Founder and Scientific Director: Eran Magen, Ph.D.

Eran received his MA in education and PhD in psychology from Stanford University, completed post-doctoral training in population health as a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar (studying relationships as a public health resource), and served as the research director of the department of Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Center for Supportive Relationships conducts research, dissemination and advocacy to ensure everyone has access to strong supportive relationships, with a special focus on educational and health settings.

We believe that (1) strong supportive relationships form the foundation of a joyful and productive life, and (2) behaviors necessary for establishing strong supportive relationships can be taught.

Our research revolves around the significance of supportive relationships, techniques for strengthening relationships, and effective methods for teaching relational skills. We utilize the latest scientific literature on social support, interpersonal communication, education and health behavior. We contribute to scientific knowledge by conducting studies (often in collaboration with communities we serve) and publishing the results in peer-reviewed journals.

Our dissemination work includes developing training materials and delivering training for laypeople and professionals. The Center has been working with education professionals (teachers, principals, district leadership teams), healthcare professionals (faculty and students at medical schools, continuing education for physicians and nurses), and private corporations.

Our advocacy work seeks to ensure policy makers are aware of the extreme significance of strong supportive relationships and allocate resources appropriately to promote relational skills education.


The Center for Supportive Relationships applies a participatory action research framework in its work:

1) Collaboration. The best theoretical intervention will fail if community members do not embrace it and have a sense of ownership over it. We consult and collaborate with stakeholders to ensure community buy-in.

2) Customization. Every intervention must be tailored to the local context in which it is implemented, through collaboration with and feedback from stakeholders at every level of the organization.

3) Rigor. Change must be observable, measurable, and replicable.

4) Empowerment. We train local experts to build a sustainable relational infrastructure that will outlast our presence.