Face IT@home

Online Support Tool For People With A Visible Difference

About Face IT@home

Face IT provides support and advice for anyone who has worries or is unhappy because they have a different or unusual appearance (what we call a visible difference). Conditions that can affect appearance are:

  • Skin conditions for example, vitiligo, ichthyosis, eczema, acne, psoriasis or other conditions that affect the texture of the skin such as neurofibromatosis and epidermolysis bullosa
  • Scarring from accidents, burns or surgery
  • Alopecia caused by a range of conditions and illnesses
  • Medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • Conditions from birth, for example birthmarks, cleft lip or other craniofacial conditions

Face IT has been designed by experts in the field of appearance psychology and people with a range of conditions that affect appearance who understand the types of worries and problems you might be experiencing.

There are 8 sessions in Face IT. Each session has different exercises and activities and will take 45 - 60 minutes to complete. We'd like you to complete 1 session per week.

Face IT will help you to learn new skills and will give you useful tips so you feel more confident about the way you look.

You'll learn how to deal with situations that you find upsetting or uncomfortable.

It will help you feel more comfortable meeting new people and being with friends, going to the shops, playing sport, or going to work.

Face IT will also allow you to test out social situations that you might find difficult on the computer (like going out in public or responding to people who stare or ask questions about your appearance), so that you can practice how to manage them and increase your confidence before trying it out for real.

While you are completing Face IT, you will have access to your own personal journal that you can use throughout the program to record your feelings, experiences and progress. This is an important and helpful part of the program and you will be able to access your journal at any time. Feel free to express your feelings however you want.

You can also visit the Face IT@home discussion forum. This is a place where you can meet and socialise with other people who have a visible difference. You can discuss any concerns you may have or offer support to others. The forum is also a place where you can talk about your experiences of using Face IT, for example, any difficulties you might be having or what you particularly like about the program.

No, it's a simple program but you will need motivation and commitment to complete it. The key thing to remember about Face IT is that it's up to you how much or how little you get from it.

You'll be asked to do one session per week until you have completed all 8 sessions. But you can repeat sessions or revisit sections during the week or whenever you want to. After you've finished Face IT you will be sent a quiz to remind you of the skills you've learnt.

You'll also be asked to do some easy activities at home to help you practice what you've learnt. The more you practice your skills the more Face IT will help. If you forget to do the activity, don't worry we'll send you an e-mail reminder.

The tips and advice provided are used by counsellors and support groups. Another version of Face IT has already been scientifically tested and found to be very helpful.

This is the first time this program has been available to people in their own homes. Here are two examples of people who found the tips and advice in Face IT helpful.

Because Face IT is online it's particularly useful for people who can't easily get help from health services or who don't want to talk about their worries face-to-face.

Nothing changes straight away - we all need time to learn new skills and it will take some people longer than others to come to terms with their appearance issues and learn to deal with them. The fact that you're even here, looking at Face IT, shows that you want to help yourself and have the ability to take control.

Remember that practice makes perfect. Doing the activities we give you in or after the sessions will make it easier to learn the new skills. But if you're having difficulty completing a certain activity, don't panic! If you don't succeed first time, that doesn't mean you have failed - DON'T GIVE UP! - have another go. Try to see times when you haven't succeeded as a chance to learn so that you can do things better next time.

Some people will find that Face IT is all the support they need, but others may need further support.

If you're finding life very difficult to deal with, then Face IT may not offer you enough support. In this situation, please seek further help.

The following page has details of different support groups that may be useful if you're upset, want someone to talk to, or want more information about your condition. These contacts are also available on the main menu screen.

Further Reading

For further reading about Face IT@home including details of the theoretical model it is based on please download the PDF below:

Face IT Explained