Faculty Spotlight: Linda Sobell

Linda Carter Sobell, professor at the Center for Psychological Studies (CPS) is also the director of the Healthy Lifestyles Guided Self–Change Program at NSU and the associate director of clinical training. However, Sobell said none of that would have happened if it wasn’t for her husband, Mark Sobell, Ph.D., who is also a professor at the Center for Psychological Studies.

Sobell met her husband more than 40 years ago at the University of California at Riverside when she was attending medical school. Her husband proposed the day after they met, she changed her major to psychology and they’ve been married — and colleagues — ever since.

“My husband and I work together day in and day out. I wouldn’t know anything different because we’ve been doing it for 40 years,” said Sobell.

Sobell and her husband were both senior scientists at the Addiction Research Foundation in Canada and professors at the University of Toronto before they came to NSU 17 years ago to enjoy the warm weather together.

“Working with each other accelerates our research because we’re able to be critical of each other, but also be going in the same direction. It’s a good working relationship. Most people don’t have that close of a relationship with their colleague,” said Sobell.

This research is another significant aspect of Sobell’s life and what she does at NSU. She helps bring in federal grants to conduct ongoing research at CPS. Sobell is now researching the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies among college–aged women to promote self change in people with alcohol abuse issues. The research component of CPS is what drives the Healthy Lifestyles Guided Self–Change Program.

“One of the things that our clinic has is the backing up by research studies. We have 10 research studies supporting the kind of treatment we provide. We know that it works because we’ve tested it and we apply it in the clinical arena,” said Sobell.

Psychology is the study of human behavior and when people run into difficulties, the self-change program is able to help them with those difficulties, said Sobell. The Healthy Lifestyles Guided Self-Change Program also helps students at CPS learn to be comfortable in their future careers and to speak with patients one on one, which is one aspect of teaching Sobell enjoys. She has the opportunity to see them learn and grow in their careers — an active effort at CPS, she said.

“Often times in doctoral programs, you have a close mentoring relationship with your students because the whole idea is to help them learn, so they know what they need to do. It’s beyond the classroom training because we train them in critical skills. We work hard and play hard — that’s our motto,” said Sobell.

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