School of Nursing and Health Studies

Daniel Cavanaugh, Assistant Teaching Professor

Daniel CavanaughDaniel Cavanaugh, PhD, LCSW (He/Him/His)

Assistant Teaching Professor 

Daniel L. Cavanaugh, PhD, LCSW received his BS in psychology at Portland State University in Oregon and both his PhD and MSW from Michigan State University in Lansing. At MSU, Daniel completed qualitative dissertation research exploring how adventure therapy techniques have been utilized to prevent behavioral health disorders in young people. Before doing his PhD, Daniel worked as a clinical social worker at Morrison Child and Family Services in Portland, Oregon providing community and school-based mental health therapy to young people. Daniel is a co-founder of The Adventure Therapy Collective, an international collaboration of scholars and practitioners who work to increase access to experiential therapies that can be delivered outdoors.  Daniel currently volunteers on the board of the Association for Experiential Education’s Pacific Northwest Regional Council. 


Daniel’s scholarship encompasses an array of topics that include adventure therapy interventions, mental health literacy promotion, mental illness prevention, LGBTQ equity in higher education, and school-based mental health services. Daniel’s scholarship is facilitated through ongoing collaboration with international peers, colleagues, and students. Daniel is currently working within an international research collaboration called Knowledge to Children to develop youth-informed tools to measure mental health literacy levels in young people who participate in psychoeducational programming. Daniel also co-hosts the monthly Adventure Therapy Collective Podcast to disseminate knowledge about the growing field of adventure therapy services.


Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
  • PhD Social Work

Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

  • M.S.W. Clinical Social Work

Portland State University
Portland, OR

  • B.S. Psychology

Mott Community College
Flint, MI

  • A.A. General Education