Jody Russon

Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Drexel University
M.A.,Towson University
B.A., University of Delaware

  • Approved Supervisor, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Board Approved Supervisor for LMFTs and LPCs, Virginia
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Virginia & Pennsylvania
  • Certified Supervisor & Trainer, Attachment-Based Family Therapy
  • Instructor, Person-of-the-Therapist

About Jody:

Dr. Russon is a translational scientist, family therapist, and suicidologist focused on relational interventions and prevention strategies for youth suicide and associated mental health concerns. Her current trajectory of research at Virginia Tech is focused on the adaptation, dissemination, and implementation (AD&I) of relational suicide interventions and prevention strategies. AD&I research examines how empirically-supported approaches can be modified to best fit within the ecologies of diverse community settings and with their associated constituent groups (e.g., patients, caregivers, providers, and administrators). As such, the tenants of community-engaged research (CEnR) are foundational to Dr. Russon’s research philosophy and also shape her overarching approach to discovery, learning, engagement, and service. To build her CEnR network, Dr. Russon established the transdisciplinary research initiative, the Alliance for Suicide Prevention and Intervention through Relationship Enrichment (ASPIRE). She has two, overlapping areas of research that are carried out through ASPIRE:

  • Clinical Research with Youth and Families. Dr, Russon’s primary area of research involves adapting and testing empirically-supported, family-based suicide models, as well as discovering the best methods for disseminating these models to the organizations who serve youth with suicidal thoughts and behavior.
  • Systems Research with Organizations. To further her clinical research, Dr. Russon is also developing a secondary research area to understand and support the prevention needs of health and educational organizations in which those with suicidal ideation and behavior are embedded. To prevent suicide, Dr. Russon promotes systemic changes within the unique ecologies of these organizations by collaboratively examining help-seeking, service utilization, and the effectiveness of programmatic screening and referral.

To support these research efforts, Dr. Russon has received both federal (National Institutes of Health) and foundation (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) funding for community-engaged, mixed methods research (MMR).

Dr. Russon’s philosophy of teaching, advising, and clinical supervision is consistent with her CEnR identity. To effectively join with constituents, CEnR requires service professionals to be self-reflective and collaborative. Dr. Russon, therefore, relies on learning strategies that facilitate student engagement, reflexivity, active discussion, and leadership. Her teaching has been focused on graduate methods as well as undergraduate and graduate clinical courses. As Dr. Russon regularly employs MMR designs through ASPIRE, she has developed and currently teaches a doctoral-level course to train students to conduct MMR in the health and social sciences, with a particular focus on engaging community stakeholders. Dr. Russon is an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor and a Person-of-the-Therapist (POTT; Aponte & Kissil, 2016) instructor. She is also a certified trainer and supervisor in attachment-based family therapy (ABFT; Diamond, Diamond, & Levy, 2014) and has received advanced clinical training in emotionally focused therapy for couples (EFT; Johnson, 1996, 2019).

Selected Publications:

Manasse, S. M., Russon, J., Lampe, E. W., *King, A., Abber, S. R., Trainor, C., Gillikin, L., Levy, S. & Diamond, G.S. (2023). Attachment-based family therapy to improve family functioning in adolescent binge-spectrum eating disorders: An initial evaluation via case series design. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Advance online publication.

Russon, J., *Bland, K., Kryda, K., Haak, T., Ravi-Caldwell, N., *Codecá, L., Darby, B., Bissett, C., Murphy, J., & Hungerford, L. (2023). Career Stage differences in mental health symptom burden and help seeking among veterinarians during COVID-19. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 261(6), 898-906.

Russon, J., Allen, K., Few-Demo, A., Case-Pease, J. (2022). Using critical family theorizing and intersectional feminist praxis to navigate reflexive conversations on race and power in academic settings. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 14(3), 537-560.

Frey, L., Hunt, Q., Russon, J., & Diamond, G. (2022). Review of family-based treatments from 2010 to 2019 for suicidal ideation and behavior. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 48(1), 154-177.

Russon, J., Morrissey, J., *Dellinger, J., Jin, B. & Diamond, G. (2022). Implementing attachment-based family therapy for depressed and suicidal adolescents and young adults in LGBTQ+ services: Feasibility, acceptability and preliminary effectiveness. The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 43(6), 500-507. 

Russon, J., *Smithee, L., *Simpson, S., Levy, S., & Diamond, G. (2022). Demonstrating attachment-based family therapy for transgender and gender diverse youth with suicidal thoughts and behavior: A case study. Family Process, 61(1), 230-245.

Levy, S., Scott, S., Russon, J., & Diamond, G. (2021). Attachment-based family therapy in the age of telehealth and COVID-19. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 47(2), 440-454. 

Russon, J., Washington, R., Machado, A., *Smithee, L., & *Dellinger, J. (2021). Suicide among LGBTQIA+ Youth: review of the treatment literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 64.

Russon, J., Mensinger, J., Herres, J., Shearer, A., Vaughan, K., Wang, S. B., & Diamond, G. S. (2019). Identifying risk factors for disordered eating among female youth in primary care. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 50(5), 727-737.

Diamond, G.S., Kobak, R., Krauthamer Ewing, E.S., Levy, S.A., Herres, J., Russon, J., & Gallop, R. (2019). A randomized controlled trial: Attachment-based family and nondirective supportive treatments for youth who are suicidal. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(7), 721-731.