Clare Sobel: The Consideration of Cultural Humility and the Importance of Research in Clinical Practice

by | Jun 28, 2019 | Blog | 0 comments

As a Phillips Graduate Institute’s Master of Marriage and Family Therapy professor, Phillips Graduate Institute graduate, licensed marriage and family therapist, and clinical supervisor, Clare Sobel has always been interested in the science of human communication and interpersonal relations. Clare is especially passionate about the tremendous value psychotherapy can offer to individuals who come from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, unique personal experiences and circumstances, and differing belief systems.  Clare feels strongly that the field of MFT is uniquely positioned to improve the lives of others because of the emphasis the field places on providing support services through the newer lens of cultural humility.  “Cultural humility is a profound concept that allows clinicians to embark on a lifelong journey of self-awareness and self-humility that supports their best understanding and best treatment of clients different from themselves,” says Sobel.

As a therapist in private practice, as well as Course Chair for Phillips MFT Research and Diversity & Social Justice courses, Clare is excited to see not only the ever-growing emphasis on cultural humility in the practice of psychotherapy, but also cites enthusiasm for the critical growing emphasis on diversity in research.

“We know that there are infinite ways in which a client’s culture and unique personal characteristics and preferences can impact therapeutic issues, diagnoses, and relational dynamics. Studies in the field of MFT programs have made significant strides in conducting culture-centered research with a variety of individuals and families, and the evidence is clear that culturally adapted therapy is more effective than non-adapted therapy,” she states.  “At Phillips, we support our students in providing the best standard of care to clients by helping them to practice at the intersection of client values and preferences, robust research evidence, and clinical expertise. One of my greatest joys in teaching is when I get to witness that “ah-ha” moment experienced by new clinicians when they successfully bring these three elements together.”

Phillips Graduate Institute’s Marriage and Family Therapy program at the Los Angeles Education Center of Campbellsville University is proud to showcase Clare’s expertise as a clinician, mentor, and professor. In her role at the learning center, she is helping future clinicians adopt best practices at the intersection between clinical experience, research, and awareness of client preferences and values.