Michael Otto, PhD


Picture of Michael Otto

  • PhD, University of New Mexico

Research Interests

Dr. Otto specializes in the cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) of anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders. An enduring theme across these disorders is the role of exposure-based emotional tolerance/acceptance strategies in improving mental health. Dr. Otto has current and past federal funding from NIMH and NIDA. His research focuses on difficult-to-treat populations, including the application of cognitive-behavioral strategies to patients who have failed to respond to previous interventions. Current research includes investigations of potential moderators of CBT efficacy, including several translational-research agendas ranging from studies of de novo fear conditioning to the application of putative memory enhancers (e.g., d-cycloserine) to facilitate exposure-based treatments. Dr. Otto also focuses on health behaviors ranging from medication adherence and smoking cessation to documentation and promotion of the emotional and cognitive benefits of exercise.

Dr. Otto has published over 300 articles, chapters, and books spanning his research interests, and was recently identified as a “top producer” in the clinical empirical literature. Dr. Otto is a past President of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (formerly AABT), a fellow of the American Psychological Association, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Dr. Otto is a regular provider of continuing education and continuing medical education workshops across the United States.

Selected Publications

Dr. Michael Otto on Amazon

  • Otto, M. W. & Smits, J. A. J. (2011, July). Exercise for mood and anxiety: Proven strategies for overcoming depression and enhancing well being. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Otto, M. W., Reilly-Harrington, N. A., Knauz, R. O., Henin, A., Kogan, J. N., & Sachs, G. S. (2011). Living with bipolar disorder (expanded edition). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Otto, M. W., Simon, N. M., Olatunji, B. O., Sung, S. C., & Pollack, M. H. (in press). 10-Minute CBT: Integrating cognitive-behavioral strategies into your practice. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Otto, M. W. & Hofmann, S. G. (Eds). (2010). Avoiding Treatment Failures in the Anxiety Disorders. New York: Springer.
  • Otto, M. W. & Pollack, M. H. (2009). Stopping anxiety medication (Therapist guide,. 2nd Edition). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Otto, M. W., Reilly-Harrington, N. A., Kogan, J. N., Henin, A., Knauz, R. O., & Sachs, G. S. (2009). Managing bipolar disorder: A cognitive-behavioral approach. (Workbook). New York: Oxford University Press.


Email: mwotto@bu.edu