MIRECC / CoE
VISN 1 MIRECC Staff: Cathryn G. Holzhauer, Ph.D.
Cathryn G. Holzhauer, Ph.D.
Dr. Cathryn (Cassie) Holzhauer is a Research Psychologist at VA Central Western Massachusetts (VACWM) and Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), in the Division of Addiction Psychiatry and Center of Excellence in Addiction. She completed her doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at the University of Albany and a postdoctoral fellowship at UMMS. Her research examines gender differences in the maintenance of and treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD), with a focus on mechanisms of behavior change. Dr. Holzhauer’s current CSR&D CDA-2 is a randomized trial testing the effects of emotion regulation strategies on stress-induced drinking among women veterans with alcohol misuse; it additionally examines how endogenous progesterone levels and severity of co-occurring posttraumatic stress disorder moderate strategy efficacy. Her work uses methodology including psychophysiological and neuroendocrine assessment, microinterventions, and ecological momentary assessment. Her research also includes therapy development, including her work as co-I on projects adapting Alcohol Behavior Couples Therapy and Female-Specific CBT for AUD.
- B.A., Psychology, University of Rochester, 2005
- M.A., Psychology, New York University, 2008
- Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, University at Albany, 2015
Areas of Research Interest
- Alcohol Use Disorders Treatment
- Sex and Gender Differences
- Stress and Trauma
- Couples and Families in Addiction Treatment
Projects & Grants
- Understanding and Targeting Stress Reactivity in Women Veterans with Alcohol Misuse (PI, DVA/CSR&D).
A CDA-2 project that examines factors that maintain and disrupt stress-induced alcohol use among women Veterans. 2019 – 2023.
- A Pilot Laboratory Study of Progesterone’s Effects on Alcohol Craving and Stress Reactivity among Trauma-Exposed Women Veterans with AUD (PI, New England MIRECC).
Examines the effects of exogenous oral micronized progesterone on stress reactivity, including cortisol response, among women veterans with AUD and histories of trauma exposure. 2021-2023.
- A Female-Specific Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Group for AUD in VA Primary Care Settings (co-I, NIAAA R01).
Randomized clinical trial to test a female-Veteran-centric adapted CBT group therapy for AUD and other health behaviors located in VA Primary Care setting. 2021-2026.
- Exploring Gender Differences: Emotion Dysregulation as a Therapeutic Target among Veterans with Alcohol Misuse (PI, New England MIRECC).
Examines gender differences in the effect of negative emotion on inhibitory control and craving for alcohol and the proximal effect of an emotion regulation strategy among Veterans with alcohol misuse. 2018-2019, data collection ongoing.
- Emotion Dysregulation as a Therapeutic Target among Women Veterans with Alcohol Misuse (PI, VISN 1 CDA).
Examines the effect of negative emotion on inhibitory control and craving for alcohol, and the proximal effect of an emotion regulation strategy on this effect, among women Veterans with alcohol misuse. 2017 – 2019.
- Effects of CBT Microinterventions on Mechanisms of Change among Adults with AUD: Using Eye Tracking to Measure Pre-Post Cognitive Control, Stimulus Salience and Craving (co-I, NIAAA R21).
Pilot trial testing the effect of 1-session cognitive behavioral microinterventions on hypothesized cognitive neuroscience mechanisms of change (cognitive control, stimulus salience, and craving arousal). 2017-2019.
- Adapting Alcohol Behavioral Couple Therapy for Service Members in Post-Deployment (co-I, NIAAA R34).
The major goal of this grant was to develop and test a military-centric couple protocol (ABCT) to treat alcohol use disorders among active-duty service members. 2014-2017.