Prof. Marcantonio Spada

Marcantonio Spada, LSBU

Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health; Head of Psychology

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  • 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 Lectureships 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

Kolubinski, D and Nikčević, A V and Marino, C and Spada, MM A metacognitive model of self-esteem. Journal of Affective Disorders, DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2019.05.050

Gini, G and Marino, C and Spada, MM The role of metacognitions and thinking styles in the negative outcomes of adolescents' peer victimization. Violence and Victims,

Davies, J and Read, J and Hengartner, M P and Cosci, F and Fava, G and Chouinard, G and van Os, J and Nardi, A and Gøtzsche, P and Groot, P and Timimi, S and Moncrieff, J and Spada, MM and Guy, A Clinical guidelines on antidepressant withdrawal urgently need updating. BMJ, 365. DOI 10.1136/bmj.l2238

Fernie, B A and Spada, MM and Brown, R G Impact of a brief auditory attention training on a modified colour-word Stroop task in a high anxiety and worry sample. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, DOI 10.1080/20445911.2019.1612408

Howard, A and Albery, IP and Frings, D and Spada, MM and Moss, A Pre-partying amongst students in the UK: Measuring motivations and consumption levels across different educational contexts. Substance Use and Misuse, DOI 10.1080/10826084.2019.1590414

Fernie, BA and Aoun, A and Kollmann, J and Spada, MM and Nikčević, AV Transcultural, transdiagnostic, and concurrent validity of a revised Metacognitions about Symptoms Control Scale. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, DOI 10.1002/cpp.2367

Martino, F and Caselli, G and Fiabane, E and Felicetti, F and Trevisani, C and Menchetti, M and Mezzaluna, C and Sassaroli, S and Albery, IP and Spada, MM Desire thinking as a predictor of drinking status following treatment for alcohol use disorder: A prospective study. Addictive Behaviors, 95. 70-76. DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.03.004

Fernie, BA and Spada, MM and Brown, RG Motor fluctuations and psychological distress in Parkinson’s disease. Health Psychology, DOI 10.1037/hea0000736

Marino, C and Caselli, G and Lenzi, M and Monaci, GM and Vieno, A and Spada, MM Emotion regulation and desire thinking as predictors of problematic Facebook use. Psychiatric Quarterly, 1-7. DOI 10.1007/s11126-019-09628-1

Marino, C and Marci, T and Ferrante, L and Altoè, G and Vieno, A and Simonelli, A and Caselli, G and Spada, MM Attachment and problematic Facebook use in adolescents: The mediating role of metacognitions. Journal of Behavioral Addictions,

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
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, Heliyon
  • 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
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Member, International Society for the Study of Behavioral Addictions
  • 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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