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Department Center for Adult Behavioral Health
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English, French
Surgeon No
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Primary Location

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus


Additional Locations

Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Coping with Hereditary Cancer Risk
  • Coping with Loss
  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • Family Adjustment to Chronic Illness
  • Health Psychology
  • Individual Psychotherapy
  • Medical/Surgical Decision-making
  • Presurgical Behavior Health Evaluations
  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Systematic Desensitization
View all 11 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Breast Cancer - High Risk
  • Cancer - Gastric
  • Cancer Genomic Medicine
  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)
  • Family Cancer History
  • Grief and Loss
  • Hereditary Colon Cancer
  • Hereditary Gynecologic Cancers
  • Infertility
  • Lynch Syndrome
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis
  • Psychological Aspects of Genetic/Metabolic Disorders
View all 14 Specialties +


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About Karen Hurley, PhD

Dr. Karen Hurley joined the professional staff at Cleveland Clinic in 2016, bringing with her almost twenty years of experience as a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in hereditary cancer risk.  She received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1983, and completed her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Temple University in 1998.  After finishing a postdoctoral fellowship in cancer prevention and control at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, she spent eight years on faculty at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center conducting research funded by the National Cancer Institute on decision-making about risk-reducing surgery and other psychosocial issues relevant to familial cancer. She spent another six years in private practice in Manhattan seeing hereditary cancer risk patients and taught graduate health psychology at Teachers College-Columbia University.  She has provided psychotherapy and consultation to approximately 500 individuals, couples, and families with BRCA1/2 mutations, Lynch syndrome, FAP, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer, Li-Fraumeni syndrome and other forms of hereditary cancer. 

Dr. Hurley frequently presents lectures, workshops, and webinars for national and international audiences on decision-making about risk-reducing surgery, talking with children about risk, and building psychological resilience in the face of hereditary risk.  She is a member of several national and local advisory boards, including FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Bright Pink, Sharsheret, Cancer Support Community’s Breast and Gastric Cancer Registries, and The Gathering Place. In 2014, she received a Spirit of Empowerment Award for Individual Commitment at the 8th Annual FORCE conference, in recognition of her work on behalf of the hereditary cancer community. 

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - City of Hope Medical Center
Cancer Risk Assessment
Duarte, CA USA

Fellowship - Mount Sinai Medical Center
Cancer Prevention and Control
New York, NY USA

Medical Education - Temple University
Philadelphia, PA USA

Residency - University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - New Jersey Medical School
Clinical Psychology
Newark, NJ USA

Undergraduate - Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA USA

Additional Training

  • Intensive Course in Cancer Risk Assessment, City of Hope, Duarte CA, 2007

Professional Highlights

  • Member, Advisory Board, Bright Pink
  • Member, Advisory Board, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
  • Member, Advisory Board, Cancer Support Community’s Breast and Gastric Cancer Registries
  • Member, Advisory Board, Sharsheret
  • Member, Advisory Board, The Gathering Place

Specialty Interests

Hereditary cancer syndromes (BRCA1/2, familial breast/ovarian cancer, Lynch, FAP, CDH1/hereditary diffuse gastric cancer, Li-Fraumeni, other cancer risk genes), decision-making about risk-reducing surgery, other medical and treatment decisions, communicating with children about risk, fertility and assisted reproduction, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), psychological resilience, adjustment and quality of life after surgery, identity after cancer, post-traumatic stress, bereavement

Awards & Honors

  • Russell Conwell Fellowship, Temple University, 1990-91
  • FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) – Spirit of Empowerment Award, 2014


  • Member, American Psychological Association
  • Associate, National Society of Genetic Counselors
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Karen Hurley, PhD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 7/30/2023, Dr. Hurley has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

54 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
5 out of 5
Explains 4.9
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 5
Patient Rating of Doctor 5

10 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Aug 2, 2023

Dr. Hurley is fantastic.

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2023

I highly recommend Dr Hurley. She is empathetic. Provides clear guidance to help me control my anxiety.

Reviewed on May 30, 2023

Dr. Hurley was empathetic & understood issues related to Chronic Fatigue disease

Reviewed on May 23, 2023

Dr Hurley was so compassionate. Her insights made a big difference.

Reviewed on May 23, 2023

Dr. Hurley is amazing and compassionate.

Reviewed on May 19, 2023

Is by far the best therapist I have come across and very Thankful for her and all her help

Reviewed on Mar 8, 2023

Hard to put into words how much Dr. Hurley has helped me. I see real results in my life - not just mood wise but I'm finally able to think about my future again & have been able to take some steps moving forward. So thankful for her.

Reviewed on Feb 23, 2023

Karen Hurley is an excellent counselor who helps me think about what is going on in my life and how to make possible corrections in my behavior. I've rarely talked with someone as insightful and compassionate as she is.

Reviewed on Jan 4, 2023

I'm so thankful for Dr. Hurley! She is an empathetic listener & gives great advice. A true advocate.

Reviewed on Nov 21, 2022

Dr Hurley is amazing. Highly recommend.

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