Five Minutes With Molly Bobek | Center on Addiction

Five Minutes With Molly Bobek

Five Minutes With Molly Bobek


Welcome to Five Minutes With, where we take a few moments to get to know the staff at Center on Addiction. Today we’d like to introduce Molly Bobek, L.C.S.W., Senior Research Associate.

What work do you do at Center on Addiction?

I am currently the Project Director for the Core Elements of Family Therapy Project, a research project designed to identify and describe the most effective family therapy interventions for adolescents with substance use or behavior problems.

What do you love most about your job?

The part of my job that I love the most is being able to think about family therapy in a robust, data-driven, scientific way. I’m also a family therapist so I feel very passionate about its effectiveness and value to teens and their entire families. I believe that family members are the greatest resource for someone working to overcome substance abuse or addiction. I have the opportunity to examine how my intuitions about family therapy are borne out (or not!) systematically and methodically. It’s an incredible opportunity to research something I care very much about.

What has been the most exciting thing you’ve worked on during your time here?

In 2008 I worked on my first project here. It was called CASALEAP, a project designed to test effectiveness of family therapy for adolescents compared to the standard of care, which is generally individual and behaviorally based treatment. It was incredibly exciting to be a part of the project from start – interviewing hundreds of teens and their parents in their homes all over New York City – to finish – looking at the data and seeing it take shape for publications. Our study found that both family and individual therapy were effective in reducing symptoms, but family therapy provided a greater reduction in symptoms.  

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

When I was a child, I would always answer ‘detective’ when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. Let’s stick with that. I’m very nosy – I’m curious about what happens and why. I think that is part of what makes me a good family therapist and researcher – I’m not always sure my clients and colleagues agree!

Where is your favorite spot in New York City?

Central Park. It’s easy to think of as overrated, or worse, take it for granted, but it never ceases to make me feel awed and grateful to live in New York City to go to the park on that first warm Saturday of the year. 


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