Michael Ascher received his bachelor's degree from Long Island University. He earned
both the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Psychology
at the University of Pittsburgh. He then completed a postdoctoral year with T.X. Barber
in hypnosis. After teaching at the State University of New York for several years,
he undertook a second postdoctoral program under the direction of Joseph Wolpe in
the Behavior Therapy Unit of the Department of Psychiatry at Temple University Health
Science Center. Dr. Ascher was then offered an Assistant Professorship in Wolpe's
Unit. He remained in the Department of Psychiatry for the next 30 years, eventually
earning the rank of Professor. During his tenure at Temple University, he held a variety
of positions, the culmination of which was Director of the Behavior Therapy Unit upon
Joseph Wolpe's retirement.
Around 1976, he began an association with Viktor Frankl that was very rewarding in
that it served to expand Dr. Ascher's experience in psychotherapy. In December 2001,
he left Temple University and joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at
the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Ascher has been active in the field of behavior therapy as a teacher, clinician,
and researcher. He has published more than 50 articles in refereed journals and has
edited or co-edited three books. He serves or has served on the editorial boards or
as a consultant with a wide variety of national and international journals. He has
presented numerous invited lectures and workshops throughout the United States and
Dr. Ascher has published pioneering research, and remains interested in, the use of
paradoxical intention as a behavioral procedure in the treatment of anxiety disorders
complicated by a "fear of fear" component. In addition, he is investigating investor
anxiety - the emotional difficulties experienced by the average retail stock market
investor, and how these difficulties adversely affect performance. Dr. Ascher's clinical
practice is confined to the treatment of anxiety disorders and anxiety-based complaints
(e.g., insomnia, sexual dysfunction).
Ascher, L.M. (2002) Paradoxical intention. Encyclopedia of Psychotherapy, Vol. 2, 331-337 USA: Elsevier Science
Ascher, L.M. and Schotte, D.E. (1999) Paradoxical and recursive anxiety. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 30, 71-79.
Ascher, L.M. (1989) Paradoxical intention: Its clarification and emergence as a conventional
behavioral procedure. The behavioral therapist, 12, 23-28.
Ascher, L.M. (1989) Employing paradoxical intention in the treatment of agoraphobia.
Behavior research and therapy, 19, 533-542.
Ascher, L.M. (1989) Paradoxical intention and recursive anxiety. In L.M. Ascher (ed.)
Therapeutic Paradox. NY.: Guilford Press.
Ascher, L.M. and DiTomasso, R.A. (1985). Paradoxical intention in behavior therapy:
A review of the experimental literature. In R.M. Turner and L.M. Ascher (Eds.) Evaluating Behavior Therapy. New York: Springer.
Ascher, L.M. (1985). Paradoxical intention. In A.S. Bellack and M. Herson (Eds.) Dictionary of Behavior Therapy Techniques. New York: Pergamon Press.
Ascher, L.M., Bowers, M. and Schotte, D.E. (1985). Empirical issues in paradox. In
G.R. Weeks (Ed.) Promoting Change through Paradoxical Therapy, Homewood, Illinois: Dow-Jones-Irwin.
Ascher, L.M. (1979) Paradoxical intention in the treatment of urinary retention. Behavior research and therapy, 17, 267-270.
Ascher L.M. and Efran, J.S. (1978) The use of paradoxical intention in a behavioral
program for sleep onset insomnia. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 8, 547-550.
Ascher, L.M. (1977) The role of hypnosis in behavior therapy. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences, 296, 250-263
Ascher, L.M. and Cautela, J.R. (1975) An experimental study of covert extinction.
Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 17, 233-238. Reprinted in D. Upper and J.R. Cautela (Eds.) Covert Conditioning. New York: Pergamon Press, 1979.