Rebecca Shahmoon Shanok LCSW, Ph.D. was an accomplished professional in the field of mental health, especially infant mental health. During her long career dedicated to the well-being of families and young children and expanding the field of infant mental health, Rebecca was a clinician, a supervisor, a teacher, a researcher, an author, and an inspiration to many. She was a unique and emblematic individual who had a pivotal role in developing and growing the field of infant and early childhood mental health.
Rebecca had a formidable capacity to build relationships with a broad range of individuals by inviting and investing in their stories and their ideas. She was ever-curious and open to new perspectives with colleagues and students and a passionate advocate for children and families with a capacity to engage others to see their needs.
She vehemently saw supervision as an important aspect of working with infants and toddlers and families and promoted this kind of support not just for mental health providers but also for anyone working with this population including early interventionists, early educators.
Rebecca was truly a pioneer in the field of what has come to be known as reflective supervision and practice. Rebecca’s leadership in describing, writing about, and demonstrating what a reflective model of supervision could look like and how it could support work with infants, young children and families created a practice that is now commonly used and considered best practice across many professions in the infant family field and beyond.
Rebecca possessed three emblematic qualities that were present in all her personal and professional interactions. She had the ability to form relationships easily and knew how to inspire and support people’s ideas and creativity, often collaborating with others, bringing in her own particular notions and energy. Rebecca was also a dreamer who imagined a better world, teachers who had the right tools, children who were seen and cherished, and professionals in all fields who had the knowledge and support needed. She was also a doer, a mover and a shaker able to inspire ideas, often recruiting others to join, expand, support an evolving vision and work collaboratively on big ideas.
One of Rebecca’s biggest dreams was to bring together leaders engaged in reflective supervision and consultation to develop a long-term learning and mentoring project to provide reflective supervisors with the skills needed to do their work.
Rebecca was able to see this dream take shape as she gathered a group of leaders who picked the name “Reflective Supervision Collaborative”. Sadly, she did not live to see the first cohort of this project, but the original group she assembled has continued the work Rebecca began. We know she would be delighted with the outcome and with her collaborators. who in true Rebecca style, are working with focused energies to refine and expand this dream.
A scholarship fund for individuals interested in participating in RSC trainings has been established by Collaborations for Growth in honor of Rebecca and her vision of high-quality supervision and support for teachers, clinicians, home visitors and others who work with infants, young children, and their families. To learn more and apply, click here.
For questions or to receive more information about the Reflective Supervision Collaborative, please email RSCadmin@swhd.org.
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