Nancy G. Calleja

Nancy G. Calleja

Professor of Counseling
Department Chair
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:
Substance Use Assessment and Treatment
Trauma-Related Assessment & Treatment
Juvenile Justice; Adolescent Sex Offender Assessment & Treatment


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


Nancy G. Calleja is Professor and Chair of the Department of Counseling and Addiction Studies at the University. Calleja teaches advanced issues in addiction counseling, program development and evaluation, diagnosis and treatment planning, critical issues in counseling, legal issues and consultation.  Calleja received her doctorate in Counseling from Wayne State University in 2001 and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

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 marginalized adults and youth with substance use and serious mental health disorders. 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 work has been widely recognized and supported by nineteen (19) federal and foundation grants and contracts totalling more than $8,000,000.  She has more than forty (40) scholarly publications including twenty-nine (29) journal articles.

In addition to her text on comprehensive clinical program development and evaluation, Calleja's treatment model for juvenile offenders, The Forward-Focused Model: Developmentally-Informed Treatment for Adolescent Offenders and two supplemental texts: the Forward-Focused Model Facilitator's Manual and Youth Workbook, were published.  More information is available at  

Calleja is currently at work on the 2nd edition of her text, Program Development in the 21st Century with a publication date of Fall, 2023.

She 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. Calleja received the 2019-2020 Faculty Excellence Award, recognized for excellence as a scholar at University of Detroit Mercy. She joined the University in 2002.


    Current Research & Professional Projects

    • Trauma-informed environments and trauma-focused clinical interventions for court-involved individuals
    • Treating individuals with complex needs
    • Substance addiction assessment and 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. (2022 - 2023).  Principal Investigator/Project Director.  Addressing the Complex Needs of Vulnerable Adults through the Delivery of Evidence-Based Treatment and Integrated Health Screening and Care Coordination.             $200,000.  Ethel and James Flinn Foundation.  

    Calleja, N. G. (2020).  Principal Investigator/Project Director.  Practice Education: Specialized Addiction Training for Primary Health Professionals.  $200,000.  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 

    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. 

    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 



    Recent Publications (last 5 years):

    Calleja, N. G. (2022).  Developmentally-informed treatment for adolescent sex offenders:  An effectiveness evaluation of the Forward-Focused Model.  Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.  DOI: 10.1080/10509674.2021.2018379

    Calleja, N. G. (2020). Assessing and treating trauma in detained adolescents: A pre-post within subjects evaluation. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29(2).

    Calleja, N. G. (2019). 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, 1-12.  

    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.