Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board

 
Amy Cawman, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice in Westport, Connecticut. Amy received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Georgetown University and her Master’s degree from Columbia University School of Social Work. Amy went on to do a post-masters fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. She has over 10 years of experience in a variety of settings including the NYU Child Study Center and Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center in Norwalk, CT. Amy has done advanced training in CBT at the Beck Institute of  Cognitive Therapy and The Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. Amy specializes in treating anxiety disorders. A majority of her practice involves treating individuals with OCD through Exposure Therapy.

Christina J. Taylor, Ph.D. specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety Disorders, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Specific Phobias, and the OCD spectrum disorder Trichotillomania. Dr. Taylor served for nine years on the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and worked on the National Institute of Mental Health Treatment Outcome Study on Panic Disorder at Yale University. Dr. Taylor lectures widely on Anxiety Disorders and provides training workshops for mental health professionals and consumers on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She is a certified Panic Control Therapist and has served as a Clinical Instructor for the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation Behavior Therapy Institute. She appeared on the national television show 20/20 Downtown as an expert on the treatment of Scrupulosity or “religious” OCD.  She co-leads an OCD support group in Fairfield County with Diane E. Sholomskas, Ph.D. Dr. Taylor is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. She teaches courses in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology, Mental Disorders in Popular Films, Psychological Research, and the Psychology of Women.

Christopher Pittenger, MD, Ph.D. Dr. Pittenger is Director of the Yale OCD Research Clinic and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and in the Child Study Center at Yale University.  He received his MD and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University, where his Ph.D. studies in neurobiology were performed with recent Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel.  He then returned to Yale – his undergraduate alma mater – for residency training in psychiatry.  He assumed directorship of the Yale OCD Research Clinic, long a leader in research into the biology and treatment of OCD, and joined the Yale faculty in 2007.  Dr. Pittenger’s research examines various brain and behavioral characteristics of OCD, Tourette syndrome, and related disorders, using clinical and behavioral studies, genetics, brain imaging, and work in animal models.  He also has an active consultative clinical practice and teaches and lectures extensively.  He is Associate Director of the Neuroscience Research Training Program at Yale University, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation, and an active member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, the Society of Biological Psychiatry, the Society for Neuroscience, and other national and international organizations supporting the advancement of clinical psychiatry and neurobiology research.  Dr. Pittenger is also an elected member of the Board of Education in Bethany, Connecticut, where he lives with his family.

Denis G. Sukhodolsky, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center.  His research concerns the efficacy and mechanisms of behavioral treatments for children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette syndrome (TS), autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, and disruptive behavior disorders.  He arrived at Yale in 2000 for a postdoctoral research fellowship in childhood neuropsychiatric disorders directed by Dr. James Leckman.  Subsequently, he joined the Yale Faculty in 2003 and continued working in a clinical trials research program directed by Dr. Larry Scahill.  Dr. Sukhodolsky’s research has been funded with awards from the International OCD Foundation, Tourette Syndrome Association, and National Institute of Mental Health. Dr. Sukhodolsky also serves as a co-investigator in the RUPP Autism Network studies of parent training in children with autism and aggression.  Dr. Sukhodolsky has authored and co-authored over 60 papers and book chapters.  In addition to his research, Dr. Sukhodolsky is a licensed clinical psychologist working with children and their families at the Yale TS/OCD Specialty Clinic.

Heidi Grantz is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at the Yale Child Study Center, where she has served as the Clinical Director of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/Tics Disorders Specialty Clinics since August of 2009. Ms. Grantz is a therapist specializing in cognitive behavioral therapies for children with OCD and other anxiety disorders. Additionally, she is trained in Habit Reversal Therapy, a specialized behavioral therapy used in the treatment of Tic disorders and Trichotillomania. In addition to her role as Clinical Director, Ms. Grantz has served as research coordinator in the Tic/OC Specialty program since 1997. Ms. Grantz has worked on the development of the Yale Children’s Global Stress Index (YCGSI) and its application in Children and adolescents with Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. She has been particularly interested in the impact of psychosocial stress on children’s symptom severity. She has been listed as an author on several publications in the area of psychosocial stress and future symptom severities in children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder. She has served as a clinical liaison to the Tourette Syndrome Association and is currently serving on the assessment team for an NIH led study of PANDAS and a study of CBT in the treatment of disruptive behaviors. Additionally she is on the assessment team for a study evaluating and refining an innovative multi-component, brain-based, nondrug intervention for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Dr. Michael Bloch, M.D., M.S. graduated from Yale School of Medicine and completed his child and adult psychiatry training at Yale. He is currently serving as chief resident at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit in the Yale Department of Psychiatry. His research interests focus on studying Tourette syndrome (TS), Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Trichotillomania (TTM) across the lifespan. His research focuses on developing better treatments for children and adults with these conditions and examining predictors of long-term outcome with an emphasis on neuroimaging. Dr. Bloch sees children with TS, OCD and TTM as part of the Yale Child Study Center TS/OCD clinic and adults with the same conditions at the Yale OCD Research Clinic. He is also the Assistant Unit Chief at the Clinical Neuroscience Research Unit (CNRU). The CNRU is a comprehensive 12-bed inpatient unit located in the Connecticut Mental Health Center that cares for patients enrolled in several psychiatric research protocols.

Diane E. Sholomskas, Ph.D. is a licensed Psychologist specializing in time-limited focused, cognitive-behavioral treatments for Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, and Phobias. Dr. Sholomskas has directed outpatient specialty clinics at the Yale School of Medicine. She has conducted clinical research on the epidemiology, psychological, and pharmacological treatments of mood and anxiety disorders. She served as a co-principal investigator for the NIMH, Multicenter Collaborative Treatment Study of Panic Disorder and has published and presented on these topics. She provides consultation and training to professionals. She received the Connecticut Psychological Association Award in 2000 for contribution to the science of psychology. She is certified in Panic Control Treatment (PCT) for Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia. She specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment for OCD, which uses exposure and response prevention. She co-leads an OCD support group in Fairfield County with Christina J. Taylor, Ph.D. She received an Obsessive Compulsive Foundation award to study group delivered exposure and response prevention with Dr. Taylor. Dr. Sholomskas served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the International OCD Foundation. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale.