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Our Faculty and Affiliates

Abby Blankenship, PhD

Dr. Abby Blankenship is a Research Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Blankenship has specialty training in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Currently, Dr. Blankenship works with the Institute for Military and Veteran Family Wellness  at UT Austin. Her research focuses on collaborating with stakeholders to develop research and improve programming for active duty service members, veterans, and their family.

Dr. Abby Blankenship

Tabatha Blount, PhD

Dr. Tabatha Blount is an Associate Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UT Health San Antonio and a Licensed Psychologist. Dr. Blount specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT) for PTSD, Prolonged Exposure (PE), and COPE for dual diagnosis PTSD and Alcohol Abuse. Additionally, she has training in cognitive behavioral therapies for chronic pain. Since 2010, she has served as a research therapist for The STRONG STAR Consortium and The Consortium to alleviate PTSD studies examining PTSD treatments in post-911 active duty service members and veterans.  Her professional interests include PTSD, chronic pain, family-based, and behavioral treatments for tic disorders.

Dr. Tabatha Blount

Maritza Grau-Magat, LCSW

Maritza Grau-Magat, LCSW is CPT consultant with the STRONG STAR Training Initiative. She is the Evidence Based Psychotherapist Coordinator and Team Leader at the VA Loma Linda Healthcare System – Suicide Prevention High Risk Therapists Program. Previously she worked as the Tele Mental Health Coordinator in the PCT Clinic in VA Puerto Rico. She received her MSW from Barry University and completed internships in The Broward County Mobile Crisis Unit and Child Care Connections in Florida. She is a former Director of Social Work at the State Psychiatric Hospital in PR and is a former President and Vice President of NASW, PR Chapter. In addition, she held a private practice for seven years, and was the Family and Community Specialist for Region IIB for Head Start where she trained supervisors and provided technical assistance to staff in Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and throughout the United States. She has been a Regional CPT Provider, Trainer and Consultant since 2007 and has hundreds of successful CPT cases. Throughout her 30+ years as a social worker, she has worked in different states and very opposite scenarios that range from serving the medically indigent to working with inmates to advocating in Washington DC for Mental Health and Head Start Program.

Hunter Hansen, PsyD, LMFT

Dr. Hunter Hansen is an Adjunct Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice. Dr. Hansen specializes in Prolonged Exposure (PE) for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has provided clinical services for several clinical research studies at the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD. In addition, Dr. Hansen has extensive training in cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain management and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Dr. Hansen’s professional interests include treatment of PTSD, chronic pain, family-based therapies, depression, and anxiety.

Dr. Hunter Hansen

Vanessa M. Jacoby, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Vanessa M. Jacoby is an Associate Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and Board Certified in Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology. Dr. Jacoby is the program director for the Strong Families Support and Prevention Program on Ft. Hood, which provides evidence-based PTSD treatment to military parents with a focus on improving whole family relationships. Her research interests are in the developmental trajectory and improvement of treatments for PTSD and other trauma-related disorders. She specializes in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD and Prolonged Exposure (PE) for PTSD. Additionally, Dr. Jacoby has worked with trauma-exposed children and whole families utilizing Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT).

Dr. Vanessa Jacoby

Elisa M Medellin, LPC

Elisa M Medellin, LPC, is the Practice Manager of the Transitional Care Clinic, a community mental health clinic within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. Ms. Medellin is also a practicing clinician, specializing in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for the treatment of PTSD.  She had provided clinical services for clinic research at the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD, as well in a clinic setting. Ms. Medellin interests include PTSD treatment, including CPT, Prolonged Exposure and Written Exposure Therapy.

Elisa M Medellin

John Moring, PhD, ABPP

Dr. John Moring is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio, a licensed psychologist, and board certified in the Behavioral and Cognitive specialty by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Moring completed his doctoral degree at the University of Wyoming and his clinical internship at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and San Diego VA. He completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with STRONG STAR, and provided evidence-based psychotherapies for combat-related trauma and other military-related health conditions. He is Cognitive Behavioral Track Coordinator for the APA-Accredited Internship in Clinical Psychology at UT Health San Antonio and specializes in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for PTSD and provides Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for post-traumatic headache, Written Exposure Therapy (WET) for PTSD, and Crisis Response Plan (CRP) for suicidality. Currently, his research focuses on the neurobiological properties related to tinnitus and PTSD.

Dr. John Moring

Kris Morris, PhD

Dr. Kris Morris is a Clinical Psychologist who has a Private Practice in Washington, DC. Dr. Morris became a Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) provider in 2006, during her internship at the National Center of PTSD in White River Junction, Vermont. Dr. Morris became a National CPT Trainer in 2010 during her time as a psychologist in Trauma Services at the Washington DC VA Medical Center. She is also the Site Principal Investigator for a Department of Defense, grant funded, Randomized Control Trial evaluating the effectiveness of Massed CPT. Her office is located in the heart of Dupont Circle.

Kris Morris

Melissa Peskin, PhD

Dr. Melissa Peskin is a clinical assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and an assistant attending psychologist at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Peskin completed her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University and received a M.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Dublin, Trinity College. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received training in the evidence-based assessment and treatment of trauma-related disorders. Dr. Peskin completed her clinical internship in the Trauma Recovery Center Division at the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where she provided Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, and Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy to service members. Dr. Peskin spent 9 years on the faculty at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she conducted research on developing and improving the effectiveness of treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), served as treating psychologist on clinical research studies for individuals with PTSD, and developed a trauma rotation for psychiatry residents, postdoctoral fellows, and social workers to provide training in trauma-focused treatments.

Melissa Peskin

Kristi E. Pruiksma, PhD

Dr. Kristi E. Pruiksma is an Associate Professor and licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Her clinical and research work focuses on evidence-based treatments for insomnia, nightmares, and PTSD. Her role includes supporting randomized clinical trials conducted by the STRONG STAR Research Consortium which focuses on evaluating treatment of combat-related (PTSD) and related conditions in active-duty military personnel and recently discharged veterans. Projects have included trials examining Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD (CPT); Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia (CBT-I); and Exposure, Relaxation, and Rescripting Therapy (ERRT). She is also a co-developer of web-based provider trainings for CBT for insomnia ( and for nightmares ( – coming soon!).

Mark Sasvary, PhD, LCSW

Dr. Mark Sasvary is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the UT Health San Antonio and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Dr. Sasvary is Chief Clinical Officer of Coordinated Behavioral Health Services which is an independent practice association comprised of 25 member agencies providing community behavioral health services in the Hudson Valley region of New York. Dr. Sasvary received his PhD in 2021 and his dissertation focused on evidence-based practices for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder for people with severe mental illness on Medicaid and receiving services in community mental health centers. Dr. Sasvary specializes in Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD and Exposure and Ritual Prevention for OCD. Dr. Sasvary has also worked with the STRONG STAR Consortium to coordinate training and provide clinical consultation.

Bailee Schuhmann, PhD

Dr. Bailee Schuhmann is a postdoctoral fellow with the STRONG STAR Training Initiative. Dr. Schuhmann received her degree in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. She completed her clinical internship at UT Health Science Center at San Antonio at STRONG STAR and the Transitional Care Clinic, where she provided evidence-based treatment for PTSD including Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). Her professional interests include posttraumatic stress disorder and resilience in first responder and military populations as well as improving access to quality, evidence-based treatment.

Casey Straud, PsyD, ABPP

Dr. Casey Straud is a board certified clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. He also holds a joint appointment within the Department of Psychology at University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Straud is a cognitive behavior therapist and specializes in treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder. He has training and experience providing Prolonged Exposure, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Written Exposure Therapy for PTSD; and COPE for dual diagnosis. Dr. Straud’s professional interests include augmentation of evidence-based PTSD treatments to improve outcomes and the identification of biopsychosocial factors that impact treatment.

Casey Straud

Charity Truong, PsyD

Dr. Charity Truong is a Cognitive Processing Therapy Trainer and Consultant. She currently works as Director of Training and Continuing Education for Stress and Anxiety Service of NJ (SAS of NJ.) SAS of NJ is a specialized group practice that provides empirically supported treatments for PTSD, OCD, and anxiety disorders. In the past she served as a supervisor and instructor for doctoral students at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology and was presented the Supervisor of the Year award in 2017. She is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist who has focused on the dissemination and use of empirically supported practices throughout her career. Her past experiences also include serving as the Chief of an Embedded Behavioral Health Clinic at Ft. Hood and Lead Psychologist at the Rutgers Counseling Center. Prior to this, she was as the Chief of Psychology at the Fort Hood, TX site for the STRONG STAR PTSD Research Consortium. Dr. Truong has published research focusing on dissemination of empirically supported treatments for PTSD and OCD. This includes the first outcome study examining the use of CPT in a University Counseling Center. She is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences.

Hannah Tyler, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Hannah Tyler is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. Dr. Tyler is a licensed psychologist and is board certified in cognitive and behavioral psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. She has extensive experience providing trauma treatment for active-duty service members, veterans, and civilian community members. Her research interests include the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based psychological trauma treatments, suicide prevention, and military psychology. Dr. Tyler’s expertise involves providing treatment and clinical consultation in Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and Nightmares (CBT-I&N), Written Exposure Therapy (WET), and Crisis Response Planning for Suicide Prevention.

Hannah Tyler
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