Katy Dondanville, PsyD, ABPP Program Director
Brooke Fina, LCSW, BCD Director of Training
CONSULTANTS Abby Blankenship, PhD
Click here to learn more about the team!
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Tabatha Blount, PhD
John Moring, PhD
Cognitive Processing Therapy and Crisis Response Plan
Maritza Grau-Magat, LCSW Cognitive Processing Therapy in Spanish
Kristi Pruiksma, PhD Cognitive Processing Therapy and Cognitive
Brittany Hall-Clark, PhD
Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and Nightmares
Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy for
Casey Straud, PsyD, ABPP
Insomnia and Nightmares
Hunter Hansen, PsyD, LMFT
Hannah Tyler, PhD, ABPP
Cognitive Processing Therapy, Crisis Response Plan and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for
Vanessa Jacoby, PhD, ABPP
Insomnia and Nightmares
Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure
Crystal Mendoza, MA
Social Media and
Jenny Postich Project Coordinator
Vivian Lewicki William Price
Program Coordinator and
"Everybody that I have met through the Training Initiative has always been so caring and feel so genuine...they genuinely want me to be better and to learn."
Since 2017 the STRONG STAR Training Initiative (SSTI) has focused on increased access to evidence-based treatments (EBTs) for PTSD
JUL 2017 Launched in Texas to train
nationwide. Under the leadership of the University of Texas Health
providers across the state
Science Center at San Antonio (also known as UT Health San Antonio), SSTI extends cutting-edge research from the STRONG STAR Consortium in PTSD treatment for military personnel and veterans by providing competency-based training in EBTs to veteran-serving, licensed mental health providers.
FEB 2018 Expanded nationally and trained providers from 24 states
AUG 2018 Formed strategic
Training is conducted in the form of a Learning Community, ensuring clinicians have the education, support, and resources they need to become experts in providing PTSD treatment. SSTI focuses on two
partnerships with managed care stakeholders to increase access to EBTs for PTSD)
primary impacts: (1) increase clinician expertise in EBTs for PTSD, and (2) reduced suffering of individuals with PTSD treated by EBTs for PTSD by SSTI trained clinicians.
SEP 2019 Offered training in Crisis Response Plan (CRP) for
Our ultimate goal is to expand the workforce of licensed mental health providers trained in EBTs so that veterans and everyone in need have access to quality behavioral health care in their communities.
500 providers trained!
JAN 2020 Conducted first
We’ve grown exponentially as a training program since our inception thanks to the support of our funders and partner agencies. Their collaboration has granted us the opportunity to make a positive impact on the mental health of our nation’s heroes and the continuing education of the clinicians trained through our program. We invite you
large-scale project in organizational consultation
MAR 2020 Held first virtual training in response to the Coronavirus pandemic
to read more about our growth in the last 4-years, the exciting accomplishments we made in 2021 thanks to our generous funders, the Boeing Corporation, the Bob Woodruff Foundation-Qatar Harvey Fund, and the USAA Foundation.
SEP 2020 Offered training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - Insomnia & Nightmares (CBT-I&N)
JUL 2021 First SSTI article published
1000 providers trained!
DEC 2021 Hosted 48 Learning Communities to date
"I think the ability to treat trauma is extremely important in counseling, psychotherapy...it's imperative that we understand and know ways to do this."
SSTI is committed to providing educational opportunities in quality behavioral health care through our competency-based training model known as a Learning Community. Grant-funded, the SSTI trains any clinician who applies and qualifies for our training program, allowing us to support clinicians in a wide range of settings. Each year we train hundreds of veteran-serving mental
cognitive processing therapy (CPT) and prolonged exposure (PE) therapy. Trainings health providers in frontline PTSD treatments,
were held in-person in major cities including New York City, Seattle, Colorado Springs and Chicago. In response to the Coronavirus pandemic the SSTI successfully transitioned to virtual trainings.
Training Model Informed by evidence from learning collaborative training models, the SSTI model ensures competency-building by including preworkshop reading and webinars, a 2-day training workshop (virtual or in-person), follow-up weekly clinical case consultation support led by a team of expert consultants, an online resource center (Provider Portal) housing EBTs for PTSD implementation resources in assessment and treatment, demonstration videos, webinars, and more, organizational consultation on treatment adoption efforts, and continuing education credits.
Over the years, we observed that increasing overall access to quality behavioral health care in PTSD treatment requires multi-level engagement. Through this observation, we expanded our educational reach beyond clinical training in PE and CPT to include non-clinical providers, care navigators, students entering the field, and other stakeholders, plus clinical training in suicide prevention, insomnia treatment, and substance use.
Pre-workshop reading and webinars
Continuing Education Credits
Online Provider Portal
Weekly clinical case consultation
"It is such good quality training with really, really skilled trainers and clinicians. At a
price point that's actually affordable, and that whether you're in private practice or an agency, is someting that's really doable."
THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF NEED FOR PTSD TREATMENT.
The STRONG STAR Training Initiative CPT Learning Community has allowed me to help all of my patients, not just my
Our national reputation for providing access to high-
service members and veterans. The
quality training opportunities for veteran-serving
evidence-based results and success
providers has led organizations focused both on
data help me give my patients hope
veterans and other populations to seek out our
they can health from their trauma,
trainings in CPT and PE.
regardless of the type of severity. To support efforts beyond our funded veteranserving program mission, we have trained 474
clinicians, including those in Texas Rape Crisis Centers, for-profit and nonprofit behavioral healthcare organizations, Cohens Veterans
PTSD Symptom Change (PCL-5)
Networks, Homebase, Arkansas Building Effective Services for Trauma (ARBEST), and Stop Soldier
To date, we have trained over 1,500 providers and students, and supported over 500 organizations in 38 states across the country. Suicide.
SSTI includes the ability to capture de-identified patient outcomes to evaluate the impact training had on the lives of
Our data show that patients receiving treatment from SSTI providers experienced significant reductions in PTSD and depression severity. providers.
"By session 3 both of my PE clients report feeling 'free' and have noticed improvement within themselves."
Hours of expert clinical consultation in EBTs for PTSD.
Providers trained in 38 states across the nation and countries outside the U.S. (England, Colombia, and Canada). Click here to view our STRONG STAR Provider Network!
"I like that I'm having this experience with people that are from all over the nation, and community care, and nonprofit agencies, and private practices."
Veterans and military
Civilians with PTSD
Veterans and military
personnel with PTSD were educated about EBTs.
were educated about EBTs.
personnel with PTSD initiated EBT.
Civilians with PTSD initiated EBT.
Veterans, military personnel, and civilians have been educated and/or initiated EBTs for PTSD since 2017.
"Veterans want to get their symptoms under control...they want to be able to go to work, they want to be present in their families, they want to be able to go to graduations, and music concerts...These therapies actually allow people to figure out that they can, in fact, do these things."
As part of our commitment to education in quality behavioral health care, we introduced a webinar series
focused on special topics related to EBTs for PTSD. Webinars included "Treating Traumatic Loss Related to PTSD Through PE and CPT in Military Service Members and Veterans," "Domestic Violence 101 and Considerations for EBTs for PTSD" presented by the Genesis Women's Shelter & Support in observance of
Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, and a Spanish-language webinar, "Tratamientos basados en la evidencia y la población hispana (Evidence-Based Treatments and the Hispanic Population)."
we hosted over 8 webinars with over 500 providers attending.
PROVIDER PORTAL At the end of summer 2021 we launched a redesign of our Provider Portal. We partnered with a user experience (UX) and user interface design (UI) expert who gathered input from current SSTI clinicians and the team to inform the redesign and improve the experience of providers in our network. New changes and updates include efficient navigation and organization, embedded psychotherapy note templates and session checklists, and a client symptom monitoring graph.
Watch our past webinars and learn more about the Provider Portal here: STRONG STAR Training Initiative (vimeo.com)
"They are giving constant learning opportunities, to me it feels like there's a never-ending stream of knowledge."
GRANT AWARDS We are excited to share we were awarded grant funding from the
Bob Woodruff Foundation and the
Boeing Corporation in support of our 2022 Learning Communities in CPT and PE. The Boeing Corporation announced their grant award at the STRONG STAR Consortium's 6th Annual San Antonio Combat PTSD Conference.
Click the photo below to watch the grant award video! The services provided by the STRONG STAR Training Initiative is a shining example of the support that is so necessary to our veterans. These services will take giant steps in addressing the physical and mental health needs of our local veterans.
Jay Galloway San Antonio Site Leader Boeing Global Services
ARTICLES PUBLISHED We published three papers in scientific journals to advance the field's understanding of competency-based training. Our publications examined findings from our training program on education and initiation rates of PTSD treatment, virtual training in EBTs for PTSD, and our first evaluation of our training program.
article below to read the full article.
"The STRONG STAR Training Initiative is giving the opportunity; it's giving the experience and the knowledge that is needed to grow the field."