Brian Ott Brian D. Ott, PhD


  • Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology
  • Director, WJC Center for Psychological Science

Dr. Ott joined the faculty of MSPP/WJC in 1989.  He is currently Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Clinical PsyD Program and Director of the WJC Center for Psychological Science.   He is a member of the WJC Institutional Review Board and the Clinical PsyD Curriculum Revisew Committee, and directs the WJC Media Psychology Lab.  He has formerly served as the faculty representative to the Board of Trustees and member of the Institutional Academic Policies and Standards Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Institutional Curriculum Committee, and the Clinical Psy.D. Curriculum, Steering and Faculty Evaluation Committees. Dr. Ott has also held the positions of Chairperson for the Technology Committee and the Human Research Committee, and representative to the annual meeting of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. 


After receiving his doctorate in Clinical and School Psychology from Hofstra University in 1980, Brian completed post-doctoral fellowships at Temple University Medical School/Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute with Joseph Wolpe and the Institute for Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy with Albert Ellis in New York City.


Brian currently teaches courses in Research Methods, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Exposure Therapies for Anxiety Disorders . He is a research methodology and statistics consultant for students’ doctoral research projects. Past courses in the Clinical PsyD Program include Clinical Seminar 1 and Critical Thinking. In the Organizational Leadership Department, courses have included Statistics, Research Design and Cognition and Media Psychology.

Research and Practice Interests

His primary area of clinical practice is the application of exposure and response prevention and cognitive restructuring to anxiety disorders. The majority of his practice is devoted to patients suffering from panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias. As Associate Unit Director for Behavioral Health Services at a Massachusetts General Hospital outpatient center, Brian coordinates an integrated health care program between the departments of psychiatry, adult medicine and cardiology and served as co-director of the MGH Kraft Foundation Integrated Care project from 2012 to 2017 with a focus on reducing barriers to integration of behavioral and medical care.

Brian’s research interests are in the areas of media psychology and the interaction of technology, specifically AI and deep machine learning, in psychological intervention.  He also conducts research in the treatment of anxiety disorders through exposure and response prevention, and public education programs in cognitive neuroscience and anxiety disorders.

Professional Licenses and Certifications

Brian is a Licensed Psychologist in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. He also a Certified School Psychologist in New York State.


  • Mintz Chair in Professional Psychology 2006-2008, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
  • Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence June 6, 2007, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
  • Dr. Stephen D. Hayes Award for Leadership and Service to Underserved Populations May 5, 2009, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology
  • Service Excellence Award for Administrative Innovation June 1, 2016, Partners Health Care / Massachusetts General Hospital

Publications and Presentations

Kuller A. & Ott, B.D. (2010)  US and UK Use of CBT in the Treatment of Schizophrenia. Community Mental Health Journal, 46, 2-9.

Ott, B.D. (2012)  What is and is not Exposure Therapy.  Contemporary Forums: Psychiatric Nursing 2012.

Ott, B.D. (2012)  Relationship of Violence Level in Adult Sexual Offenses and Offender Childhood Trauma. Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science.

Ott, B.D. & Hagen, R. (2013)  The use of passive smartphone data  in the prediction of daily negative and positive affect states.   Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science.

Ott, B.D. (2013) Orienting the Patient to Exposure and Response Prevention.  Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education / Cambridge Health Alliance.

Schwaiger, E., O’Connor, M & Ott, Brian D.  (2014) The Interpersonal Style of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Annual Meeting of the Association for Neuropsychiatry

Flanagan, K & Ott, B.  (2015)  Relationship of homonegativity and disclosure of sexual orientation.  Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Ott, B.D. (2016) Orienting Patients to ERP and Cognitive Restructuring Components of CBT for Anxiety. Seacoast Anxiety Symposium.

Allen, K., Burda, T., Ott, B., & O’Commor, M. (2016)  Distractibility and Aging: Relationship of Scores on the Useful Field of View Across Age and Mini Mental Status Exam.  Journal of Psychological Sciences, 2, 130-147. 

Tillman, E. & Ott, B.D. (2017).  The effect of anticipated access to search engines  on implicit memory.  Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science.

Ott, B.D. & Joseph, L. S.  (2017).   Mysticism, technology and the music of the summer of love.  Journal of the American Society on Aging, 41,  45-53.

Ott, B.D. (December - 2017)   Cognitive neuroscience and effectively orienting patients to exposure and response prevention.  Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education / Cambridge Health Alliance.

Ott, B.D.  (Symposium Chair)  (2018)  Myths and Data Regarding the Use of Technology Mediated Psychological Intervention.  Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science.

Ott, B.D. & Cottrell, Z. (2018)  The mediating role of self-esteem in performance anxiety. Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science.

Volpacchio, A., Glazier Leonte, K., & Ott, B. (2018) Alarmingly Low Rates of Utilization and Knowledge of Exposure and Response Prevention for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Among Mental Health Providers. Paper presented at the International Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation Annual Convention, Washington D.C.

Ott, B.D. (2018) Staring Down Panic: A Guide to Effective Use of Exposure and Response Prevention. Boxford: Matchstick Books.

Allard, T., Ott, B., & Venkataraman, S. (2019) Deployment communication and its relationship to adjustment and relationship satisfaction. Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science.

Ott, B.D. (2020)  Behavioral health provider and general public bias regarding use of technology mediated  and artificial intelligence assisted interventions.  Symposium presentation, Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Allard, T., Ott, B., & Venkataraman, S. (2019) Deployment communication and its relationship to adjustment and relationship satisfaction. Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science.

Current Professional Leadership and/or Concurrent Work Experience

  • Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards – member of EPPP Step 2 Implementation Task Force / Template Development and Item Writing Workgroups
  • Associate Unit Director for Behavioral Health Services - Massachusetts General Hospital, Charelstown HealthCare - consults to providers in the internal medicine, cardiology and neurology departments and is on the faculty of the Harvard Medical School supervising clinical fellows and residents in the Department of psychiatry.

Prior Professional Leadership and/or Work Experience

  • 2017 - 2019, Board of Directors, Massachusetts Psychological Association
  • 2016   Coordinator, Media Psychology Committee, Massachusetts Psychological Association
  • 2005 – 2006, Instructor - Certification Program in Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Amir Duwan for Social Development, Kuwait City, Kuwait
  • 1993 – 1995, Mental Health Advisory Board / Member of Mental Health External Appeals Panel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1989 – 1998, Executive Director and Director of Pain Management and CBT Services, Behavior Management Services, Boston, MA
  • 1986 – 1989, Director of Behavioral Medicine and Coordinator or CARF Accreditation, North Shore Pain Center / Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Peabody, MA
  • 1982 – 1985, Director of Clinical and Health Services and Coordinator of JACHO Accreditation, St. Mary's Residential Treatment Center, Syosset, New York
  • 1982 – 1985, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Adelphi University, Garden City, New York
  • 1980 – 1981, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Manhattan College, Bronx, New York

Professional Affiliations

Brian is also a member of the  Association for Psychological Science,  the Association for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation, and the Masschusetts Psychological Association. He has previously served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA), chair of the MPA Membership Committee and member of the MPA Education and Program Committees.

Community Engagement

Away from teaching and professional practice, Brian is an avid amateur musician and is active in local community and repertory theaters in the Boston area. He serves as the "Bikes not Bombs" program liaison for the Footlight Club in Jamaica Plain and coordinates the Theater for Teens and Families program which provides access to theater arts for families from low income communities in the greater Boston area.