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Dr Shamil D Wanigaratne  BSc (hons), Dip.Psy, D.Clin.Psy, C.Psychol
Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Hon. Senior Lecturer
Head of Clinical Psychology
Addictions Division,
South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

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Institute of Psychiatry
Box  P
De Crespigny Park
United Kingdom, SE5 8AF

location 3 - 4 Windsor Walk


Shamil Wanigaratne studied psychology at the University of Nottingham and City University London and following his postgraduate training in clinical psychology in 1987, has worked in the fields of addictions and genito-urinary medicine. He was head of psychology for substance misuse services at Camden & Islington NHS Trust before he took up the post as head of psychology for the Addictions Directorate at the Bethlem and Maudsley NHS Trust in 1998.

Throughout his career he has worked hard to combine clinical practice with academic research. He has been and is currently involved in a number of research collaborations. His clinical and research interests include cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of addictions, initiation and maintenance of behaviour change, outcome measurement, culture and substance misuse, psychological impact of trauma and the association between trauma and addictive behaviours.

He has acted as a consultant to UK Government bodies and internationally, to a number of countries.

He was one of the founding members of the British Psychological Society’s Special Interest Group in Addictions, which is now the Faculty of Addiction. He also co-founded in 1996 the UK-Sri Lanka Trauma Group, which is a registered charity ( He is currently director of Samutthana, the King’s College London Resource Centre for Trauma, Displacement and Mental Health in Sri Lanka which was established with the help of the Institute of Psychiatry, South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, King’s College, UK-Sri Lanka Trauma Group and CAFOD ( to help Sri Lanka, following the Asian Tsunami in 2004. He was also involved in setting up the first clinical psychology training course in Sri Lanka, at the University of Colombo.


Selected publications

Data based
Whiteley, C., Wanigaratne, B., Marshall, J. and Curran, V. (2009). Autobiographical Memory in Detoxified Dependent Drinkers. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 10, 1-2.

Ismail, A.C., Seneviratne, R., Newcombe, P.A. and Wanigaratne, S. (2009). A Model of Substance Abuse Risk: Adapting to the Sri Lankan Context. Evaluation Review, 33, 83-97.

Manning, V., Wanigaratne, S., Best, D., Hill, R.G., Reed, L.J., Ball, D., Marshall, J., Gossop, M. and Strang, J. (2008). Changes in Neuropsychological Functioning during Alcohol Detoxification. European Addiction Research, 14 (4), 226-233.

Craig, T.K., Johnson, S., McCrone, P., Afuwape, S., Hughes, E., Gournay, K., White, I., Wanigaratne, S., Leese, M. and Thornicroft, G. (2008). Integrated Care for Co-occurring Disorders: Psychiatric Symptoms, Social Functioning, and Service Costs at 18 Months. Psychiatric Services, 59 (3), 276-282.

Hughes, E., Wanigaratne, S., Gournay, K., Johnson, S., Thornicroft, G., Finch, E., Marshall, J. and Smith, N. (2008). Training in dual diagnosis interventions (the COMO study): Randomised control trial. BMC Psychiatry, 8:12

Manning, V., Wanigaratne, S., Best, D., Strathdee, G., Schrover, I. and Gossop, M. (2007). Screening for cognitive functioning in psychiatric outpatients with schizophrenia, alcohol dependence, and dual diagnosis. Schizophrenia Research, 91, 1-3, 151-158.

Johnson, S., Thornicroft, G., Afuwape, S., Leese, M., White, I., Hughes, E., Wanigaratne, S., Miles, H. and Craig, T. (2007). Effects of training community staff in interventions for substance misuse in dual diagnosis patients with psychosis (COMO study). British Journal of Psychiatry, 191, 451-452.

McCambridge, J., Conlon, P., Keaney, F., Wanigaratne, S. and Strang, J. (2004). Patterns of alcohol consumption and problems among the Irish in London: A preliminary comparison of pub drinkers in London and Dublin. Addiction Research and Theory, 12, 373-384.

Curran, V.H., Kleckham, J., Bearne, J., Strang, J. & Wanigaratne, S.D. (2001). Effects of methadone on cognition, mood and craving in detoxifying opiate addicts: a dose-response study. Psychopharmacology, 154, 153-160.

Imrie, J., Stephenson, J.M., Cowan, F.M., Wanigaratne, S.D., Billington, A., Copas, A.,French, L. French, P.D. and Johnson, A.M.(2001). A randomised trial of a small-group cognitive behavioural intervention to reduce sexual risk-taking and sexually transmitted infections among ‘high-risk’ homosexual men attending an STD clinic. British Medical Journal, 322, 1450-1456.

McGillion, J., Wanigaratne, S.D., Godden, T., Byrne, A. & Feinmann, C. (2000). GP Attitudes towards the Treatment of Drug Users. British Journal of General Practice, 50, 385-386.

Curran, V.H., Bolton, J., Wanigaratne, S.D. & Smyth, C. (1999). Increased Methadone Dosage Increases Craving for Opiates but has no Cognitive or Sedative effects: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in methadone maintenance patients. Addiction, 94 (5), 666- 674.

Non Data based
Wanigaratne, S. (2006). Psychology of Addiction. Psychiatry, 5, 12, 455-460.

Wanigaratne, S., Davis, P., Pryce, K. & Brotchie, J. (2005). A Brief Review of the Effectiveness of Psychological Therapies in the Treatment of Substance Misuse. NTA, DOH, London.

Wanigaratne, S., Dar, K., Abdulrahim, D. and Strang, J. (2003). Ethnicity and Drug Use: Exploring the nature of particular relationships amongst diverse populations in the United Kingdom. Drugs: education, prevention and policy, 10 (1), 39-55.

Wanigaratne, S. (2003). Relapse Prevention in Practice. The Drug and Alcohol Professional, 3 (3), 11-18.

Sperlinger, D., Davis, P. and Wanigaratne, S. (2003). Measuring Treatment Outcomes with Drug Misuse Clients. BPS, Leicester.

Books and Chapters

Wanigaratne, S., Salas, S. and Strang, J. (2007). Substance Misuse. In D.Bhugra and K.Bhui (Eds) Textbook of Cultural Psychiatry, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Wanigaratne, S., Ashby, K. and Jones A. (2006). Working with Addictions. In J. Hall and S. Llewellyn (Eds) What is Clinical Psychology? Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Brookes, M and Wanigaratne, S.D. (2003). Which? Guide to Counselling and Psychotherapy: How to get help for your psychological problems. Penguin, London.

Wanigaratne, S.D. and Keaney, F. (2002). Psychodynamic Perspectives on Relapse Prevention. In M. Weegman & R. Cohen (Eds) Psychodynamic Aspects of Addiction, London, Academic Press.

Wanigaratne, S.D., Uninthan, S. and Strang, J. (2001). Substance Misuse and Ethnic Minorities in the UK. In D. Bhugra (Ed) Ethnic Minorities and Mental Health in the UK. Royal College of Psychiatrists, London.

Wanigaratne, S.D., Pullin, J., Wallace, W., Keaney, F. & Farmer, R.(1990) Relapse Prevention for Addictive Behaviours: A Manual for Therapists. Oxford: Blackwell.

last updated: Friday, September 18, 2009