The HBRT Team

Mary Marden Velasquez, Ph.D., Director of the HBRT Institute, has over 20 years of experience in clinical research and implementation studies.  Her specialty has been in the development and implementation of health behavior interventions  using the transtheoretical model (TTM) and motivational interviewing (MI). Dr. Velasquez’ federally funded behavioral health research has targeted alcohol and cocaine abuse, smoking, pregnancy and prenatal health, prenatal smoking, and HIV prevention and safer sexual practices. She has particular expertise in research using brief interventions in health care, substance abuse treatment, and criminal justice settings. She is lead author on the bestselling Group Treatment for Substance Abuse: A Stages-of-Change Therapy Manual, and has written numerous publications that focus on the efficacy of providing brief motivational interventions in high risk settings.

Kirk von Sternberg, Ph.D., is Associate Director of the HBRT Institute. Under his direction, the HBRT team has developed  a web-based application for expert coaching and feedback for ongoing training and supervision of practitioners. This web-based application provides a cost efficient method for providing training and coaching services throughout the state and beyond. Dr. von Sternberg has substantial experience in designing and implementing large clinical trials testing interventions based on the TTM and MI with at risk populations in special settings.  In addition to his research as co-investigator on current CDC and NIDA-funded studies, he is the primary data analyst on an NIAAA-funded study to examine potential mechanisms of action, including aspects of MI, through the analysis of intervention tapes from the Project Choices intervention.

Nanette Stephens, Ph.D., HBRT training director,  is a licensed clinical psychologist with two decades of experience integrating the TTM and MI in her work as a trainer, coach, supervisor, and consultant.   She has presented numerous TTM and MI training workshops and is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).  Dr. Stephens’ clinical work has included conducting psychological assessments, providing home-based therapy services to families with histories of domestic violence and/or child maltreatment, and providing individual, marital, and family psychotherapy in her private practice.