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Marcantonio Spada, LSBU

Prof. Marcantonio Spada

Professor of Addictive Behaviours and Mental Health; Director of Student Recruitment for the School of Applied Sciences

  • 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 at London South Bank University where he is the Director of Student Recruitment and Deputy Lead of the Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research. Professor Spada is also a Visiting Professor of Psychology at Sigmund Freud University Milan/Vienna. In addition, he serves as both Editor-in-Chief of Addictive Behaviors and Addictive Behaviors Reports, as Chair of the Board of Trustees of UK SMART Recovery, as a Director of SMART Recovery International, and as a Trustee of GambleAware.

Prior to his current academic 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 (CBT) 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 the metacognitive mechanisms underlying general vulnerability to addictive behaviours (alcohol use, gambling, nicotine use, and engagement with technology). In this area he has conducted seminal studies that have identified the key role played by metacognitions in the maintenance of such behaviours and has also defined and shaped 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
View my publications at
  • Accredited CBT practitioner, British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies
  • Chair of the Board of Trustees, UK SMART Recovery
  • Chartered Psychologist and Fellow, British Psychological Society
  • Director, SMART Recovery International
  • Editor-in-Chief, Addictive Behaviors
  • Editor-in-Chief, Addictive Behaviors Reports
  • Editorial Board Member, Heliyon, Journal of Behavioral Addictions, and Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  • Fellow, Advance Higher Education
  • Member, International Society for the Study of Behavioral Addictions
  • Member, Society for the Study of Addiction
  • Registered MCT practitioner, Metacognitive Therapy Institute
  • Trustee, GambleAware
  • Visiting Professor, Sigmund Freud University Milan / Vienna