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About Deborah Coolhart

In the fall of 2012, Deb Coolhart was appointed assistant professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Department of Falk College after serving as an adjunct instructor in the department since 2008. She has designed and taught graduate courses and supervised the clinical work of master’s students in the Couple and Family Therapy Center. Under her leadership, a Transgender Treatment Team was created and continues to provide services in the Central New York community.
Coolhart is a licensed marriage and family therapist, with a private practice in Fayetteville, NY. She is a clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and an AAMFT-approved supervisor. Her previous professional experience includes being an assistant professor of community and human services at SUNY’s Empire State College, a research health science specialist at the VA Medical Center in Syracuse, and a co-facilitator and individual therapist for the Gay, Straight and Questioning Youth Group with AIDS Community Resources in Syracuse.
Coolhart’s scholarly interests include clinical issues related to marginalized and queer experiences and relationships, with a particular focus on clinical issues of transgender people and their families. Her recently published manuscripts have appeared in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy and the Journal of Family Psychotherapy, with an invited chapter also recently published entitled, "Supporting Transgender Youth and Their Families in Therapy," in the Handbook of LGBT-Affirmative Couple and Family Therapy (Routledge Press). In 2011, she was honored with the Outstanding Citizen Award from SU’s LGBT Resource Center and received the Chancellor’s Award for Public Service for her work on the Transgender Treatment Team in 2006. She is currently engaged in research exploring the relationship between gender transition and life satisfaction, family relationships, social support, and mental health. She is also conducting research exploring the experiences of the children of transgender parents.
Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University (2006)
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University (2001)
Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Family Studies from Central Michigan University, Magna cum laude (1997)
New York State Education Department Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Fellow Approved Supervisor
World Professional Association for Transgender Health


Present ( 2007-2012) Assistant Professor, Empire State College
Present (2008-2012) Adjunct Professor, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, Syracuse University
Present (2012-present) Assistant Professor, Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, Syracuse University

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

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Honors and Awards

  • (2013) 99 Top Professors in Counseling, Psychology, & Therapy, Featured on list by
  • (2011) Outstanding Citizen Award, Syracuse University LGBT Resource Center
  • (2006) Chancellor's Award for Public Service, Syracuse University Transgender Treatment Team
  • (2004) Social Justice Award, Syracuse University Department of Marriage and Family Therapy


  • Introduction to Family Therapy Practice
  • Couple and Family Therapy with LGBT Relationships
  • Family Therapy Persectives/Cultural Diversity
  • Family Therapy Across the Life Cycle
  • Core Counseling Skills
  • Family Therapy Theory
  • Diversity and Oppression in Relationships and Families Human Services Ethics
  • Survey of Social Science Research Methods
  • Play Therapy
  • Human Services with LGBT Communities
  • Working with LGBT Youth
  • Substance Abuse and LGBTQ Communities
  • Transgender and Intersex Identities
  • Human Services with Latino Communities
  • Educational Planning
  • Family Violence and Abuse
  • Families in Society
  • Substance Abuse in Families
  • Child Development
  • Community Health
  • Human Sexuality
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Homophobia and its Intersection with Race and Gender
  • Introduction to Human Services
  • Human Services Delivery
  • Program Planning and Development
  • Counseling Theory
  • Adolescents and Addictions
  • Social Policy
  • Animal-Assisted Therapy
  • Integrated Healthcare
  • The Queer/Intersex/Transgender Body

Contact Information

1045 James Street
Syracuse, NY 13203
Phone: (315) 443-9329


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