Dr Helen Malson

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About me

Helen is an Associate Professor in Social Psychology. She is a member of the Social Science Resarch Group and an associate member of the Psychological Sciences Research Group and the Centre for Appearance Research at UWE. She is also a co-director of the Bristol Eating Disorders Health Integration Team.

Prior to joining UWE, Helen worked with Professor Valerie Walkerdine and others at the Centre for Critical Psychology at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Helen uses critical discourse analysis, feminist and Foucauldian approaches to explore the cultural production and regulation of gendered subjectivities and contemporary media representations of gender.

Helen's research focuses primarily on eating disorders, including treatment and prevention issues as well as critical feminist analyses of eating dis/ordered subjectivities. Her current projects include an exploration of key stakeholder perspectives on primary care for people with existing or emerging eating disorders; developing an app for people with eating disorders; developing a school-based interventions to challenge damaging gender norms and an exploration of the place of cultural identities in experiences and treatment of 'eating disorders'. Her books include The Thin Woman: Feminism, Post-structuralism and the Social Psychology of Anorexia Nervosa  and, with Maree Burns, Critical Feminist Approaches to Eating Dis/orders

As a director of the Eating Disorders Health Integration Team, Helen works closely with  people with lived experience of eating disorders as well as academics, clinicians, commissioners and third sector colleagues, developing strong collaborative links within and beyond academia, working with a range of NHS and voluntary sector eating disorder service providers and with GPs, youth mental health support groups and local schools. With co-director, Sanni Norweg, Principal Clinical Psychologist at STEPS NHS Eating Disorder Service, she has been very successful in attracting external funding, leading on research projects, contributing to service developments and developing eating disorders prevention initiatives. The team also  organise regular research conferences and public engagement events .

Helen has managed and taught on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology programmes at the University of East London, the University of Western Sydney and at UWE and supervises postgraduate research students on a range of topics around gender and/or mental health. She is a consulting editor of Feminism & Psychology and an editorial board member of POWER, the journal of the BPS Psychology of Women and Equalities Section.

Area of expertise

eating disorders, including treatment and prevention issues, gender, culture  qualitative methods, criticla discourse analysis, feminst poststructuralism


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