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Perfectionists in therapy

One really common difficulty people come along to therapy is issues associated with perfectionism, though they might not quite recognise this at the start.

Perfectionism comes with high costs... many clients come to use experiencing burn out and exhaustion, social and performance anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, OCD and body image/eating issues, and workaholism. Many clients describe an inability to relax, procrastinating about what they need to do, and generally feeling dissatisfied and not having fun.

Most perfectionism begins in childhood as a response to difficult situations, and then becomes a habit to strive for perfection when difficult emotions are present.

Perfectionism is about feeling perfect (rather than being perfect) as a way to provide relief from difficult emotions.

We find an approach called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) a great way to work with clients around this issue. ACT helps clients to gain an understanding of the nature of perfectionism, develop an awareness of when perfectionistic thoughts and urges are around, and learn ways to work with the difficult feelings and thoughts that accompany it. We can help you work towards resisting the urge to respond to situations with perfectionism and break this longstanding pattern of behaviour. We will also help you get a better sense of what you want your life to look like and put plans in place to go towards it.

If you think you may be a perfectionist like the idea of working with ACT then do get in touch with us!

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