Research Fellow, The Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center, University of Haifa
After graduating law school at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dr. Shafir followed her passion and studied dance-movement therapy in University of Haifa. Several years of work with children with neurological disorders led her back to school to complete her Masters and PhD in motor control in University of Michigan School of Kinesiology. These were followed by two postdoctoral fellowships: in brain-behavior interactions in infants with iron deficiency at the Center for Human Growth and Development, and in affective neuroscience at the Department of Psychiatry, both at the University of Michigan. This background enabled her to develop her unique interdisciplinary research interest in movement-emotion interaction and its underlying brain mechanisms, behavioral expressions, and therapeutic applications. This research is the topic of her TEDx talk: How your Body Affects your Happiness, which has over a quarter million views, and her 2016 paper which was chosen by the business newspaper ‘The Marker’ as one of the 26 most inspiring studies of the year.
Dr. Shafir is the main editor of The Academic Journal of Creative Arts Therapies, the lead editor of Frontiers in Psychology research topic: ‘The state of the art in creative arts therapies’, and serves on The American Dance Therapy Association research committee. She is currently teaching ‘movement-emotion interaction’ in a couple of academic colleges in Israel.