Rebecca Shahmoon-Shanok

Rebecca Shahmoon-Shanok, L.C.S.W., Ph.D., was an advisor to ZERO TO THREE and was founding CEO and Academic Director of Collaborations for Growth, a new nonprofit.

Rebecca Shahmoon-Shanok

1943-2020, ZERO TO THREE

Contributions to the Field

Dr. Shahmoon-Shanok was Founding CEO and Academic Director of Collaborations for Growth (CG), a new nonprofit created to spread diversity-sensitive support for vulnerable babies, children and their parents, especially those living in poverty. With prevention at its center, CG reaches significantly at-risk and diagnosable youngsters heading for academic or social trouble because of trauma and-or developmentally challenges while also connecting with their parents. While CG is new, each of the three initiatives which are part of the CG family have successes documented over decades.

Well-known as a clinician, teacher and author in the parenting and pregnancy through preschool fields, Dr. Shahmoon-Shanok was among the pioneers of reflective supervision; of integrating mindfulness into the fields of early childhood mental health and care; of interweaving mental health services in community-based settings; and of training professionals across disciplines together since the late 1970’s. With degrees and experience as a clinical psychologist, social worker and early childhood educator, and knowledge of psychoanalysis and the allied disciplines of occupational and speech-language therapy, Dr. Shahmoon-Shanok developed a model which integrates mental health consultation plus a range of mental health services within childcare and Head Start over four decades. Her expertise included both parent and dyadic development, assessment and intervention; Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) with developmentally and/or traumatically challenged young children and their parents; as well as peer play psychotherapy for a broad range of children with challenges. As a DC: 0-5 Trainer, she was a Facilitator-in-Training for the Diversity Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, children and Families.


  • Former Board Member, ZERO TO THREE, 1980-2016
  • Founder, former co-president and Board Member, New York Zero-to-Three Network
  • Founding Member, Harris Foundation’s Professional Development Network (PDN), where she was on the Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families Workgroup
  • New York City’s Early Childhood Mental Health Advisory Group


With partners at the Center for Attachment Research, New School for Social Research, Dr. Shahmoon-Shanok investigated the effectiveness of peer play psychotherapy; the role of peers in the development of reflective functioning among children receiving peer play psychotherapy; as well as mental health screenings and services for children and parents embedded in preschools, especially childcare and Head Start centers.