Nancy G. Calleja, Ph.D., LPC

Nancy G. Calleja (formerly Calley), Ph.D., LPC is Professor and Chair of the Department of Counseling and Addiction Studies at the University of Detroit Mercy.  Dr. Calleja teaches consultation, introduction to addiction counseling, program development and evaluation in counseling, and assessment and treatment of mental health disorders. 

Dr. Calleja's work has focused on marginalized individuals in the juvenile justice, child welfare, and public mental health systems. She has worked as a clinician, clinical supervisor and administrator for almost three decades in the non-profit human services, and continues to do so. Dr. Calleja has developed several comprehensive treatment programs for youth and adults involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems, as well as for individuals with serious mental health and substance abuse issues. She specializes in the clinical treatment of juvenile offenders, including juveniles with sexual behavior problems. Dr. Calleja consults nationally with governmental and non-profit organizations on business planning, program development and program evaluation. She has been awarded more than $4.2M for her research.  

Dr. Calleja is the Principal Investigator and Project Director of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) project funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration--a federal initiative aimed at providing enhanced training to behavioral health professionals and training primary health professionals in assessment and screening for substance abuse.

Dr. Calleja's treatment model for juvenile offenders, The Forward-Focused Model:  Developmentally-Informed Treatment for Adolescent Offenders was published in December, 2014 by Safer Society Press and the two supplemental texts:  the Forward-Focused Model Facitlitator's Manual and Youth Workbook will be published in Fall, 2015.  For more information about the Forward-Focused Model, go to:  

In addition, Dr. Calleja is currently working to expand the professional counseling workforce specializing in the treatment of high- and at-risk adolescents and young adults.  She is the Project Director of the Working with At Risk Adolescents (WARY) Fellowship program, a three year federally-funded project provides advanced training and clinical practice preparation for Master's level counseling students wishing to pursue careers with adolescents with complex needs.  Finally, Dr. Calleja is currently working to implement targeted trauma-focused treatment to court-involved adolescents in Wayne county. The two-year program funded by the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation will allow for the implementation and evaluation of an evidence-based trauma treatment program that is being implemented in partnership with Spectrum Child and Family Services.

Dr. Calleja joined the University in 2002 and is a member of the Michigan Child Welfare Health Advisory Committee, past chair of the Licensure Committee, Michigan Counseling Association, past chair of the Ethics Committee, Michigan Counseling Association, and past president of the Michigan Association of Counselor Educators and Supervisors.

Current Research Projects:

  • Addiction education and training for primary health and behavioral health professionals  
  • Specialized training of counselors in the treatment of adolescents and young adults with complex needs
  • Implementation and evaluation of trauma-based treatment to court-involved adolescents and their families
  • Organizational restructuring and realignment to promote effectiveness and efficiency
  • Development, implementation and long-term outcomes evaluation of a targeted re-entry program for juvenile offenders
  • Disproportionate psychotropic medication prescriptions among foster children
  • Social justice and ethical issues related to system-involved youth and families
  • Long-term life outcomes of court-involved adolescents

Externally-Funded Research:

Calleja, N. G. (2015-18).  Principal Investigator and Project Director. Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for Individuals with Substance Abuse Disorders.  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  $780,000.

Calleja, N. G. (2014-17).  Project Director.  Expanding the Professional Counseling Workforce to Treat Adolescents and Young Adults with Complex Needs.  Health Resources and Services Administration.  $703,000. 

Calleja, N. G. (2014-16).  Evaluator.  Implementing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Treatment with Court-Involved Youth.  The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation.  $190,000. 

Calleja, N. G. (2013-15).  Project Director/Consultant.  Organizational restructuring and staffing realignment. Department of Juvenile Justice, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of Juvenile Justice.   Contracted work.

Calleja, N. G. (2013-14). Project Director. Creating Zero Tolerance for Prison Rape in Juvenile Detention Facilities:  Prison Rape Elimination Act Compliance Project. National Council on Crime and Delinquency.  $100,000.

Fisher, J. & Calley, N. G. (2011-2017).  Research Director/Evaluator.  2nd Chance Juvenile Offender Re-Entry Program.  Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  $1,500, 

Calley, N. G. (2010-2013).  Project Director.  Re-Design and Implementation of the Adolescent Sexual Behavior Treatment Program.  Department of Juvenile Justice, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  $267,000 

Calley, N. G. & McDougall, M. P. (2012).   Evaluator. Elder Abuse Education ProjectWayne County Medical Society Foundation. $10,000.

Calley, N. G. (2008).  Principal Investigator/Project Director.  Juvenile Sex Offender Residential Treatment Program and Capacity-Building Project.  Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  $547,000.

Calley, N. G. & McDougall, M. P. (2008).  Improving Access to Medicaid:  Public Awareness Campaign. State of Michigan.   $10,000. 

Calley, N. G. (2006).  Principal Investigator/Project Director. Comprehensive Sex Offender Management:  Analysis & Program Implementation.  US Bureau of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.      $250,000.

Recent Publications:

Duryea, D. G., Calleja, N. G., McDonald, D. (2015).  Non-medical use of prescription drugs by college students with minority sexual orientations.  Journal of College Psychotherapy.

Calleja, N. G.  (2015).  Juvenile sexual and non-sexual offenders:  A comparison of recidivism and risk.  Journal of Addiction and Offender Counseling.

Calleja, N. G. (2014).  Integrating research into practice: The Forward-Focused Model of adolescent sexual behavior treatment. Aggression and Violent Behavior.

Duryea, D. G. & Calleja, N. G. (2013).  Current expectations and existing deficits among addiction counselors:  Addressing the gap.  Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly.  

Calleja, N. G. (2013).  Applied ethics in community practice.  In J. Gregoire & C. Jungers (Eds.) Counseling ethics:  A journey of personal and professional discovery.   Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pubications, Inc.

Alavi, Z., & Calleja, N. G. (2012).  Psychotropic medication in the child welfare system:  Uses, consequences, and proposed solutions.  Child Welfare, 91, 77-94.

Calley, N. G. (2012).  Juvenile offender recidivism:  An examination of risk.  Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 21, 257-272.

Calley, N. G. (2011). Clinical prediction-making:  Examining influential factors related to clinician prediction making of recidivism among juvenile offenders.   The Journal of Addiction and Offender Counseling, 32, 2-15.

Calley, N. G., Pickover, S., Bennett-Garraway, J. M., Hendry, S. J., & Garraway, M. (2011). Integrating social justice across the curriculum:  The Jesuit mission and counselor education. The Journal of Catholic Higher Education, 289-308. 

Calley, N. G. (2011).  Program development in the 21st century:  An evidence-based approach to design, implementation, and evaluation.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage.

Calley, N. G. & Hawley, L. D.  (2010).  Increasing self-empowerment related to depression among court-involved youth:  The Moods Matter project.  Michigan Journal of Counseling:  Research, Theory, and Practice, 37, 18-30.