Dr Heidi Williamson

About me

​​I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Appearance Research, Chartered Health Psychologist and joint MSc Health Psychology​ programme lead. I also lead the intervention stream of work for the Vocational Training Charitable Trust Foundation research programme at CAR. 

​​My research involves working with individuals with a visible difference (‘disfigurement’) resulting from of a skin (e.g. psoriasis or ichthyosis) or congenital condition (e.g. cleft lip), a traumatic injury (e.g. burn injury) or as a result of treatment for diseases such as cancer (e.g. hair loss and surgical scarring). I am interested in the psychological, social and health consequences of living with a visible difference. I collaborate with young people, their parents, adults, charitable organisations and health professionals to identify and evaluate strategies to support those who are struggling with appearance-related distress and have a special interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

I am also passionate about increasing health professionals' awareness and knowledge of the common appearance issues and concerns of their patients and increasing patient access to appearance-related support. 

I have developed an online psychosocial support intervention called YP Face IT​, for young people aged 12-17 with appearance-related distress as a result of any condition or injury affecting their appearance; consulted on the creation videos to support adolescent girls experiencing apperance anxiety in realtion to acne in collaboration with the Women's Dermatological Society in the US and the Dove Self-Esteem Project, and work with the SPIN collaboration to develop materials to support individuals affected by scleroderma

​​​​I also work collaboratively with researchers, other organisations and health professionals in the UK and overseas (Australia, USA, Norway, Netherlands, Canada).



Area of expertise

Health psychology. Appearance research and visible differences / disfigurement, young people, parents and adults.
Developing interventions to support young people and adults distressed by an altered appearance.

My Publications