Treatment for Perfectionism

Are there treatments available for perfectionism and its problems?

Yes, there are treatments available for those suffering with perfectionism and its outcomes. There are various types of treatment that have been shown to be effective, including interpersonal/psychodynamic treatments and cognitive behavioral treatments. It is important to understand that as perfectionism is an ingrained personality style, treatment can usually be intensive and long term (i.e., up to a year potentially).  There are self-help books available that state that they are useful for dealing with perfectionism; however, it is not clear what help these books may give.  They are certainly useful in helping people understand their own perfectionistic behavior but whether people’s perfectionism changes as a result of acquiring the information given is not known.

If you think perfectionism is a problem for you, may want to seek treatment that directly targets this personality feature as research has shown that research treating problems associated with perfectionism, but not directly treating perfectionism itself does not tend to resolve these difficulties in the long run. If you would like more information about treatment you can contact lab personnel who can direct you to additional resources ( hewittlab@psych.ubc.ca or call 604-822-0932).