At GroundWork Counseling we provide evidence-based therapy for individuals struggling with perfectionism. Whether your child is struggling with perfectionism at school, you’re a professional struggling with perfectionistic tendencies at work, or you find that perfectionism is interwoven into all parts of your life – we’re here to help.
About Perfectionism & Its Impact
Perfectionism can be a common trait, but when perfectionistic tendencies become extreme they can have a significant impact on mental health. Common perfectionism symptoms include fear of failure, difficulty completing tasks, and perfectionistic thinking. Perfectionistic thinking refers to setting excessively high standards for oneself or having an all-or-nothing attitude towards success and failure.
Fear of failure can lead to procrastination as individuals with perfectionist tendencies may be afraid to start projects that they fear they will not complete perfectly. People with perfectionist traits may also experience difficulty completing tasks due to their tendency to focus too much on details and fail to keep track of progress made. Furthermore, perfectionists often spend excessive amounts of time on seemingly small tasks in order to meet their perfectionistic standards, thus making it difficult to complete tasks in a timely manner.
Perfectionism can have a significant and detrimental impact on mental health. People with perfectionist traits may experience anxiety and depression due to the pressure of meeting perfectionistic standards. They may also suffer from low self-esteem / low self-worth as they feel that nothing they do is good enough and are unable to recognize accomplishments or successes.
Common Symptoms of Perfectionism
- Low Self Esteem
- Fear of failure
- Difficulty completing tasks
- Perfectionistic thinking
- Excessively high standards
- All-or-nothing attitude towards success and failure
- Decrease in social engagement
Perfectionism can be a symptom of both anxiety disorders and OCD. People with perfectionism tend to have an extreme focus on details, perfection and a sense of control. This can result in an excessive need for order and perfection that can make it difficult to complete tasks or make decisions. Individuals may become preoccupied with making mistakes and fearful of failure, which can be paralyzing and prevent them from achieving their goals or enjoying life. It can also lead to procrastination, isolation, perfectionism paralysis, and perfectionistic self-criticism. In addition, perfectionism can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression.
Is Perfectionism OCD, Anxiety or Something Else?
It is important to work with a mental health therapist who is experienced in treating perfectionism; this is so that OCD and anxiety disorders can be assessed and ruled out. This is important because the treatment of anxiety based perfectionism is different than effective treatment for perfectionistic OCD.
Types of Therapy for Perfectionism
- CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help perfectionists gain insight into perfectionistic thinking, identify triggers and help individuals practice new coping tools.
- Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT) – can help perfectionists to focus on the present moment, accept what is out of their control and become less invested in perfectionism.
- ERP – Treatment for Anxiety & OCD”>Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) if its determined that perfectionism symptoms are due to perfectionistic OCD the most empirically effective therapy is Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP). ERP is a specialized type of therapy under the cognitive-behavioral therapy umbrella that teaches clients new ways of engaging with distress and anxiety through gradual exposure.
Therapy for Perfectionism
When seeking therapy it is important to seek the support and expertise of a mental health professional who is trained in the treatment of anxiety related conditions. With help, perfectionists can learn to change perfectionistic thinking and behaviors, reduce perfectionistic pressures, and create more balance in their lives.
At GroundWork Counseling in Orlando, our therapists have specialized training and experience in working with individuals struggling with perfectionism, ERP, and working with both OCD and anxiety.
Schedule with an Orlando CBT Therapist