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  5. Dr Heidi Williamson

Dr Heidi Williamson

Role within the CfCWR

Co-Chief Investigator for the UNITS project: Understanding the Needs and Interventions for the Treatment of Scarring – developing psychosocial interventions for military personnel affected by appearance-altering conflict-related injuries, and their families.

Other positions held

  • Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), University of the West of England (UWE).
  • Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology, UWE.


  • 2012 Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK.
  • 2007 MSc (Distinction) Health Psychology, UWE.
  • 1999 BSc (1 st Class Honours) Psychology & Health Science, UWE.
  • 1991 Registered General Nurse, College of Nursing and Midwifery, Dorset, UK.

Based at

Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK.


Following a successful career as a Critical Care Nurse, Dr Heidi Williamson is now a Health Psychologist working as a Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the University of the West of England. Her research focuses on understanding psychosocial adjustment to appearance-altering conditions and injuries, designing and evaluating interventions to support patients who are struggling, and supporting multi-disciplinary health professionals to improve the care of patients with body image concerns.

She developed www.ypfaceit.co.uk a web-based psychosocial intervention for young people with appearance-altering conditions and injuries, collaborated with the Dove Self-esteem Project on the creation of videos to support girls experiencing appearance anxiety and the SPIN group to develop their scleroderma-specific, ACT-based online body image intervention.

She is a member of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) Management Group, supervises PhD students and manages researchers within the VTCTF research programme at CAR, a four-year project driven by priorities set by charities that work directly with people and their families who are living with visible difference. She collaborates with patients, family members, health professionals, the UK’s National Health Service and private health providers in the UK and provides consultation on appearance-related projects across Europe, in Australia, the USA and Canada.

She is co-chair of the International Appearance Matters conference series, expert advisor on several local and national organizations promoting body confidence, and develops and delivers educational packages to train multidisciplinary health professionals and third sector workers to support patients with appearance concerns.

Contact details

Tel: 0117 3281572