DR. MICHAEL OTTO
Licensed Professional Counselor
Dr. Mike Otto was born and raised in the Lehigh Valley. Having the opportunity to work in different parts of the state in a variety of positions since 2001, Dr. Otto truly believes there’s no place like home and he enjoys providing mental health services to people in this area. Dr. Otto is detail oriented and takes great pride in approaching each individual in a genuine, non-judgmental, and encouraging manner. His approach to the therapeutic process is informed by many theoretical orientations, but the pillars of his practice can be found in Existentialism, Psychodynamics, and Solution-Focused treatment.
Educationally, Dr. Otto earned his Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology (minor in Sociology) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2001. Prior to completing his B.A., Dr. Otto completed a three-month practicum experience at a homeless shelter located in Bethlehem, PA. After a short break, Dr. Otto completed his Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling Psychology from Kutztown University in 2007. Prior to completing his M.A., Dr. Otto completed a Master’s level practicum experience in Muhlenberg College’s Counseling Services Center during the 2006-2007 academic year. Dr. Otto went on to complete his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from Immaculata University in 2017. His doctoral dissertation qualitatively explored the existential impact of mobile technology on meaningfulness and quality of life. His practicum experiences, spanning the better part of two years, in psychotherapy and psychological assessment (largely Criminal Forensic Assessment) took place in Wyomissing, PA. His doctoral internship training took place at a large community mental health facility in Lebanon, PA for one year. Dr. Otto’s internship work focused around further sharpening therapeutic skills and enhancing his abilities in the area of individual and group clinical supervision. During that year, Dr. Otto also learned a great deal about working with addiction by running two weekly Intensive Outpatient (IOP) drug and alcohol groups. For Dr. Otto’s postdoctoral training, he returned to the group practice in Wyomissing, PA and again spent the year focusing heavily on forensic psychological assessment. Dr. Otto’s therapy training during his postdoctoral experience largely focused around court ordered reunification therapy.
Dr. Otto has completed more than 60 psychological assessments and has some experience with testimony related to his reports and recommendations. Most of his assessment work has been in the area of Juvenile Decertification (psychologically assessing an individual who committed a violent crime under the age of 18 and helping the court decide whether or not to try that individual as an adult or a juvenile). Another major focus of Dr. Otto’s assessments was in the area of Child Custody. Other areas of assessment have been focused on cognitive abilities and diagnostic clarification in order to effectively guide the treatment process.
In addition to his training programs, Dr. Otto held a variety of mental health service positions. He spent more than five years working with adolescents living in an independent living program who were aging out of care. In this role, Dr. Otto learned how to effectively teach the most practical skills we use in treatment today – life skills. These skills are still actively used today in his work with adolescents and young adults who are going through transitional phases in their lives. Dr. Otto worked in two inpatient psychiatric units and learned how to work effectively with mood disorders, behavioral issues, and developmental challenges. After the inpatient hospital units, Dr. Otto worked as a Multi-Systemic family therapist. In this position, Dr. Otto worked with adolescents and families involved in the juvenile justice system. This family work was intensive and challenging. Within this work, Dr. Otto learned a lot about how to reach challenging adolescents and how to help families learn how to function better. That family-based experience continues to inform the work Dr. Otto does today. From there, Dr. Otto spent four years working with young adults in the early developmental stages of schizophrenia. In this position, Dr. Otto learned how to work with chronic mental health challenges. While in this position, Dr. Otto was responsible for helping individuals make sense of their experiences through reality-testing, medication compliance, and a largely person-centered approach.
Dr. Otto has been in private practice since 2012. He is now working with his wife, Dr. Allison Otto, to grow the presence and reach of Otto Psychological Associates, LLC in the Lehigh Valley.
When he’s not doing therapy, Dr. Otto enjoys spending time with friends and family, finding new music on Spotify, stand-up comedy, learning about (and playing with) the latest technology and gadgets, learning about mechanical watches, and actively sharpening his automotive detailing skills.
Within the therapeutic relationship, Dr. Otto has been described as relaxed, genuine, honest, and great at communicating complex ideas in ways that everyone can understand. The feedback he gets most often from new people is that he offers something different and better than the experiences they’ve had in the past.
Contact Dr. Mike Otto today to book an appointment