Professor Adrian Wells


    • BSc (hons): Behavioural Science
    • MSc: Clinical Psychology
    • PhD: Clinical Psychology

  • Areas of Interest

    • Metacognitive Therapy, Metacognition
    • Anxiety disorders, Trauma and Depression
    • Information Processing Models, Attention, and Emotion
    • Self-regulation, Clinical and Health Psychology
    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy


Director of ADePT-RU - Director of The Metacognitive Therapy Institute - Professor of Clinical & Experimental Psychopathology - The University of Manchester, UK - Consultant Clinical Psychologist GMMH NHS Trust

Professor Adrian Wells is a world leading figure in clinical and experimental psychopathology. He has more than 35 years of experience in theory, research and treatment development. Adrian’s work has made significant contributions to understanding and effectively treating anxiety disorders, trauma and depression.


As the Director of ADePT-RU Research unit, Adrian leads a research team who are dedicated to improving the lives of individuals experiencing common mental health disorders. In addition to his role at The University of Manchester, where he holds a personal chair as Professor of Clinical & Experimental Psychopathology, he also serves as a consultant clinical psychologist at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust.


Adrian’s research is grounded in the belief that robust theory of causal mechanisms, and rigorous testing of theory should be a pre-cursor and basis for developing more effective treatments. He is well known for his work in developing cognitive behaviour-therapy (CBT) for anxiety disorders and he is the originator of metacognitive therapy (MCT).


Adrian is Chief Investigator on the current NIHR funded projects: 

PATHWAY-Beacons, examining the feasibility of roll-out of Group-MCT in cardiac rehabilitation services across the NHS.

Yo-Meta, a feasibility randomised trial of MCT in young people with common mental health problems.

PATHWAY-Mechanisms, an analysis of underlying change mechanisms during metacognitive therapy.

He is co-chief investigator on Cardio Active, a project that is developing and evaluating a cardiac rehabilitation programme for young people.


Adrian is a chartered clinical psychologist, a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and director of the Metacognitive Therapy Institute. He has published more than 350 scientific papers and his research, clinical work, and leadership have a major impact in mental health and clinical psychology worldwide.