The Centre for

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Professional, Confidential Counselling

18 King William Street, London, EC4N 7BP
1 Bromley Lane, Chislehurst, Kent, BR7 6LH

CBT for Perfectionism

Perfectionism and CBT

Perfectionism is associated with elevated levels of stress, anxiety, depression, anger and a wide range of mental health problems. It is being described as a hidden epidemic. In our current culture striving to attain perfection has increased dramatically (due in part to social media), irrational ideals of the perfect self have become desirable in a world where performance, status and image are seen to define a person’s usefulness and value.

Trying to do everything perfectly is linked to all the should’s and musts an individual believes they need to fulfil for example I should complete 100% of my to do list, I must be the perfect partner, friend, student, employee, parent, I must look perfect in my Instagram pictures there are many more.

When these expectations are not met it results in self-criticism and a sense of failure. Broadly defined perfectionism is as a combination of excessively high personal standards and overly critical self-evaluations

There is an important link between perfectionism and the brain. Thinking about the brain and how it functions has fascinated people for thousands of years; the brain was referred to as early as 1700bc in an Egyptian papyrus describing individual cases of brain injuries and potential treatments. Since then neuroscience has progressed extensively over the last decade a small area in the brain called the habenula (depicted in diagram one) has been given a lot more attention.
The habenula is responsible for the processing of reward and punishment, it works like a middle man taking information from your life assessing if this data matches a set criterion (the shoulds) it then communicates with another area of the brain that releases serotonin and other neurotransmitters (feel good chemicals). The habenula signals to release serotonin if what you do fits with the shoulds or restricts if what you do doesn’t fit. The restriction of the release of these feel good chemicals effects how you think, your mood, and what you do in a negative way.

CBT and Perfectionism

During a course of CBT, you learn to identify your beliefs and the associated shoulds/rules for living, evaluate them, and then by modifying them creating new neural pathways in the brain reducing the likelihood that you will experience psychological problems in the future.
Perfectionism and CBT

The Centre for CBT provides an innovative treatment approach in three steps

Step one – Learning to identify, evaluate, and modify negative automatic thoughts (cognitive distortions) and unhelpful behavioural patterns linked to perfectionism.
Step two – Education about the brain from a neuroscience perspective, allowing for a compassionate, advanced understanding of current difficulties.
Step three – Identifying, evaluating, and modifying multi-dimensional perfectionist beliefs in three areas self-orientated perfectionism, socially prescribed perfectionism, and other orientated perfectionism to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and anger.

Virtual Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Convenient, private and secure

Cognitive Therapy London Virtual Therapy

Online Therapy is available to anyone, anywhere in the world at home or in the office using a tablet, mobile phone or laptop / computer and a good internet connection.

This service would appeal to client's for a variety of reasons.

  • Clients location would make it difficult / impossible to access Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy.
  • Clients time-pressure, work deadlines, and work-based travel make it difficult to commit for the normal counselling time-scale.
  • Clients family commitments make it easier to have treatment on-line at home.
  • Clients prefer an initial face to face assessment, and then combine both treatment modalities.

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