Nancy G. Calleja

Department Chair
Professor of Counseling
Director of Addiction Counseling

Nancy Calleja
Contact Info:
Campus: McNichols Campus
Building: Reno Hall
Room: 234
Phone: 313-578-0436
Nancy Calleja
Areas of Expertise:
Child Abuse and Neglect
Children and Family
Ethical and Legal Issues in Counseling
Domestic Violence
Juvenile Justice
Juvenile Sex Offenders


  • Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, Wayne State University
  • M.A. in Counseling, Wayne State University
  • LPC Licensed Professional Counselor


Nancy G. Calleja (formerly Calley), Ph.D., LPC is Professor and Chair of the Department of Counseling and Addiction Studies at  University of Detroit Mercy.  Calleja teaches advanced issues in addiction counseling, program development and evaluation, diagnosis and treatment planning, critical issues in counseling, legal issues, and consultation. 

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 more than three decades in the non-profit human services, and continues to do so. 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. Calleja consults nationally with governmental and non-profit organizations on business planning, program development and program evaluation. She has been awarded more than $6.2M for her research.  

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 Facilitator's Manual and Youth Workbook were published in Fall, 2015.  For more information about the Forward-Focused Model, go to  

Calleja joined the University in 2002.


    Current Research & Professional Projects

    • Trauma-informed environments and trauma-focused clinical interventions for court-involved individuals
    • Specialized trraining and preparation of counselors in the treatment of high risk individuals
    • Substance addiction treatment
    • Addiction education and training for primary health and behavioral health professionals  
    • Organizational restructuring and business planning
    • Development, implementation and long-term outcomes evaluation of a targeted reentry program for juvenile offenders
    • Disproportionate psychotropic medication prescriptions among court-involved adolescents
    • Social justice and ethical issues related to system-involved youth and families
    • Long-term life outcomes of court-involved adolescents

    Externally-Funded Research (last 5 years):

    Calleja, N. G. (2019). Principal Investigator. Addressing the Needs of Child Welfare's Most Vulnerable Population: Trauma Treatment for Adolescent Females in Shelter Care. $132,000.00 Ethel and James Flinn Foundation.

    Calleja, N. G. (2017-2021). Principal Investigator/Project Director. Counseling Underserved Populations:  The CUSP Project. Health Resources and Services Administration. $931,358.

    Groh, C. J. and Calleja, N. G. (2018-2021).  Co-Principal Investigator (PI Groh).  Expanding integrated healthcare in a nurse-run public health clinic.  Health Resources and Services Administration.  $990,000.  

    Calleja, N. G. (2018-2019).  Principal Investigator. Healing Trauma among Court-Involved Adolescents.Ethel and James Flinn Foundation. $116,00.

    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.  $1,500,000 

    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 


    Recent Publications (last 5 years):

    Calleja, N. G. (in press). Assessing and treating trauma in detained adolescent offenders: An effectiveness evaluation. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma.

    Calleja, N. G. (in press). An investigation into the impact of functional impairment and risk level on adolescent recidivism. Journal of Applied Juvenile Justice Services.

    Calleja, N. G., Rodems, E., Groh, C. J., Baiardi, J. M., Loewen, J., & Kaiser, R. J. (2019). Differences in substance use-related attitudes and beliefs across behavioral and primary health trainees, gender, race, and ethnicity: A screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) training investigation.  Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly. doi: 10.1080/07347324.2019.1604107

    Calleja, N. G. (2019).  Translating research into practice:  Designing effective reentry strategies for adolescent offenders.  Aggression and Violent Behavior, 44, 18-23.

    Calleja, N. G. & Dadah, A. M. (2018).  Addressing faulty prescribing practices of psychotropic medication among court-involved children and adolescents. The Family Journal, 1-8.  Doi:  10.177/1066480717752899Sex.

    Tellier, S. & Calleja, N. G. (2017).  Renegotiating sexual identity after disability. AdultSpan, 16(1), 47-59.  Doi:  10.1002/adsp. 12033.

    Calleja, N. G., Dadah, A. M., Fisher, J., & Fernandez, M. (2016).  Reducing juvenile recidivism through specialized reentry services. Journal of Juvenile Justice.  

    Calleja, N. G. (2016).  Deconstructing a puzzling relationship:  Sex offender legislation and the crimes that inspired it and sustained moral panic. Justice Policy Journal, 13(1), 1-17. 

    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 Publications, Inc.