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URMC / Psychiatry / Institute for the Family / About the Director

About the Director

Dr. Susan H. McDaniel, DirectorDr. Susan H. McDaniel received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and anthropology from Duke University, and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After completing her postdoctoral fellowship in family therapy at the University of Texas in Houston, she joined the faculty of the University of Rochester Medical Center in 1980.

As director of the Institute for the Family in the Department of Psychiatry and associate chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Dr. McDaniel is dedicated to transforming health care by integrating behavioral health into clinical medicine, and recognizing and supporting families under stress. With two colleagues, she developed the field of Medical Family Therapy, which focuses on providing counseling to patients and families facing chronic and serious illness. She also develops training for physicians and other health professionals to improve doctor-patient communication and to work in primary care, where most of the mental health care is delivered in this country. Dr. McDaniel lectures around the world and is the author or co-author of more than 80 journal articles, 66 book chapters, and 11 books, including Medical Family Therapy; The Shared Experience of Illness; Primary Care Psychology; The Biopsychosocial Approach: Past, Present, and Future; Individuals, Families, and the New Era of Genetics; and Family Therapy. Her books have been translated into eight languages.

Dr. McDaniel was the first psychologist to complete the Bureau of Health Professions’ Primary Care Policy Fellowship in 1998. She has received numerous professional awards, including the prestigious American Psychological Foundation/Cummings PSYCHE Prize in 2007. Dr. McDaniel is on the Board of the American Family Therapy Academy and is a member of the American Psychological Association Council and the Committee for the Advancement of Psychological Practice.