Prof. Marcantonio Spada

Marcantonio Spada, LSBU

Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health; Head of Psychology

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

Marcantonio Spada is Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health 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, a Director of UK SMART Recovery, and a Trustee of GambleAware.

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
  • 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

Fergus, TA and Spada, MM Moving toward a metacognitive conceptualization of cyberchondria: Examining the contribution of metacognitive beliefs, beliefs about rituals, and stop signals.. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 60. 11-19. DOI 10.1016/j.janxdis.2018.09.003

Binnie, J and Spada, MM Let’s put the ‘T’ back into CBT. Mental Health Review Journal, DOI 10.1108/mhrj-02-2018-0002

Fernie, BA and Kopar, UY and Fisher, PL and Spada, MM Further development and testing of the metacognitive model of procrastination: Self-reported academic performance.. Journal of Affective Disorders, 240. 1-5. DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2018.07.018

Frings, DJ and Eskisan, G and Caselli, G and Albery, IP and Moss, AC and Spada, MM The effects of food craving and desire thinking on states of motivational challenge and threat and their physiological indices.. Eating and Weight Disorders, DOI 10.1007/s40519-018-0525-y

Kolubinski, DC and Frings, D and Nikčević, AV and Lawrence, JA and Spada, MM A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of CBT Interventions Based on the Fennell Model of Low Self-Esteem. Psychiatry Research, 267. 296-305. DOI 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.06.025

Marino, C and Mazzieri, E and Caselli, G and Vieno, A and Spada, MM Motives to use Facebook and problematic Facebook use in adolescents.. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 1-8. DOI 10.1556/2006.7.2018.32

Ruggiero, GM and Spada, MM and Caselli, G and Sassaroli, S A Historical and Theoretical Review of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies: From Structural Self-Knowledge to Functional Processes. Journal of Rational - Emotive and Cognitive - Behavior Therapy, 1-26. DOI 10.1007/s10942-018-0292-8

Marino, C and Moss, AC and Vieno, A and Albery, IP and Frings, D and Spada, MM Parents' drinking motives and problem drinking predict their children's drinking motives, alcohol use and substance misuse. Addictive Behaviors, DOI

Marino, C and Gini, G and Vieno, A and Spada, MM A comprehensive meta-analysis on Problematic Facebook Use. Computers in Human Behavior, 83. 262-277. DOI 10.1016/j.chb.2018.02.009

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

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