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Edward Watkins

Professor of Clinical Psychology

Professor of Clinical Psychology

Ed Watkins is Professor of Experimental and Applied Clinical Psychology at the School of Psychology, University of Exeter. He trained as a chartered clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, London, and then held a joint research position between the Institute of Psychiatry and the Medical Research Council – Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. He has specialist clinical training and expertise in cognitive therapy for depression. He currently works as a researcher, teacher, and clinical practitioner, and directs SMART Lab (Study of Maladaptive to Adaptive Repetitive Thought), specialising in psychological research and treatment for depression and anxiety. His research programme focuses on worry and rumination, utilising both experimental methods to understand its mechanisms and then clinical process-outcome research to translate these experimental findings into improved psychological interventions to treat and prevent depression and anxiety. He has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, UK Medical Research Council (MRC) Experimental Medicine Award, European Commission FP7, and a NARSAD Young Investigators Award. Current research includes examining diet and behavioural change to prevent depression and obesity; the use of therapy targeting rumination to improve outcomes for depression and anxiety,  the use of e-therapies to prevent depression and anxiety, tested in UK, Netherlands, Sweden, and Hong Kong, and the use of innovative trial designs to disentangle the active ingredients of internet-delivered CBT. He was awarded the British Psychological Society’s May Davidson Award 2004 for outstanding early-career contribution to the development of clinical psychology, was a member of the Wellcome Trust Expert Review Group for Cognitive Neuroscience and Mental Health 2011-2014, and is a current member of the UK NICE guidelines review board for adult depression.


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