Prof. Marcantonio Spada

Marcantonio Spada, LSBU

Professor of Psychology; Head of Psychology

  • Email:
  • Telephone:
    020 7815 5760
  • School/Division:
    Applied Sciences / Psychology

Marcantonio Spada is Professor of Psychology in the School of Applied Sciences where he is the Head of the Division of Psychology and Deputy Lead of the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research. He is also a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience King’s College London, a Visiting Professor of Psychology at the Sigmund Freud University Milan/Vienna, and a Director of UK SMART Recovery and SMART Recovery International.

Prior to his current appointment he was Professor of Psychological Therapies in the School of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University and Consultant and Trust Lead in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for North East London NHS Foundation Trust. Before joining London South Bank University Professor Spada held Principal Lecturerships in Psychology at the University of Roehampton and at London Metropolitan University.

Professor Spada has made a significant contribution to the understanding of metacognitive mechanisms underlying general vulnerability to addictive behaviours (alcohol use, gambling, nicotine use, and engagement with technology) by conducting seminal studies that have identified the key role played by metacognitions in the maintenance of such behaviours, and by defining and shaping the novel concept of ‘desire thinking’, a third form of perseverative thinking (beyond rumination and worry) which is linked to the persistence and escalation of craving. This body of work has led to the development of a novel clinical model which integrates knowledge on attention, perseverative thinking and metacognition into a single ‘architecture’, aimed at explaining the unfolding of addictive behaviour and the application of metacognitive focused techniques in its treatment.

Professor Spada is now leading research on testing the efficacy of metacognitive focused therapy protocols for addictive behaviours.

BSc Psychology

  • Introducing Real World Psychology
  • Psychological Research Methods 2
  • Psychology of Addictive Behaviour
  • Psychology of Mental Health and Distress
  • Psychology of Thinking and Communication

MSc Addiction Psychology and Counselling

  • Therapeutic Counselling Theory and Practice

MSc Mental Health and Clinical Psychology

  • Introduction to Clinical Skills

MSc Psychology

  • Thinking, Intelligence, and Communication

Most recent publications

Compare, A and Brugnera, A and Spada, MM and Zarbo, C and Tasca, GA and Sassaroli, S and Caselli, G and Ruggiero, GM and Wittstein, I The Role of Emotional Competence in Tako-tsubo Cardiomyopathy.. Psychosomatic Medicine, DOI 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000564

Caselli, G and Fernie, B and Canfora, F and Mascolo, C and Ferrari, A and Antonioni, M and Giustina, L and Donato, G and Marcotriggiani, A and Bertani, A and Altieri, A and Pellegrini, E and Spada, MM The Metacognitions about Gambling Questionnaire: Development and psychometric properties.. Psychiatry Research, 261. 367-374. DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.01.018

Nikčević, AV and Alma, L and Marino, C and Kolubinski, D and Yılmaz-Samancı, AE and Caselli, G and Spada, MM Modelling the contribution of negative affect, outcome expectancies and metacognitions to cigarette use and nicotine dependence.. Addictive Behaviors, 74. 82-89. DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.06.002

Martino, F and Caselli, G and Di Tommaso, J and Sassaroli, S and Spada, MM and Valenti, B and Berardi, D and Sasdelli, A and Menchetti, M Anger and depressive ruminations as predictors of dysregulated behaviours in borderline personality disorder.. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, DOI 10.1002/cpp.2152

Alma, L and Spada, MM and Fernie, BA and Yilmaz-Samanci, AE and Caselli, G and Nikčević, AV Metacognitions in smoking: Evidence from a cross-cultural validation of the metacognitions about smoking questionnaire in a Turkish sample.. Psychiatry Research, 259. 160-168. DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.10.015

Marino, C and Gini, G and Vieno, A and Spada, MM The associations between problematic Facebook use, psychological distress and well-being among adolescents and young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis.. Journal of Affective Disorders, 226. 274-281. DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2017.10.007

Kolubinski, DC and Nikčević, AV and Lawrence, JA and Spada, MM The metacognitions about self-critical rumination questionnaire.. Journal of Affective Disorders, 220. 129-138. DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2017.06.002

Marino, C and Hirst, CM and Murray, C and Vieno, A and Spada, MM Positive Mental Health as a Predictor of Problematic Internet and Facebook Use in Adolescents and Young Adults. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1-14. DOI 10.1007/s10902-017-9908-4

Fergus, TA and Spada, MM Cyberchondria: Examining relations with problematic Internet use and metacognitive beliefs.. Clin Psychol Psychother, 1. DOI 10.1002/cpp.2102

Chakroun-Baggioni, N and Corman, M and Spada, MM and Caselli, G and Gierski, F Desire thinking as a confounder in the relationship between mindfulness and craving: Evidence from a cross-cultural validation of the Desire Thinking Questionnaire.. Psychiatry Research, 256. 188-193. DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.06.051

More publications at LSBU Research Open
  • Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Accredited Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Practitioner with the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
  • Registered Metacognitive Therapy Practitioner with the Metacognitive Therapy Institute
  • Editor-in-Chief, Addictive Behaviors
  • Editor-in-Chief, Addictive Behaviors Reports
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Behavioral Addictions
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
  • Visiting Researcher, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London
  • Visiting Professor of Psychology, Sigmund Freud University, Milan
  • Director, UK SMART Recovery
  • Director, SMART Recovery International
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