Catherine Baker-Pitts, PhD, LCSW


Biography and Education

Raised together with three sisters in Maine, England, and Australia, Catherine Baker-Pitts returned to her family’s southern roots in North Carolina to attend Duke University. While there, she was awarded the prestigious Human Development Award, as well as an undergraduate research support grant, the Dora Anne Little Award, and the William Griffith Award recognizing her feminist scholarship and activism. After graduating from Duke, she helped implement a full-time staff position there to coordinate student health and to promote student initiatives directed at treating and preventing eating disorders on the Duke campus. For more on media advocacy and social activism, see Endangered Bodies or

Her graduate work began at the University of Texas in Austin, where she was involved in a longitudinal research project exploring adjustment and identity issues for transracial adoptees. In Austin, she also worked with survivors of intimacy violence. She moved to New York City for a clinical internship at The Renfrew Center (

Next she pursued a four-year training in feminist relational psychoanalytic psychotherapy in Manhattan. Then, at New York University, she was awarded a grant to study the psychology of cosmetic surgery. Her in-depth research as a Fahs Beck Scholar culminated in her doctoral dissertation, “Symptom or Solution? The Relational Meaning of Cosmetic Surgery for Women.”

Catherine continues to engage with contemporary psychoanalytic ideas. She is a 2010 graduate of the Advanced Clinical Program at The Stephen Mitchell Center ( and a former postdoctoral fellow at The Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia ( She is a graduate of both the New Directions Writing Program at the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis in DC ( and the New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis (