Adrian Wells, PhD, FBPsS, C.Psychol

Prof, BSc, MSc, PhD, FBPsS, C.Psychol

Personal profile


Adrian Wells' research interests are in the areas of cognitive theory and therapy, emotional disorders and metacognitive therapy. He has contributed to an understanding of mechanisms underlying general vulnerability to disorder, and the development of new treatments for social anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety, trauma reactions, and obsessions. His book: Attention and Emotion: A Clinical Perspective (co-authored with G. Matthews) was awarded the 1998 British Psychological Society Book Award for significant contributions to psychology. His book: "Cognitive Therapy of Anxiety Disorders: A Practice Manual and Conceptual Guide" has become a benchmark therapists’ text. More recently his work has focused on understanding the cognitive mechanisms in disorder maintenance and change, which has given rise to a new form of therapy based on principles of metacognition. This work is described in his book "Emotional Disorders & Metacognition: Innovative Cognitive Therapy. Chichester, UK: Wiley. Adrian Wells is the originator of Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) which is undergoing evaluation in controlled trials.  MCT for Generalized Anxiety has recently been included in NHS NICE guidelines. Professor Wells is author of the treatment manual: Metacognitive Therapy for Anxiety and Depression (2009); New York, Guilford Press.

Research interests

  1. Metacognitive Therapy
  2. Information processign and emotional disorders
  3. Cognitive behavioural therapies
  4. Anxiety disorders and phobias: nature and treatment
  5. Social anxiety disorder
  6. Worry and intrusive thoughts
  7. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  8. Post-traumatic stress: predictors and treatment
  9. Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  10. Depression

My collaborations


  • Prof. Chris Brewin (University College London)
  • Prof. Hans Nordahl (Norwegian University Trondheim)
  • Dr. Peter Fisher (University of Liverpool)
  • Prof. Gerald Matthews (University of Cincinatti)
  • Prof. Marcantonio Spada (LSBU)

Professor Francis Creed

Methodological knowledge

  1. Assessent of individual differences (questionnaire design and analysis)
  2. Experimental psychopathology
  3. Single case and small n research methods
  4. Clinical Trials


B.Sc (Hons) Aston University
Ph.D Aston University
M.Sc. Clinical Psychology. Leeds University
Diploma in Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

External positions

Founder and Director, Metacognitive Therapy Institute

Areas of expertise

  • BF Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Mental health
  • metacognitive therapy
  • metacognition
  • emotional disorders
  • cognitive behaviour therapy
  • self-regulation

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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