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Dr Kim Wright

Dr Kim Wright



 Washington Singer 117


Washington Singer Laboratories, University of Exeter, Perry Road, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4QG, UK


I am a Professor in Clinical Psychology and a registered Clinical Psychologist. My research programme centres upon developing more effective psychosocial interventions for bipolar disorder and depression. In particular I am interested in how we can support people with bipolar to manage ongoing instability of mood. My research also explores the role of certain lifestyle factors in the management of bipolar including exercise and time spent in nature. I use a variety of methods including case series, randomised controlled trial designs, experimental and observational designs, evidence synthesis and qualitative interviewing.

I am co-lead of the AccEPT Service, an NHS funded psychological therapies service based at the University of Exeter that acts as a platform for research and innovation:

I am currently an associate member of the NIHR School for Primary Care Research at the University of Exeter, which is part of the Exeter Collaboration for Academic Primary Care (APEX) group.


BA(Oxon) DClinPsy (Lond) PhD (Lond)

Research group links

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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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Journal articles

Elkington S, Brown M, Wright K, Regan J, Pattarnaraskouwski K, Steel C, Hales S, Holmes E, Morant N (In Press). "Experiences of Imagery-based Treatment for Anxiety in Bipolar Disorder: a Qualitative Study Embedded within the IBER Feasibility RCT.". Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice
Burbach F, Sherbersky H, whitlock R, rapsey E, Wright KA, Handley R (In Press). A unique regional Family Interventions training programme. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Yilmaz S, Anna H, Kisely S, Rao S, Wang J, Baur K, Price M, O'Mahen H, Wright K (In Press). Do psychological interventions reduce symptoms of depression for patients with Bipolar I or II Disorder? a meta-analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders
Palmier-Claus J, Lobban F, Mansell W, Jones S, Tyler E, Lodge C, Bowe S, Dodd A, Wright K (In Press). Mood monitoring in bipolar disorder: is it always helpful?. Bipolar Disorders: an international journal of psychiatry and neurosciences
Wright K (In Press). The IBER study: a feasibility randomised controlled trial of Imagery Based Emotion Regulation for the treatment of anxiety in bipolar disorder. International Journal of Bipolar Disorders
Wright K, Eden S, Hancox A, Windget D, Elliott L, Glossop Z, Johnston G, Johnston RI, Lobban F, Lodge C, et al (2024). A qualitative exploration of the contribution of blue space to well‐being in the lives of people with severe mental illness. People and Nature, 6(2), 849-864. Abstract.
Wright K, Koenders M, Douglas KM, Faurholt‐Jepsen M, Lewandowski KE, Miklowitz DJ, Morton E, Murray G, Richardson T, de Siqueira Rotenberg L, et al (2024). Psychological therapies for people with bipolar disorder: Where are we now, and what is next? <scp>ISBD</scp> Psychological Interventions Taskforce—Position paper. Bipolar Disorders
Bakou AE, Hardy L, Shuai R, Wright K, Hogarth L (2024). Ultra-Brief Breath Counting (Mindfulness) Training Abolishes Negative Affect–Induced Alcohol Motivation in Hazardous Community Drinkers. Mindfulness, 15(3), 653-664. Abstract.
Dunn BD, Widnall E, Warbrick L, Warner F, Reed N, Price A, Kock M, Courboin C, Stevens R, Wright K, et al (2023). Preliminary clinical and cost effectiveness of augmented depression therapy versus cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of anhedonic depression (ADepT): a single-centre, open-label, parallel-group, pilot, randomised, controlled trial. eClinicalMedicine, 61, 102084-102084.
Wright K, Mostazir M, Bailey E, Dunn BD, O’Mahen H, Sibsey M, Thomas Z (2022). Adapted Behavioural Activation for Bipolar Depression: a Randomised Multiple Baseline Case Series. Brain Sciences, 12(10), 1407-1407. Abstract.
Dunn B (2022). How well do Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Behavioural Activation for depression repair anhedonia? a secondary analysis of the COBRA randomised controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy Abstract.
Porter L, Cox JS, Wright KA, Lawrence NS, Gillison FB (2022). The impact of COVID-19 on the eating habits of families engaged in a healthy eating pilot trial: a thematic analysis. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 10(1), 241-261.
O'Mahen HA, Hayes A, Harries C, Ladwa A, Mostazir M, Ekers D, McMillan D, Richards D, Wright K (2021). A comparison of the effects of sudden gains and depression spikes on short- and long-term depressive symptoms in a randomized controlled trial of behavioral activation and cognitive behavioural therapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 89(12), 957-969.
Porter L, Lawrence N, Wright K (2021). Exploring strategies to optimise the impact of food-specific inhibition training on children's food choices. Frontiers in Psychology, 12
Wright K, Dodd A, Warren F, Medina-Lara A, Dunn B, Harvey J, Javaid M, Jones S, Owens C, Taylor R, et al (2021). Psychological Therapy for Mood Instability within Bipolar Spectrum Disorder: a Randomised, Controlled Feasibility Trial of a Dialectical Behaviour Therapy-Informed Approach (the ThrIVe-B Programme). International Journal of Bipolar Disorders, 9
Porter L, Cox J, Wright K, Lawrence N, Gillison F (2021). The impact of COVID-19 on the eating habits of families engaged in a healthy eating pilot trial: a thematic analysis. Appetite, 169
Palmier-Claus J, Wright K, Mansell W, Bowe S, Lobban F, Tyler E, Lodge C, Jones S (2020). A guide to behavioural experiments in bipolar disorder. Clin Psychol Psychother, 27(2), 159-167. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wright K, Palmer G, Javaid M, Mostazir M, Lynch T (2020). Psychological therapy for mood instability within bipolar spectrum disorder: a single-arm feasibility study of a dialectical behaviour therapy-informed approach. Pilot Feasibility Stud, 6 Abstract.  Author URL.
Steel C, Wright K, Goodwin G, Simon J, Morant N, Taylor R, Brown M, Jennings S, Hales S, Holmes E, et al (2020). The IBER study: study protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial of Imagery Based Emotion Regulation for the treatment of anxiety in bipolar disorder. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 6(1). Abstract.
Koenders MA, Dodd AL, Karl A, Green MJ, Elzinga BM, Wright K (2020). Understanding bipolar disorder within a biopsychosocial emotion dysregulation framework. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, 2, 100031-100031.
Dunn BD, O'Mahen H, Wright K (2019). A commentary on research rigour in clinical psychological science: How to avoid throwing out the innovation baby with the research credibility bath water in the depression field. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 120, 103417-103417.
Dunn BD, Widnall E, Reed N, Taylor R, Owens C, Spencer A, Kraag G, Kok G, Geschwind N, Wright K, et al (2019). Evaluating Augmented Depression Therapy (ADepT): Study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 27, 63-63.
Kirschner H, Kuyken W, Wright K, Roberts H, Brejcha C, Karl A (2019). Soothing Your Heart and Feeling Connected: a New Experimental Paradigm to Study the Benefits of Self-Compassion. Clinical Psychological Science, 7(3), 545-565. Abstract.
O'Mahen HA, Moberly NJ, Wright KA (2019). Trajectories of Change in a Group Behavioral Activation Treatment for Severe, Recurrent Depression. Behavior Therapy, 50(3), 504-514. Abstract.
Wright K, Dodd A, Warren FC, Medina-Lara A, Taylor R, Jones S, Owens C, Javaid M, Dunn B, Harvey JE, et al (2018). The clinical and cost effectiveness of adapted dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) for bipolar mood instability in primary care (ThrIVe-B programme): a feasibility study. Trials, 19(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Richards DA, Rhodes S, Ekers D, McMillan D, Taylor RS, Byford S, Barrett B, Finning K, Ganguli P, Warren F, et al (2017). Cost and Outcome of BehaviouRal Activation (COBRA): a randomised controlled trial of behavioural activation versus cognitive-behavioural therapy for depression. Health Technol Assess, 21(46), 1-366. Abstract.  Author URL.
Finning K, Richards DA, Moore L, Ekers D, McMillan D, Farrand PA, O'Mahen HA, Watkins ER, Wright KA, Fletcher E, et al (2017). Cost and outcome of behavioural activation versus cognitive behavioural therapy for depression (COBRA): a qualitative process evaluation. BMJ Open, 7(4). Abstract.  Author URL.
Richards DA, Ekers D, McMillan D, Taylor RS, Byford S, Warren FC, Barrett B, Farrand PA, Gilbody S, Kuyken W, et al (2016). Cost and Outcome of Behavioural Activation versus Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression (COBRA): a randomised, controlled, non-inferiority trial. Lancet
Wright K, Armstrong T (2016). The Construction of an Inventory of Responses to Positive Affective States. SAGE Open, 6(1), 215824401562279-215824401562279. Abstract.
Rosser BA, Wright KA (2016). The Impact of Thought Speed and Variability on Psychological State and Threat Perception: Further Exploration of the Theory of Mental Motion. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 40(4), 453-467. Abstract.
Lowenstein JAS, Wright K, Taylor A, Moberly NJ (2015). An investigation into the effects of different types of exercise on the maintenance of approach motivation levels. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 9, 24-34. Abstract.
Rhodes S, Richards DA, Ekers D, McMillan D, Byford S, Farrand PA, Gilbody S, Hollon SD, Kuyken W, Martell C, et al (2014). Cost and outcome of behavioural activation versus cognitive behaviour therapy for depression (COBRA): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials, 15 Abstract.  Author URL.
Steinacher A, Wright KA (2013). Relating the bipolar spectrum to dysregulation of behavioural activation: a perspective from dynamical modelling. PLoS One, 8(5). Abstract.  Author URL.
Wright KA, Armstrong T, Taylor A, Dean S (2012). 'It's a Double Edged Sword':. A Qualitative Analysis of the Experiences of Exercise. Amongst People with Bipolar Disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders
Jones SH, Lobban F, Cooke A, Mansell W, Wright K, Hemmingfield J (2011). Psychological therapies for bipolar disorder: Addressing some misunderstandings. Psychiatrist, 35(11), 432-434.
Pavlova B, Uher R, Dennington L, Wright K, Donaldson C (2011). Reactivity of affect and self-esteem during remission in bipolar affective disorder: an experimental investigation. Journal of Affective Disorders, 134(1-3), 102-111. Abstract.
Lam D, Burbeck R, Wright KA, Pilling S (2009). Psychological therapies in bipolar disorder: the effect of illness history on relapse prevention - systematic review. Bipolar Disorders, 11, 474-482. Abstract.
Wright KA, Lam D, Brown R (2009). Reduced Approach Motivation Following Nonreward: Extension of the BIS/BAS Scales. Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 753-757. Abstract.
Wright KA, Everson-Hock ES, Taylor AH (2009). The effects of physical activity on physical and mental health among individuals with bipolar disorder: a systematic review. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 2(2), 86-94. Abstract.
Wright K, Gudjonsson G, Young S (2008). An investigation of the relationship between anger and offence-related shame and guilt. Psychology, Crime and Law, 14, 415-423. Abstract.
Wright KA, Lam D, Brown RG (2008). Dysregulation of the behavioral activation system in remitted bipolar I disorder. J Abnorm Psychol, 117(4), 838-848. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wright K, Gudjonsson GH (2007). The development of a scale for measuring offence-related feelings of shame and guilt. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 18(3), 307-316. Abstract.
Lam D, McCrone P, Wright KA, Kerr N (2005). Cost-effectiveness of relapse-prevention cognitive therapy for bipolar disorder: a 30 month study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 186(6), 500-506.
Wright KA, Lam DH, Newsom-Davis I (2005). Induced mood change and dysfunctional attitudes in remitted Bipolar I Affective Disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114(4), 689-696. Abstract.
Lam DH, Hayward P, Watkins ER, Wright K, Sham P (2005). Relapse prevention in patients with bipolar disorder: cognitive therapy outcome after 2 years. Am J Psychiatry, 162(2), 324-329. Abstract.  Author URL.
Lam D, Wright K, Sham P (2005). Sense of hyper-positive self and response to cognitive therapy in bipolar disorder. Psychol Med, 35(1), 69-77. Abstract.  Author URL.
Lam D, Wright KA, Smith N (2004). Dysfunctional assumptions in bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 79(1-3), 193-199.
Lam DH, Watkins ER, Hayward P, Bright J, Wright K, Kerr N, Parr-Davis G, Sham P (2003). A randomized controlled study of cognitive therapy for relapse prevention for bipolar affective disorder: outcome of the first year. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 60(2), 145-152. Abstract.  Author URL.


Lam, D.H. (2004). Bipolar affective disorder: Current perspectives on psychological theory and treatment. In Power M (Ed) Mood Disorders: a Handbook of Science and Practice, Chichester: Wiley, 235-246.


Richardson T, Strawbridge B, Wright K (2023). Does England's increasing access to psychological therapies service work with bipolar disorder? a freedom of information request and survey of service user and staff.  Author URL.
Eden SL, Gonzalez J, Wright K (2019). The caffeine-physical activity-affect relationship in individuals with bipolar disorder.  Author URL.

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External Engagement and Impact

Committee/panel activities

2011-2012: Member of Department of Health task and finish group for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for SMI initiative

2007-2012: Expert member of South West 2 NHS Research Ethics Committee

Editorial responsibilities

2012-present: Associate Editor of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy

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Dr Wright currently teaches on professional training programmes and the BSc in Psychology:


  • BSc: Cognitive Behavioural Approaches to Mood Disorders
  • DClinPsy: Module convenor for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy strand
  • DClinPsy: academic tutor
  • IAPT High Intensity Programme: Module convenor for Depression strand



Information not currently available

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Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Michael Begley
  • Asha Ladwa
  • Joseph Lowenstein
  • Benjamin Rosser
  • Kerry Wingfield-Digby

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Office Hours:

Office Hours for Term 2 in 23/24 are:

Mondays 10-11 (Teams)

Wednesdays 12-1 (in person in room 117 or Teams)

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