The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Elizabeth Strand, PhD

Elizabeth B. Strand, PhD, LCSW
Associate Clinical Professor and
Director, Veterinary Social Work


Dr. Elizabeth Strand is the Founding Director of Veterinary Social Work (VSW) and the “All Creatures Great and Small” Endowed Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee Colleges of Social Work and Veterinary Medicine. She is a licensed clinical social worker, experienced family therapist, Grief Recovery Specialist, and a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Teacher. She is also trained in interpersonal neurobiology and emotional brain training as well as Rule 31 mediation, Child and Adult Anicare animal abuse treatment, and holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work. Dr. Strand is also ordained as an interfaith minister. Her professional mission is to encourage the humane treatment of both people and animals and to care for those professionals who care for animals.


  • BA, The University of the South
  • MSSW, PhD, The University of Tennessee

Research Interests

  • The link between human and animal violence
  • Animal related grief and bereavement
  • Animal assisted interactions
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Animals in family systems
  • The scholarly and practice development of veterinary social work
  • Communication skills, conflict resolution, and stress management techniques in animal welfare environments.
  • Wellness among animal related professionals
  • The human side of animal welfare

Courses Taught:

  • Seminar in Veterinary Social Work (Social Work 567)
  • Clinical Correlations and Ethics (Veterinary Medicine 814)
  • Director of Veterinary Social Work Certificate Programs
  • Coordinate the Communication Skills Training Program for the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Field Instruction for the BSSW and MSSW programs in veterinary social work
  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
  • Techniques in Mediation



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The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System