Dr Heidi Williamson

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  • Qualifications:RN, BSc (Hons), MSc, DHealth, CPsychol
  • Position:Senior Lecturer & MSc Health Psychology Joint Programme Lead and Senior Research Fellow
  • Department:HAS - Health and Social Sciences
  • Telephone:+4411732 81572
  • Email:Heidi3.Williamson@uwe.ac.uk

About me

​​I am a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Appearance Research, Health Psychologist and MSc Health Psychology joint programme lead. 

I also lead the intervention stream 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 /combat 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 12-17 year olds struggling with any condition or injury affecting their appearance; consulted on the creation of videos to support adolescent girls experiencing apperance anxiety in relation 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 those 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.


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