Anthony R. Pisani, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at University of Rochester. Dr. Pisani earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia. He completed internship training at the Minneapolis Children's Hospitals and Clinics, and postdoctoral fellowships in Primary Care Family Psychology and in Suicide Research at the University of Rochester. Dr. Pisani is a licensed psychologist and licensed marriage and family therapist.
Approach to Education and Consultation
Dr. Pisani provides frameworks and tools that clarify risk assessment and response, then get out of the way. His approach supports caring and capable clinicians in forming meaningful connections and supporting patients' needs, strengths, and preferences. Informed by real-world experiences in complex systems, Dr. Pisani works with health care systems, service agencies, military installations, and schools. A dynamic clinician and consultant, Dr. Pisani is known for his honesty in raising and addressing common dilemmas, demands, and frustrations that that often accompany the rewarding experience of supporting individuals at risk for suicide in their journey toward recovery.
Leadership in Suicide Prevention Education
Dr. Pisani is a leader in national efforts to improve clinician education in suicide prevention. Dr. Pisani serves on the National Action Alliance Task Force for Workforce Preparedness and leads a Curriculum Revision Task Force for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. His publications include an influential study examining the state of workshop education in the assessment and management of suicide risk (Pisani, Gould, & Cross, 2011) and an article documenting the development and efficacy of his own approach to workshop education (Pisani, Cross, & Watts, & Conner, 2012).
Additional biographic information is available here.
Suicide Prevention Research
Dr. Pisani conducts research to develop and test public health interventions that will reach young people in their natural environments using preferred modes of communication and interaction. He currently holds a career development award (K23) from the National Institute of Mental Health titled,"Mobile Phone Intervention to Reduce Youth Suicide in Rural Communities." Through this grant, he has developed a program that will introduce incoming 9th grade students to key resources and skills needed to respond to social-emotional challenges that will face in high school.
The program leverages the voices and wisdom of experienced high school students to put 9th grade students on a positive trajectory, and uses popular media such as text messaging and video to reach a broad array of students. This program builds on Dr. Pisani's previous work identifying risk and protective processes associated with adolescent help-seeking and reduce suicide attempts: help-seeking norms, emotion self-regulation skills and youth-adult communication. In this work, Dr. Pisani advocated for "option-rich" (OR) suicide prevention interventions that provide a high degree of customization and choice to youth participants. Dr. Pisani is currently collaborating with rural and semi-rural schools in New York State to pilot and test the efficacy of the intervention.
Pisani, AR, Wyman, PA Mohr, DC, Perrino, T, Gallo, C, Kendziora, K, Howe, G, Sloboda, Z & Brown CH (2016). Technology-enabled advances in prevention science: Opportunities and challenges in human subjects protection. Prevention Science. 17(6), 765-778.
Pisani, AR, Murrie, DC, Silverman, M (2016). Reformulating Risk Formulation: From Prediction to Prevention. Academic Psychiatry.
Petrova, M, Wyman PA, Schmeelk-Cone, K, & Pisani, AR. (2015). Positive-Themed Suicide Prevention Messages Delivered by Adolescent Peer Leaders: Proximal Impact on Classmates' Coping Attitudes and Perceptions of Adult Support. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior.
Cross WF, Pisani AR, Schmeelk-Cone K, Xia Y, Tu X, McMahon M, Munfakh JL, Gould MS. (2014) Measuring trainer fidelity in the transfer of suicide prevention training. Crisis. 35(3):202-12.
Gould, MS, Cross, W, Pisani, AR, Munfakh, JL, & Kleinman, M (2014). Impact of Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) on National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Counselor Interventions and Suicidal Caller Outcomes. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior.
Pisani, AR, Wyman, PA, Petrova, M, Schmeelk-Cone, K, Goldston, D, Xia, Yinglin, & Gould, MS. (2013) Emotion regulation difficulties, youth-adult relationships, and suicide attempts among high school students in underserved communities. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 42(6): 807-20.
Pisani, AR, Schmeelk-Cone, K, Gunzler, D, Petrova, M, Goldston, DB, Tu, X, & Wyman, P. (2012) Associations Between Suicidal High School Students' Help-Seeking and Their Attitudes and Perceptions of Social Environment. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Epub 2012 May 06.(2), 157–172.
Schmeelk-Cone, K., Pisani, AR, Petrova, M, & Wyman, PA. (2012). Three scales assessing high school students' attitudes and perceived norms about seeking adult help for distress and suicide concerns. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 42
Conner KR, Wood J, Pisani AR, & Kemp J. (2012) Evaluation of a suicide prevention training curriculum for substance abuse treatment providers based on Treatment Improvement Protocol Number 50. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Epub 2012 Mar 12.
Pisani, AR, Cross, WF, Watts, A, & Conner, KR. (2012). Evaluation of the “Commitment to Living” (CTL) Curriculum, a 3-hour Training to Address Suicide Risk. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 33(1), 30-38.
Pisani, AR, Cross, WF, & Gould, MS. (2011). The Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk: State of Workshop Education. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, 41 (3), 255-276.
Heisel MJ, Conwell Y, Pisani AR, & Duberstein PR. (2011) Concordance of self- and proxy-reported suicide ideation in depressed adults 50 years of age or older.Canadian journal of psychiatry Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 56(4), 219-226.
Garfunkel LC, Pisani AR, leRoux P, & Siegel DM. (2011). Educating residents in behavioral health care and collaboration: comparison of conventional and integrated training models. Academic medicine, 86(2):174-9.
Pisani, AR, LeRoux, P, & Siegel, DM. (2011). Educating Residents in Behavioral Health Care and Collaboration: Integrated Clinical Training of Pediatric Residents and Psychology Fellows. Academic Medicine, 86(2), 166-173.
Pisani, AR; Berry, SL; Goldfarb, M. (2005) A predoctoral field placement in primary care: Keeping it simple. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 2005; 36(2): 151-157.
Book Chapters, Letters, and Other
McDaniel, S. H., & Pisani, A. R. (2012). Family dynamics and caregiving for an individual with disabilities. In R. Talley, R. McCorkle & B. Walter (Eds.), Caregiving and disability. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Spagnola, M., Pisani, A.R., McDaniel, S.H. (2011). Family Systems Approaches to Adolescent Health and Illness. In Textbook of Adolescent Health care, M.M. Fisher, E. M. Alderman, R. E. Kreipe, & W. D. Rosenfeld (Eds.) Elk Grove, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 335-343.
Pisani, A. R., & McDaniel, S. H. (2005). An integrative approach to health and illness in family therapy. In J. LeBow (Ed.),Handbook of Clinical Family Therapy (pp. 569-590). New York: Wiley & Company.