Fred Piercy

Fred Piercy

Fred Piercy

Professor Emeritus of Human Development


303 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061





  • Qualitative Research and Evaluation
  • Mindfulness Practices and MFT
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Education
  • Family Therapy, Substance Abuse, and HIV
  • International Family Therapy

Professional Activities

  • Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Director of College Diversity Initiatives, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
  • Department Head, Department of Human Development, 2000-08
  • Editor, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 2012-2017


  • Ph.D. University of Florida
  • M.Ed. University of South Carolina
  • B.A. Wake Forest University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    AFTA Lifetime Achievement Award, American Family Therapy Academy, 2015

    Kathleen Briggs Outstanding Mentor Award, National Council on Family Relations, 2013

    Outstanding Dissertation Advisor in the Social Siences, Business, Education, and Humanities,  Virginia Tech, 2013

    Selected Publications

    Piercy, F., & Slesnick, N. (Equal authorship, with input from many others) (2019). Elements of family therapy for adolescent substance use disorders. Training manual published and supported by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, Vienna, Austria.

    Piercy, F. (in press). The future of systemic family therapy: What needs nurturing and what doesn’t. In K. Wampler, R. Miller, M. Rustogi, and R. Seedell (Eds.). Handbook of Systemic Family Therapy: Future Directions. New Jersey: Wiley Publishers.

    Piercy, F. (in press). Foreward. In K. Wampler, R. Miller, M. Rustogi, and R. Seedell (Eds.). Handbook of Systemic Family Therapy: Future Directions. New Jersey: Wiley Publishers.

    Karimi, H., Piercy, F., & Savla, J. (in press). A chronological map of common factors across three stages of relational therapy. F. Irtelli & E. Vincenti (Eds.) Family therapy: New interventions and researches. London, U.K.:


    Piercy, F. P., Sprenkle, D., Wetchler, J., & Associates. (1996). Family therapy sourcebook (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.

    Piercy, F. P., & Lobsenz, N. (1994). Stop marital fights before they start. New York: Berkley Books.

    Edited Books

    Sprenkle, D. & Piercy, F. (Eds.) (2005).  Research methods in family therapy. (2nd Edition): New York: Guilford.  (Reprinted in Korean by Hawoo Publishers in 2010.)


    Chen, R., Piercy, F. P., Miller, J. K, & Austin, J. P. (in press). Chinese and American individuals’ mate selection pressures: Self-focused vs. mated focused. Journal of Comparative Family Studies.

    Chen, R., Piercy, F. P., & Miller, J. K. (in press). A cross-cultural mate selection study of Chinese and U.S. men and women. Journal of Comparative Family Studies.

    Keskin, Y , Piercy, F . (2018). Motivational interviewing as a framework for a common factors approach in psychotherapy. Turkey Journal of Integrative Psychotherapy, 1(2), 46-73. Retrieved from

    D’Aniello, C., Piercy, F. P., Dolbin-MacNab, M., & Perkins, S. (2018). How clients of marriage and family therapists make decisions about therapy discontinuation and persistence, Contemporary Family Therapy, (), 1-11. doi:10.1007/s10591- 018-9469-7

    Piercy, F., Earl, R. M., Aldrich, R.,Nguyen, H.N., Steelman, S., Haugen, E., Riger, D.,Tsokayada, R., West, J., Keskin, Y., Gary, E. (2016). Most and least meaningful learning experiences in marriage and family therapy education. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 42(4), pp. 584–598 doi: 10.1111/jmft.12176  

    Chen, R., Piercy, F., Huang, W., Jaramillo-Sierra, A., Karimi, H., Chang, W. Palit, M., Martosudarmo, C., & Antonio, A. (2017). A cross-national study of therapists’ perceptions and experiences of dropout: A preliminary report. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/08975353.2017.1343067

    Johnson, J. & Piercy, F (2017). Exploring partner intimacy among couples raising children on the autism spectrum: A grounded theory investigation. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 43(4), 644-661. Doi:

    Jaramillo-Sierra, A.,  Piercy, F. P., Chen, R.,  Chang, W., Palit, M., Karimi, H., , Martosudarmo, C., & Antonio, A. (2015).  Couple and family therapists’ perceptions of women’s depression and preferred treatment modalities: A cross-national exploration.  Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 26(3), 226-242.  doi:10.1080/08975353.2015.1067534

    Gambrel L.E., Piercy F.P. (2014). Mindfulness-based relationship education for couples expecting their first child—part 1: A randomized mixed-methods program evaluation.  Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, doi: 10.1111/jmft.12066.

    Dattilio, F., Piercy, F., & Davis, S. (2014). The divide between “evidence-based” approaches and practitioners of traditional theories of family therapy.  Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40, 5-16, doi: 10.1111/jmft.12032

    Sponsored Research

    Brossoie, N., Farmer, L., Lawson, G., Piercy, F., and Welfare, L. (2015-2017).  SBIRT training for students in health professions in rural Southwest Virginia.   (My role: Technical advisor for curriculum development)  SAMHSA.  (Funded for $945, 000 over three years).

    Piercy, F. (2015-2017).  Two year extention contract from the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy for the Editorial Office of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.  (Funded for $132,000 over two years).