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Anu Asnaani

Mentor Spotlight


The ABCT Academic Training and Education Standards committee annually solicits nominations for the Spotlight on a Mentor recognition to highlight the diversity of excellent mentors within the membership ranks of ABCT. Its goal is to spotlight promising early-career and well-established mentors across all levels of academic rank, areas of specialization, and types of institution. We asked the three 2023 winners to share some wisdom related to their own influential mentors, their mentorship philosophy, and advice for mentees and aspiring mentors.

Find out more information about the program on our Mentor Spotlights page.



Dr. Asnaani is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who currently is the Principal Investigator of the Treatment Mechanisms, Community Empowerment, and Technology Innovations (TCT) laboratory and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

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. Within this research focus, Dr. Asnaani has been thrilled to mentor a number of undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students, who have enriched and broadened the scope of this work.

Being a research advisor to these insightful and bright future stars in this field has been one of Dr. Asnaani’s most fulfilling professional roles.


From Dr. Asnaani:

Some of my most valued traits as a mentor have been those that I have seen in my own fantastic mentors over the course of my career (and even from before the “official” start to my career when I was a child): treating my students and mentees as equal partners in the mentorship process, listening to their ideas, being open to their criticism about our relationship and ways we can improve it, and regarding the ideas and questions they pose with respect and validation.

I love that my mentees continue to push me to be better in my professional pursuits across the board (my teaching style/effectiveness, my research vigor, and my service commitments), and I hope that I model for them the humility one needs to have throughout their career as a mentor to keep growing, owning one’s mistakes, and still imparting knowledge/sharing experiences that your mentees could benefit from.

Don’t underestimate the power of being a mentor to your own growth as a scholar. Often, we are afraid to take those types of responsibilities on because we worry that we have enough of our own development to do as graduate students and early career professionals, and truthfully, taking on a mentorship role will strengthen your own abilities professionally. Further, we sometimes feel we don’t have anything to offer as an early career person to truly mentor another person, and we have to push through this insecurity.

Years of experience does not always equal superior mentorship; some of my best mentors were people at my level or only a few years ahead. Find mentors everywhere and be open to being a mentor to others at all stages of your career; everyone can win from these relationships! I have been so thankful to my own mentors and mentees alike, and couldn’t be where I am today without them, without a doubt.