Dr. Kate Hefferon

Chartered Research Psychologist

For over a decade and a half, Kate has dedicated her academic studies to understanding the role of the body within well-being across a variety of populations, topics and interventions. Kate is a Chartered Research Psychologist and Honorary Reader at the University of East London. Kate graduated from the University of Ottawa with a BA in English Literature and Psychology, followed by a BA Honours in Psychology from Carleton University. This led to the completion of an MSc in Performance Psychology at Edinburgh University. Kate’s PhD thesis was on the experience of Post-traumatic growth among female breast cancer survivors and the role of the body and physical activity in the recovery and growth process. From there, Kate went on to become the Programme Leader of the world-renowned Master in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at the University of East London. She founded and lead the Posttraumatic growth research unit at UEL and continues her affiliation with the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology (MAPPCP) at UEL.

Kate’s research interests mainly focus on the topic of posttraumatic growth, the body and physical activity within clinical populations. Kate also took up a post at the University of the Arts- London College of Fashion to pursue her interest and connections between clothing practices, the body and wellbeing. Kate is the author of numerous peer reviewed papers, books and book chapters and has keynote presented at conferences nationally and internationally. Kate has also worked with complex organisations implementing multi-layered, large-scale resilience and wellbeing programmes for staff.

Another area in which kate is passionate about is the use of qualitative approaches within the psychological sciences. Kate is an expert in qualitative research, with over a decade of experience in facilitating, training and supervising novice and advanced researchers, across a range of qualitative approaches. Indeed, Kate co-founded the Scottish Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis Group, was a former co-facilitator of the London Regional IPA group and co-founded London IPA training.

Kate is currently a member of the British Psychological Society (Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology); a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE) and the Royal Society of Arts as well as a Senior Associate member of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM).  Kate served on the executive board of the European Network of Positive Psychology (ENPP) for 4 years and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Applied Positive Psychology.