He talks about his role in promoting unity and understanding between communities through his involvement with the Hand-in-Hand schools and the E.R.I.C.E. initiative.
  • Dr Masalha shares his research on attachment biomarkers and markers of resilience, studying children in frontline areas of Gaza to identify factors that contribute to their adaptability and resilience in challenging circumstances.

Key points from the interview include:

  • The development of the biobehavioral synchrony model and its role in understanding human relationships and the biology of love.
  • The importance of early relationships, particularly between mothers and infants, in shaping brain development and future well-being.
  • The integration of various disciplines, such as neuroscience, child development, and clinical work, in Ruth’s research.
  • The effectiveness of Ruth’s synchrony-enhancing intervention for mothers with postpartum depression and their infants,
  • ‘Tools of Dialogue’ intervention for Israeli and Palestinian young people
  • The transformative power of synchrony and connection in promoting resilience, creativity, and healing, even in the face of adversity.


Ruth is in conversation with Jane O’Rourke and Salam Soliman.

Jane is a Child, Adolescent and Family Psychotherapist and Founder of MINDinMIND. She was formerly a senior producer at the BBC and recently won the Association of Infant Mental Health’s Founders Prize. She runs the counselling service in a state primary school in London, United Kingdom.

Salam is Director of NCTSN’s Center for Prevention and Early Trauma Treatment at Child First and Nurse Family Partnership and Board Member of American Psychological Association’s Division 39 Section II, based in the USA. This is a partnership event with MINDinMIND, APA Division 39 Section II and The National Service Office for Nurse-Family Partnership & Child First.

This recording was made May 31st 2023

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