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Suzanne Levy

Contact Information

Suzanne A. Levy


Director - ABFT Training Program

College of Nursing and Health Professions

Suzanne Levy, PhD, is an internationally renowned licensed clinical psychologist and training director of the ABFT Training Program at Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions. Levy is a co-developer of Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT). ABFT is a manualized, empirically informed and supported, family therapy model specifically designed to target family and individual processes associated with adolescent suicide and/or depression. Since 2007, Levy has been conducting ABFT training workshops and supervision for therapists nationally and internationally. She also over sees ABFT treatment in Drexel’s Center for Family Intervention Science’s clinical trials. Levy is a co-developer of the Behavioral Health Screen (BHS), a web-based tool for mental health and non-mental health settings. The BHS is in primary care, emergency rooms, schools and college health and mental health centers.

Along with her co-authors, Guy Diamond, PhD, and Gary Diamond, PhD, Levy has written the first book on ABFT, Attachment-Based Family Therapy for Depressed Adolescents, published by the American Psychological Association. For more information on the book, go to

Professional Society

American Psychological Association
Pennsylvania Psychological Association

Selected Publications

Bevans, K. B., Diamond, G., & Levy, S. (2012). Screening for adolescent’s internalizing symptoms in primary care: Item response theory analysis of the behavior health screen depression, anxiety, and suicidal risk scales. Journal of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, 33, 283-290. PMID: 22395125.

Diamond, G., Russon, J. & Levy, S. (2016), Attachment-Based Family Therapy: A Review of the Empirical Support. Family Process, 55(3), 595-610. doi:10.1111/famp.12241.

Ibrahim, M, Russon, J., Levy, S., & Diamond, G. (2018). Promoting parental acceptance of bisexuality: A case study of attachment-based family therapy. Journal of Family Psychotherapy. DOI: 10.1080/08975353.2018.1427401.

Diamond, G. S., Kobak, R., Ewing, S. K., Levy, S. A., Herres, J., Russon, J., Gallop, R. (2019). Attachment-Based Family and Non-Directive Supportive Treatments for Suicidal Youth: A Comparative Efficacy Trial.  Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58, 721-731.

Devacht, I., Bosmans, G., Dewulf, S., Levy, S., & Diamond, G. (2019) Attachment based family therapy in a psychiatric inpatient unit for young adults. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 40, 330-343.

Grant participation:

Completed Research Support
RO3DA012912-01A1 (Hussong) 11/01/00-08/31/03
Self-Medication and Adolescent Substance Use
The goal of this study was to examine how students in rural North Carolina adapt to the changes associated with high school, with an emphasis on factors associated both with positive adjustment and risk associated with substance involvement.
Role: Graduate Research Assistant

University Research Council Grant, (Hussong) 07/01/02-06/30/04
The High School Transition Study
This is supplemental funding to the RO3. The goal of this study was to examine how students in rural North Carolina adapt to the changes associated with high school, with an emphasis on factors associated both with positive adjustment and risk associated with substance involvement.
Role: Graduate Research Assistant

R34 MH71868-01 (Diamond) 09/04-07/08
Children of Depressed Parents: Family Based Prevention
Develop a family-based program for parents in treatment for depression in 3 community mental health centers.
Role: Therapist

SAP 4100027295 (Diamond) 06/01/05-05/31/09
Pennsylvania Department of Health
Primary Care Network for Adolescent Smoking Cessation
Randomized clinical trial of family-based treatment versus enhanced usual care for adolescents with depression and of motivational interviewing versus enhanced usual care for adolescents who smoke tobacco.
Role: Project Coordinator

1R01MH075787-01 (Leff) 6/01/07-4/30/12
Determining the Efficacy of a Relational Aggression Intervention for Urban African American Girls The major goals of this clinical trial are to compare the efficacy of a school-based anger management intervention as compared to a psychoeducational/homework intervention across six urban elementary schools.
Role: Therapist

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Diamond) 01/01/08-6/30/10
The goal of this study is to modify Attachment Based Family Therapy so that it addresses the unique needs of suicidal LGBTQ adolescents.
Role: Project Coordinator

Private Donation (Rychik) 07/08 – 12/09
Fetal Heart Program
Impact of prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease on psychological well-being.
Role: Project Coordinator

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Diamond) 01/01/08-6/30/11
The goal of this randomized clinical trial is to compare Attachment-Based Family Therapy to an Enhanced Usual Care model as an aftercare treatment for adolescents after a suicide attempt.
Role: Project Coordinator

1U79SM058386 (Peters) 09/09 – 08/12
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration State/Tribal Suicide Prevention
Suicide Prevention in Primary Care
Demonstration projected aimed at training primary care providers in suicide prevention, implementing standardized screening in primary care, integrating behavioral health services with primary care, and training behavioral health providers in empirically supported treatments for suicidal youth.
Role: Educator

RO1 MH091059(Diamond) 7/1/11-6/30/16
Attachment-based family therapy for youth with suicidal ideation.
A randomized clinical trial comparing ABFT to non-directive supportive therapy for treating youth with elevated suicide ideation and depression. The study integrates clinical and developmental psychology by using attachment research technology (Adult Attachment Interview, family interaction task) to test the
central tenets of ABFT: does the treatment change attachment models and behaviors and do these changes lead to reduced suicide ideation.
Role: ABFT Training Director and Diagnostic Supervisor

Research Interests

Youth suicide prevention, attachment-based family therapy, attachment-based milieu care

Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2007, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, PA

Predoctoral Internship, 2004, Friends Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

PhD in Clinical Psychology, 2004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

MA in Clinical Psychology, 2002, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

BS in Psychology with Honors, 1998, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA