Dr Kim Wright
Associate Professor


Research interests

My research aims to contribute towards an understanding of the psychological processes involved in Bipolar Disorder.

My specific interests are:

  • The relationship between minor mood change and the development of affective episodes
  • Dysregulation of motivational systems in Bipolar Disorder
  • Cognitive and behavioural treatment of Bipolar Disorder
  • Regulation of positive mood
  • Physical activity and Bipolar Disorder
  • Behavioural Activation therapy for Depression

Research projects

Ongoing research:

  • Characterising positive mood and reward functioning in Bipolar Disorder and Depression (projects in collaboration with Barney Dunn, Natalia Lawrence and Nicholas Moberly)
  • Developing techniques that individuals with Bipolar Disorder can use to regulate approach motivation (in collaboration with Frederick Verbruggen and Ed Watkins)
  • Investigating the therapeutic potential of exercise in Bipolar Disorder (in collaboration with Adrian Taylor)
  • Exploring the potential of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy for Bipolar Spectrum disorders (in collaboration with Tom Lynch, University of Southampton)

Current externally funded research:

  • As part of the EMOTER project (PI Giovanna Colombetti, 2010-2014), funded by the European Research Council, we are investigating whether reflecting upon and labelling emotional experience has the potential to change the experience of emotion. This has potential future application within the refinement of psychological therapies for mood disorders.
  • I am a co-investigator on the COBRA trial (Cost and Outcomes of Behavioural Activation, funded by NIHR, PI David Richards, 2011-2015), which compares two active therapies for depression: Behavioural Activation and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
  • With in Exeter and Cardiff I am exploring the potential of dynamical modelling approaches to represent approach motivation functioning in Bipolar Disorder (funded by EPSRC Bridging the Gaps, 2013)
  • I am a co-investigator on a prospective online study of wanting, liking and learning in mood disorders and addiction (PI Barney Dunn, funded by Wellcome ISSF, 2013-2014)
  • Co-applicant (key researcher) on PenCLARHC (NIHR funded, 2009-2013).

Past externally funded research:

  • Joint principal applicant (with Heather O’Mahen) on an award of £43,000 from the Peninsula Primary Care Research Management & Governance Unit, Devon PCT to develop group Behavioural Activation therapy (2008-2009).
  • Co-applicant on Wellcome capital funding award (PI: Ed Watkins) for construction of Sir Henry Wellcome Centre for Mood Disorders Research.

Research networks

University of Exeter:

Natalia Lawrence

Barney Dunn

Ed Watkins

Nicholas Moberly

Heather O‘Mahen

Paul Farrand

David Richards

Frederick Verbruggen

Adrian Taylor

Sarah Dean

Giovanna Colombetti

Arno Steinacher

University of Southampton:

Tom Lynch

Massey University:

Peter Cannon

Research grants

  • 2012 National Institute for Health Research HTA Programme
    Cost and Outcome of Behavioral Activation: a Randomised Controlled Trial of Behavioural Activation versus Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Depression (the COBRA trial)
  • 2009 European Research Council
    Team member

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