Presented at the Indiana Attorney General’s Drug Abuse Symposium on October 30, 2018.
Presentation SlidesOverlooked Risks of Benzodiazepine Use
Catherine M. Pittman, Ph.D., HSPP, is a licensed clinical psychologist, and psychology professor at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. As a practicing clinical psychologist for over 25 years, she most frequently provides therapy to those coping with depression and anxiety-based disorders, including OCD and PTSD. She also is experienced in neuropsychological rehabilitation with individuals who have experienced brain injuries or strokes. Dr. Pittman has conducted research in both fear conditioning and neuropsychology, preparing her well to understand both human and animal models elucidating the neurology of fear and anxiety. Her research has also explored the detrimental effects of benzodiazepines in treatment of anxiety and other disorders. Along with Elizabeth Karle, Dr. Pittman authored Rewire Your Anxious Brain, a book recognized for its clear explanation of how to change both the amygdala and cortex in order to make the brain more resistant to anxiety.
Dr. Pittman practices neurologically informed evidence-based psychotherapy, which focuses on understanding how the natural processes of the brain and body can be changed in order to improve one’s life. After 25 years of experience in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Neuropsychology, Dr. Pittman has acquired a substantial amount of knowledge about how to help people change their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Her understanding of the complexity of the neurological underpinnings of fear and anxiety make her uniquely qualified to provide clear, understandable explanations of the neuroscience of anxiety. A central goal in her therapy is to help individuals understand what needs to be changed in the brain to help them accomplish the goals they pursue. She is continually amazed by the fact that the brain is capable of tremendous growth, change, and healing, no matter what the person’s age, and knows that, while medication can be useful, it is not always necessary to promote change.