Skip to main content
URMC / Psychiatry / Institute for the Family / About the Director

About the Director

Susan H. McDaniel, PhD

Susan H. McDaniel, PhD, ABPP, is the Dr. Laurie Sands Distinguished Professor of Families & Health, Academic Chief, Division of Collaborative Care and Wellness, and Director of the Institute for the Family in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester.  She is the Vice Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Director of the Physician Communication Coaching Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Dr. McDaniel was elected the 2016 president of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. 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 100 journal articles, 75 book chapters, and 15 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.