Spada, M. M, Caselli, G., Nikcevic, A. V, & Wells, A. (2015). Metacognition in Addictive Behaviours: An Overview. Addictive Behaviours, 44, 9-15.



Over the last twenty years metacognitive theory has provided a novel framework, in the form of the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model, for conceptualizing psychological distress (Wells & Matthews, 1994, 1996). The S-REF model proposes that psychological distress persists because of unhelpful coping styles (e.g. extended thinking and thought suppression) which are activated and maintained as a result of metacognitive beliefs.


This paper describes the S-REF model and its application to addictive behaviors using a triphasic metacognitive formulation.


Evidence on the components of the triphasic metacognitive formulation is reviewed and the clinical implications for applying metacognitive therapy to addictive behaviors outlined.