Suffering from perfectionism? UBC researchers seek participants for new group treatment study

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      Perfectionists may garner admiration from others or achieve success. However, perfectionism is often accompanied by a range of mental-health and relationship problems that impact an individual over time due to an intolerance of or a heightened need to avoid failure, rejection, or criticism.

      A new UBC study is being launched to examine the effectiveness of a group treatment for people with perfectionism.

      As UBC psychology professor Paul Hewitt points out in a news release, perfectionism differs from striving for excellence or achievement, or being conscientious. Instead, perfectionists endeavour to correct a self-perception about not being good enough by demanding perfection from themselves.  

      There are also several characteristics associated with the behaviour, including specific traits, thought patterns and self-talk, and self-presentation that are related to psychological distress, dysfunction, and disorder. Depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and other problems are also associated with perfectionism.

      This study will take a close look at both the efficacy (whether or not it produces expected results under ideal circumstances) and effectiveness (pragmatic testing) of a treatment that's based on both interpersonal and psychodynamic psychotherapy (which examines how life experiences influence a person's character and relationships) and focuses on the underlying mechanisms of perfectionism, in addition to symptoms and problems.

      Anyone struggling with perfectionism who is interested in participating in this group treatment study can contact researchers for a screening interview by phone, followed by an initial clinical assessment in which participants will be interviewed about difficulties they face and related issues due to perfectionism.

      Eligible participants will take part in a 12-week group psychotherapy program that aims to reduce perfectionistic behaviour.

      Anyone interested can contact the Hewitt Lab at 604-822-0932 or visit the UBC Perfectionism and Psychopathology Lab website.