Research Summary

My research focuses on expanding our understanding of emotional disorders, with the eventual goal of informing the most effective ways to modify psychotherapy for a greater diversity of populations by: (1) elucidating psychological mechanisms by which anxiety disorders, OCD, and PTSD are maintained/treated, (2) applying a cross-cultural and diversity lens to address the outcomes that matter most to our communities, and (3) utilizing technology innovations to enhance such examinations.


  • PhD , Psychology (Clinical area), Boston University. Project: The effects of approach-avoidance modification on social anxiety disorder


Anu Asnaani, Ph.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who currently is the Principal Investigator of the Treatment Mechanisms, Community Empowerment, and Technology Innovations (TCT) laboratory and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT, USA. She was previously an Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania from 2013-2018 and Associate Director of the Center for Treatment and Study of Anxiety from 2017-2018, which is a world-renowned research powerhouse for PTSD, OCD, and anxiety disorders. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Boston University from 2007-2013, and her clinical internship from the Brown Alpert Medical School from 2012-2013. She proudly hails from the country of Saint Lucia.

Additional experience

Dr. Asnaani is particularly interested in expanding our understanding about how basic emotion processes (such as how we regulate strong emotions in the face of stressful life events) can be targeted to reduce negative impacts on mental health, and how we can do this for a greater diversity of individuals from a range of backgrounds and countries. To date, Dr. Asnaani has published over 65 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on this area. Clinically, Dr. Asnaani has provided therapy to several hundred patients using cognitive behavioral therapy over the past decade, and has been the primary supervisor for over 25 therapists whom she has trained to treat a variety of mental health issues including anxiety/mood disorders, PTSD, substance use disorders, and personality disorders. Dr. Asnaani has also been invited to deliver over 20 workshops and trainings for hundreds of mental health professionals such as lay counselors, social workers, advocates, and first responders, typically in the areas of recognizing and treating mental health dysfunction for providers in high schools/colleges, prison systems, community mental health programs, primary care settings, and graduate programs in clinical psychology both in the U.S. and elsewhere (e.g., Sweden, Japan).