There is no denying that appearance matters in our society and across cultures. If you are born with a condition that affects your appearance, such as a birthmark, cleft lip and palate, or a rare congenital condition, you may be faced with many challenges – physically, medically, socially and interpersonally. This can also happen if your appearance changes during your lifetime, perhaps following an accident, surgery, or disease (i.e., a skin condition or cancer). Living with a more unusual or changed appearance can sometimes affect self-esteem, body image and social confidence. Coping with other people’s reactions can also be a challenge. I have extensive experience working with adults with appearance concerns, so if you are worried about your appearance, or a potential change to your appearance following upcoming surgery or medical treatment, please feel free to contact me to enquire about support.
“I’m due to have surgery that will change my appearance and I’m so worried about how this will affect me. Can you help?”
I worked at the charity Changing Faces for 11 years, supporting young people and adults, many of whom were going through something similar. It’s absolutely normal to feel worried because a change to your appearance is a significant life event. You may be worried about how you’ll look after the surgery, and also how others will respond to you. We can talk through these worries and look at how you can prepare for this change, exploring different coping strategies to help yo
“I was born with a condition that affects my facial appearance. I feel like it’s getting in the way of my relationships, both at work and intimately. Is this something you can help with?”
Absolutely. There is no doubt that living with a “different” or unusual appearance can bring its challenges. Together we can look at the ways that you feel your appearance is affecting your relationships and explore what may be going on in those instances. Our work will include exploring your own thoughts and feelings about your appearance/condition, and the interchange with other people, and their thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Using real examples of times when you’ve encountered difficulties will help us to develop strategies to create a different outcome in the future.