Perfectionism Therapy & Treatment


Perfectionism Therapy & Treatment

Striving to do things well or to be good at what you do is considered to be a positive quality to have. Having appropriately high standards plays a role in improved performance, completing tasks and achieving our goals in life.

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism, on the other hand, has been defined in clinical research as having “unrealistically high standards” for oneself or other people that are often “inflexible” and very difficult or impossible to meet. Often perfectionistic beliefs are associated with having negative consequences such as creating significant distress and interference in their life and daily activities such as work, travel, school, family and social relations.

Common Areas that can be Influenced by Perfectionism

  • Having rigid beliefs about performance at school or work
  • Strict standards for neatness
  • Excessive concern about making mistakes
  • A high need to have items organized in a particular manner
  • Fear of making mistakes while writing or speaking
  • High standards for physical appearance
  • Strict standards for personal cleanliness and physical health

Thoughts Associated with Perfectionism

As a result of struggling with perfectionism people often have thoughts such as, “I cannot trust others to do a good job”, “I must complete all the tasks myself,” I should never make any mistakes”, “other people will look down on me if I am late”, “everyone should should like my presentation”. Also, people often describe that such style of thinking is associated with feeling down, anxious, “restless” or “on edge” due to their perfectionism.

Perfectionism & Physical Sensations

Commonly reported physical sensations associated with having perfectionistic beliefs include:

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep difficulties

Perfectionism & Behaviours

People often engage in certain behaviour such as:

  • Avoidance of situations or tasks
  • Overcompensating or overdoing some behaviours
  • Excessive checking
  • Reassurance Seeking
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Excessive organizing and list making
  • Procrastination
  • Excessive slowness while completing tasks
  • Escape or giving up too soon
  • Frequent attempts to change behaviours of others
  • Difficulty in delegating tasks to others

Treatment for Perfectionism

People seek therapy for perfectionism at different stages: One may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious or experiencing a low mood due to their perfectionism. While other people may feel that they would like to learn more effective strategies and equip themselves with the resources for dealing with day to day difficulties they often experience as a result of their perfectionistic beliefs and behaviours.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has been found to be highly effective treatment for perfectionism. Research has demonstrated that individuals participating in therapy sessions have been able to learn strategies to manage their perfectionism, overcome their negative thoughts, reduce unhelpful behaviours and engage in viewing their current situation in a more realistic manner.

Dr. Ahmed & associates believe that no two people are alike and provide their clients with services that are customized based on the goals they are hoping to achieve. The sessions can provide you with a safe space to identify your problems, get a better understanding of the factors contributing to your current perfectionistic beliefs as well as develop effective solutions and strategies to mange your perfectionism.

Although, Dr. Ahmed & associates’ approach to psychological services is grounded in research-based treatment such a CBT, they often integrates elements from other therapeutic modalities, (e.g., mindfulness, motivational interviewing, schema focused therapy and client focused therapy) based on their clients’ needs and preferences. Dr. Ahmed & associates provides a supportive, collaborative, and non-judgmental environment so that you can feel comfortable expressing your concerns.

Contact Dr. Ahmed & associates for a consultation and inquire further about the process.


Commonly Addressed issues

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