Myrna L. Friedlander

Professor & Division Director

Ph.D. Ohio State University
M.A. George Washington University

Phone: (518) 442-5049

Dr. Friedlander joined the Counseling Psychology program at the University at Albany in 1981 and was Director of Doctoral Training from 1999-2016.

She has served as clinician, educator, supervisor, and consultant in a variety of schools, counseling centers, hospitals, and community agencies. She is the 2001-2002 recipient of the Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Psychological Association of Northeastern New York. Dr. Friedlander's research on the process of counseling and psychotherapy has appeared in over 100 articles in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, The Counseling Psychologist, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Psychotherapy, Professional Psychology, Family Process, the Journal of Family Psychology, and the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, among others. Additionally, she co-authored two books published by the American Psychological Association: Critical Events in Psychotherapy Supervision: An Interpersonal Approach (2005, with N. Ladany and M. L. Nelson) and Therapeutic Alliances with Couples and Families: An Empirically Informed Guide to Practice, with V. Escudero and L. Heatherington.

In 1999, Dr. Friedlander received the President’s Award for Excellence in Research. She has also been honored with the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Section for the Promotion of Psychotherapy Science, Society for Counseling Psychology (Division 17, APA). She and co-author Laurie Heatherington were jointly honored in 2010 as recipients of the Distinguished Contribution to Family Systems Research award by the American Family Therapy Academy. Dr. Friedlander is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. She is currently an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Psychotherapy, Couple and Family Therapy Research, and Psychotherapy Research.

Research Interests

  • Counseling and supervisory processes and outcomes
  • Verbal interaction and the therapeutic alliance in family therapy


Associate, Center for the Elimination of Minority Health Disparities, University at Albany

Courses Taught

  • ECPY 704 & 705 Theory, Research, and Practice in Counseling Psychology I & II
  • ECPY 805 & 806 Doctoral Practicum I & II
  • ECPY 809 Family Therapy

Representative Publications

Friedlander, M. L. (2015). Use of relational strategies to repair alliance ruptures: How responsive supervisors train responsive therapists. Psychotherapy, 32, 174-179.

Friedlander, M. L., Austin, C. L., & Cabrera, P. (2014). When psychotherapy is indefinite and there is no final outcome: Case study of a community mental health clinic. Psychotherapy, 51, 580-594.

Friedlander, M. L., & Diamond, G. M. (2011). Couple and family therapy. In E. Altmaier & J. Hansen (Eds.), Oxford handbook of counseling psychology. (pp. 647-675). New York: Oxford University Press.

Friedlander, M. L., Escudero, V., & Guzman, M. (2001). International exchanges in family therapy: Training, research, and practice in Spain and the U.S. The Counseling Psychologist, 30, 314-329.

Friedlander, M. L., Escudero, V., Heatherington, L., & Diamond, G. M. (2011). Alliance in couple and family therapy. Psychotherapy, 48, 25-33.

Friedlander, M. L., Escudero, V., & Heatherington, L. (2006). Therapeutic alliances with couples and families: An empirically informed guide to practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Books.

Friedlander, M. L., Escudero, V., Horvath, A. S., Heatherington, L., Cabero, A., & Martens, M. P. (2006). System for Observing Family Therapy Alliances: A tool for research and practice. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 214-225.

Friedlander, M. L., Heatherington, L., & Escudero, V. (2016). Research on change mechanisms: Advances in process research. In T. Sexton and J. Lebow (Eds.), Handbook of family therapy. (4th ed.; pp. 454-467). New York: Routledge.

Friedlander, M. L., Kivlighan, Jr., D. M., & Shaffer, K. (2012). Exploring actor-partner interdependence in family therapy: Whose view (parent or adolescent) best predicts treatment progress? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 168-175.

Friedlander, M. L., Lambert, J. E., & Muñiz de la Peña, C. (2008). A step toward disentangling the alliance/improvement cycle in family therapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 55, 118-124.

Friedlander, M. L., Lee, H. H., Shaffer, K. S., & Cabrera, P. (2014). Negotiating therapeutic alliances with a family at impasse: An evidence-based case study. Psychotherapy, 51, 41-52.

Friedlander, M. L., Pieterse, A., & Lambert, J. E. (2012). The evolution of theory in counseling psychology. In N. Fouad, L. Subich, & J. Carter (Eds.), APA handbook of counseling psychology. (pp. 31-58). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Friedlander, M. L., Sutherland, O., Sandler, S., Kortz, L., Bernardi, S., Lee, H., & Drozd, A. (2012). Exploring corrective experiences in a single, successful case of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 49, 349-363.

Recent Grant

Enhancing retention and effectiveness: Family therapy for low-income, at-risk yoth. Funded by the Community Foundation of the Capital District. $22,460.

Research Group

Bi-monthly to discuss student research interests.

Personal Interests

Traveling, quilting, movies, and ethnic music.