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.