Lisa Townsend, LCSW, PhD

Dr Townsend is holding one of her older Chinese Cresteds.  Dr. Townsend is smiling and wearing a blue shirt.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Clinical and Research Associate
(804) 827-7297

Dr. Townsend developed a love of animals early in her childhood, sharing her life with horses and dogs.  She is a Dialectical Behavior therapist who specializes in work with youth and young adults who struggle with chronic suicidal ideation and self-injury. Her research interests include animal-assisted interventions, improving access to evidence-based mental health care, and One Health-based human and animal welfare services.  She collaborates on many CHAI research projects evaluating the mental health benefits of human-animal interaction and is currently leading a study of the effects of animal-assisted interventions on inflammatory cytokine profiles in pediatric patients.  Dr. Townsend is the loving parent and dedicated caregiver of two Chinese Crested dogs, Minnie and Roo.