Rachel Tambling, HDFS Faculty Spotlight, December 2023

Rachel TamblingDr. Rachel Tambling is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut, a licensed marital and family therapist, a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor of clinical behavioral health services. She received her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Michigan University and PhD in Child and Family Development with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Georgia.

Dr. Tambling’s research is focused on modifiable factors related to behavioral health service engagement. She is interested in research that explores ways to address barriers to behavioral health equity, including expanding the availability of couple and family therapy, and understanding the complex components of effective engagement and change during therapy. Dr. Tambling is also interested in the measurement of psychotherapeutic constructs and the ways in which measurement impacts outcomes of behavioral health services.

More broadly, her work is based on a Systems Theory approach, which highlights the complex and interacting effects (e.g., individual, familial, social structural, policy, societal) that influence well-being and behavioral health outcomes. Her research includes an examination of the ways in which societal factors, including stigma, social determinants of health, and access to services impact mental health and substance use treatment services. Dr. Tambling is committed to research that explores the complex components of effective engagement and clinical change using ecologically valid and rigorously collected data that are analyzed using advanced and appropriate statistical techniques. Her work has been cited over 2,000 times; she co-authored a top cited paper in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, the flagship journal of the marriage and family therapy profession, and has seen her work published in the preeminent journals of systemic scholarship (e.g. Contemporary Family Therapy; Family Process; Family Relations) and international journals of behavioral health and substance use (e.g. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly; Couple and Family Psychology; Family and Community Health; Health Education and Behavior; International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction; Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, Policy).

Dr. Tambling is the Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Family Therapy, a premiere journal in the field of marriage and family therapy, and an author of the textbook Helping Skills: Basic Techniques for the Active and Engaged Helper (Cognella, 2023).

At UConn, Dr. Tambling serves as the Chair of the Institutional Review Board at the University of Connecticut and is an Affiliate of the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy, a Research Affiliate of the Center for Applied Research in Human Development, and an Affiliate of the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative.

Dr. Tambling has been recently honored with several awards. She is a 2022 recipient of the Western Michigan University Outstanding Alumnae Award for contributions to the fields of counseling, psychotherapy, and marriage and family therapy. She is also the NCFR Family Therapy Section’s 2023 Kathleen Briggs Outstanding Mentor Awardee, an award in recognition of her work in mentoring and supporting the next generation of scholars.

In her life outside of work, Dr. Tambling is an avid runner and enjoys travel, marathons, and travel to marathons.

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