professional portrait

Syracuse University Falk College
410 Peck Hall,
601 East Genesee St.

Syracuse, New York  13203




Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Syracuse University

Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Family Studies from Central Michigan University (magna cum laude)


Exploring the relationship between gender transition and life satisfaction, family relationships, social support, and mental health. Homeless LGBTQ youth. Emotional Processes of Family Members of Transgender People.


MFT 661 Introduction to Family Therapy Practice

MFT 600 Couple and Family Therapy with LGBTQ Relationships

MFT 684 Family Therapy Perspectives/Cultural Diversity

MFT 688 Family Therapy Across the Life Cycle

Deborah Coolhart

Ph.D. Assistant Professor

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.