Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy for Perfectionism Over Time
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
In Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy for Perfectionism Over Time, Dr. Martin M. Antony demonstrates his approach to working with clients wrestling with issues surrounding maladaptive perfectionism. Perfectionism can be defined as a tendency to set standards that are unreasonably high, and to measure an individual's worth in terms of their ability to meet these standards. Typically, these perfectionistic standards are applied to oneself. Perfectionism is sometimes associated with anxiety or related disorders, and therefore resolving a client's anxiety may result in a decrease in more debilitating manifestations of perfectionism.
In this series of six sessions, Dr. Antony works with a young woman who is completing a graduate degree in psychology. She strives for perfection in many areas, including her school work and her family life. She is overly concerned with organizing, planning, and succeeding at everything she does, and also has occasional panic attacks and issues concerning her body image. In these sessions, Dr. Antony helps her to challenge thoughts about not meeting her goals and to learn to deal with the resulting stress rather than giving in to her drive to be perfect.
Dr. Antony's primary approach to treatment is cognitive–behavioral therapy, and his work is generally in the area of anxiety disorders (e.g., social anxiety disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia) and related conditions (e.g., perfectionism, hypochondriasis, body dysmorphic disorder).
Dr. Antony tends to use exposure-based strategies for dealing with fears of situations, objects, physical sensations, and thoughts. In addition, he uses cognitive strategies to teach clients to challenge their anxious thoughts and to replace them with more realistic interpretations and predictions regarding the situations they fear. Finally, relaxation-based strategies (e.g., progressive muscle relaxation, breathing retraining) are used to help clients to cope with generalized anxiety and stress.
Martin M. Antony, PhD, is professor in the Department of Psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. He is also director of Research at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre at St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, Ontario.
Dr. Antony has published 20 books and more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters in the areas of anxiety disorders and cognitive–behavior therapy. His work has been recognized by awards from the Society of Clinical Psychology (Division 12 of the American Psychological Association), the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.
Visit Dr. Antony's web site for more information.
- Antony, M. M., & Swinson, R. P. (2000). Phobic disorders and panic in adults: A guide to assessment and treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Antony, M. M., & Swinson, R. P. (2008). When perfect isn't good enough: Strategies for coping with perfectionism (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
- Antony, M. M., Purdon, C., & Summerfeldt, L. J. (2007). Psychological treatment of OCD: Fundamentals and beyond. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Antony, M. M., & Rowa, K. (2008). Social anxiety disorder: Psychological approaches to assessment and treatment. Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe.
- Antony, M. M., Ledley, D. R., & Heimberg, R. G. (Eds.). (2005). Improving outcomes and preventing relapse in cognitive–behavioral therapy. New York: Guilford.
- Ashbaugh, A., Antony, M. M., Liss, A., Summerfeldt, L. J., McCabe, R. E., & Swinson, R. P. (2007). Changes in perfectionism following cognitive–behavioral treatment for social phobia. Depression and Anxiety, 24, 169–177.
- Barlow, D. H. (Ed.). (2008). Clinical handbook of psychological disorders (4th ed.). New York: Guilford.
- Dugas, M. J., & Robichaud, M. (2007). Cognitive–behavioral treatment for generalized anxiety disorder. New York: Routledge.
- Flett, G. L., & Hewitt, P. L. (Eds.). (2002). Perfectionism: Theory, research, and treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Pleva, J., & Wade, T. D. (2007). Guided self-help versus pure self-help for perfectionism: A randomised controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45, 849–861.
- Riley, C., Lee, M., Fairburn, C. G., & Shafran, R. (in press). A randomised controlled trial of cognitive–behaviour therapy for clinical perfectionism: A preliminary study. Behaviour Research and Therapy.
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