Dr Jessica Kawalek

Research Assistant



PhD in Counselling within Education, The University of Manchester. Bsc Psychology, The University of Liverpool.


Jess joined the Patient Centred Outcomes Group in October 2021. Her background is in mental health. Jess has worked with a diverse range of clients with learning difficulties and mental health needs.

Research interests

Jess is interested in counselling and psychotherapy, eating disorders and dance/sport psychology research. More generally, Jess has a keen interest in mental health research and how individuals with disabilities can be supported with their wellbeing.

Previous projects

PhD thesis: “Exploring the emotional support needs of UK Dance students.”

Jess completed her PhD at the University of Manchester’s Institute for Education, focussing counselling support for dance students, exploring the topic of body image and disordered eating in depth. Jess examined body image discrimination within the performing arts industry, the implications of financial and relational inequality on the wellbeing of dance students and the application of an ecologically informed humanistic framework within dance educational settings. Jess developed an emotional support protocol for dance students which can be used by vocational dance schools in the future.


Kawalek., J.C., & Gobet, F. (in press). Expertise in contemporary dance: The roles of cognition, talent and deliberate practice. Journal of Dance Education.