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Laura Gambrel
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Contact Information
Office: Wister M-18
Phone: 215-991-2902
Fax: 215-951-5140

Dr. Gambrel has a background in psychology and marriage and family therapy. She enjoys working with children, youth, couples, and families from a variety of backgrounds, especially during family life cycle transitions (i.e., marriage, divorce, parenthood, launching). Theoretically, she is most aligned with family systems approaches and experiential therapy. Dr. Gambrel has specialized training in mindfulness, Satir Transformational Systemic Therapy, play therapy, and group facilitation. She also enjoys supervising therapists-in-training. Dr. Gambrel developed and facilitates the Mindful Transition to Parenthood Program, a relationship enhancement group that includes mindfulness, psychoeducation, and relational skills for couples who are expecting their first child. Please see her website at for more information.

Dr. Gambrels’ research interests focus on mindfulness, couple relationships, and parenting. She is passionate about investigating mindfulness-based interventions to promote relationship satisfaction, intimacy, and attunement for couples and parents. Dr. Gambrel is also interested in mindfulness and contemplative education for therapist training and self-care. She specializes in mixed methods approaches to research and program evaluation. Dr. Gambrel welcomes students from all levels (graduate and undergraduate) to be involved with all aspects of the research process. Contact her at if you would like to learn about current research opportunities.

In her spare time, Dr. Gambrel enjoys traveling, hiking, and camping. At home, she spends time with family and friends, and enjoys quilting and baking.

Areas of Expertise
Relational mindfulness and mindful parenting; Enhancing couple relationships; Transition to parenthood; Systemic supervision; Mixed methods research and program evaluation



  • B.A., Psychology and Philosophy, Goucher College
  • M.A., Psychology: Contemplative Psychotherapy, Naropa University
  • Ph.D., Human Development: Marriage & Family Therapy, Virginia Tech
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Pennsylvania)
  • Licensed Professional Counselor (Colorado)
  • Registered Play Therapist


  • PCMF 504: Human Behavior: A Developmental Perspective
  • PCMF 506: Basic Principles of Research Design, Statistics, Program Development, and Evaluation
  • PCMF 600: Change Process in Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • PCMF 602: Advanced Clinical Laboratory
  • PCMF 614: Working with Families

Representative Publications

  • Gambrel, L. E. & Butler VI, J. L. (2011). Mixed methods research in marriage and family therapy: A content analysis. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00260.x
  • Gambrel, L. E., & Keeling, M. L. (2010). Relational aspects of mindfulness: Implications for the practice of marriage and family therapy. Contemporary Family Therapy, 32(4), 412-426. doi:10.1007/s10591-010-9129-z

Representative Presentations

  • Gambrel, L. E. (April 2012). A mindfulness program for the transition to parenthood: Couples' experiences. Poster presentation at the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Denver, CO.
  • Gambrel, L. E., Gillespie, B., Dash, R., Gale, J. (March 2012). Mindfulness and loving kindness meditation: Relational practices in couple and family therapy. Panel presentation at the International Family Therapy Association Congress, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
  • Gambrel, L. E. (June 2011). Relational mindfulness for couples: Research, theory, and clinical practice. Brief presentation at the American Family Therapy Academy 2011 Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.

Professional Memberships

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
American Family Therapy Academy (mindfulness interest group co-chair)

Programs offered at:

Francis Berna, OFM, Ph.D.

Donna A. Tonrey, Psy.D., LMFT, LPC

Counseling and Family Therapy
Master's Programs
Office: Wister Hall, Room 208
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141 USA
Phone: 215.951.1767
Fax: 215.991.3585

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