Unpacking Perfectionism

Unpacking Perfectionism

Helping Others and Oneself with Flexibility and Self-Compassion

CE Hours available

The pursuit of perfection is a self-reinforcing cycle that impacts many of us.

And we’ve heard from many clinicians who are all too familiar with scenarios like this:

A client sets unrealistic, overly rigid expectations for themselves.

While they may meet those standards for a while, they eventually fall short.

In response to this setback, they begin to feel crushed by feelings of failure. 

Self-criticism becomes the leading thought narrative, and their confidence plummets. 

They spend their energy battling self-defeating, self-critical thoughts.

And to drown out those thoughts, this individual redoubles their efforts to meet unrealistic standards.

So the cycle continues.

As perfectionists strive for excellence, their ingrained habits erode their wellness.

Unrealistic expectations and standards seep into every aspect of life. Relationships suffer. Work becomes drudgery. Self-esteem plummets.

Perfectionism can lead to procrastination, self-criticism, and a crippling fear of failure.

Many therapists struggle with perfectionism right alongside their clients — without even recognizing it.  But perfectionism isn’t a personality quirk, it’s a set of reinforced behaviors. And when therapists are able to identify and target the specific mechanisms, perspectives, and behaviors associated with perfectionism — in themselves and their clients — it can open up brand new avenues for healing.

By helping clients increase flexibility, make peace with failure, and redefine success, therapists can tame the tyranny of the cycle of unhelpful perfectionism.

About the Course

Our upcoming live online course Unpacking Perfectionism will help therapists understand and address perfectionistic behaviors using acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and self-compassion strategies and tools.

This experiential workshop will start with a concise functional contextual behavioral formulation of perfectionism and then use this as a conceptual framework for delivering interventions to clients and will integrate this formulation with the current thinking on neurodivergence, OCD and eating disorders. 

Across four skills-based sessions, you’ll learn how to conduct a functional analysis of perfectionistic behavior, how unhelpful patterns develop, and why people persist with perfectionistic behavior patterns despite long-term negative consequences.

You’ll also learn to…

  • Apply the techniques and metaphors from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, and Compassion-Focused Therapy to address perfectionistic habits in your clients
  • Help clients unhook from unhelpful perfectionistic behaviors, build behavioral flexibility and develop the skills of self-compassion,
  • Evaluate and address your own unhelpful perfectionistic tendencies.

You’ll walk away from this course with worksheets, activities, and mindfulness scripts that will support you in putting the new skills into practice straight away.

This training is worth 8 CE credit hours if attended live. While we can only provide CE to those who are present – i.e. logged in – for all live presentation(s), Praxis webinars are recorded for later viewing. Registrants may then access these recordings at any time for up to nine months from the conclusion of the training to which they pertain.

Prior to registering, please review speaker-planner conflict of interest disclosures and complete CE information.

Session 1: October 13, 2022, 6 pm-8 pm EDT
Understanding Perfectionism from a Contextual Behavioral Perspective
Session 2: October 20, 2022, 6 pm-8 pm pm EDT
Fear of Failure & the Function of Perfectionism
Session 3: October 27, 2022, 6 pm-8 pm pm EDT
From Self-Criticism to Self-Compassion
Session 4: November 3, 2022, 6 pm-8 pm EDT
Becoming More than Perfect

Participants will be able to:

  •  Describe a clear and concise functional contextual behavioral formulation of helpful and unhelpful perfectionism.
  • Identify the five processes of unhelpful perfectionism, and how these unhelpful patterns develop and are maintained.
  • Apply a behavioral framework and use functional analysis to understand the development and maintenance of unhelpful perfectionistic behavior patterns.
  • Devise and implement treatment strategies to build psychological flexibility and self-compassion in our clients and ourselves as therapists.
  • Use metaphors to help clients understand and change unhelpful perfectionistic habits and self-criticism.
  • Build skills in self-compassion and harness these skills help people move towards their values in the presence of self-criticism.

Please review complete CE and conflict-of-interest disclosure information prior to registering. This live online course is sponsored by Praxis Continuing Education and Training and is approved for 8 CE Hours by the following listed below. There was no commercial support for this activity. None of the planners or presenters for this educational activity have relevant financial relationship(s) to disclose with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Praxis CET maintains responsibility for the program with the CE approvals outlined below:

Joint Accreditation: In support of improving patient care, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

IPCE: This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 8 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit for learning and change.

Nursing: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this activity for a maximum of 8 ANCC contact hours.

Physicians: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc designates this live activity for a maximum of 8 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Psychologists: Continuing Education (CE) credits for psychologists are provided through the co-sponsorship of the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology (CEP). The APA CEP Office maintains responsibly for the content of the programs.

Social Workers: As a Jointly Accredited Organization, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 8 clinical continuing education credits.

Drug and Alcohol Counselors: This course has been approved by Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for 8 CE hours. NAADAC Provider #165310, Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc, is responsible for all aspects of its programming.

National Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6759. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

NY Social Workers: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0467

NY Counselors: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0198.

NY Psychologists: Praxis Continuing Education and Training, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0002.

NOTE: Many state boards accept offerings accredited by national or other state organizations. If your state is not listed, please check with your professional licensing board to determine whether the accreditations listed are accepted.

Participants should be familiar with the core processes of ACT.
Mental health professionals working in therapeutic practice and using ACT as part of their repertoire of interventions (Beginner-Advanced Level)

Deutsch, C. J. 1984. “Self-reported sources of stress among psychotherapists.” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 15(6):833-845.

Egan, S. J., T. Wade, and R. Shafran. 2012. “The transdiagnostic process of perfectionism.” Spanish Journal of Clinical Psychology 17(3):279-294.

Ferrari, M., K. Yap, N. Scott, D. A. Einstein, and J. Ciarrochi. 2018. “Self-compassion moderates the perfectionism and depression link in both adolescence and adulthood.” PLOS ONE 13(2):e0192022.

Hill, A. P., and T. Curran. 2016. “Multidimensional perfectionism and burnout: A meta-analysis.” Personality and Social Psychology Review 20(3):269-288.

O’Neill, L., G. Latchford, L. M. McCracken, and C. D. Graham. 2019. “The development of the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Fidelity Measure (ACT-FM): A delphi study and field test.” Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science.

Ong, C. W., J. L. Barney, T. S. Barrett, E. B. Lee, M. E. Levin, and M. P. Twohig. 2019. “The role of psychological inflexibility and self-compassion in acceptance and commitment therapy for clinical perfectionism.” Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science 13:7-16.

Ong, C., E. Lee, J. Krafft, C. Terry, T. Barrett, M. Levin, and M. Twohig. 2019. “A randomized controlled trial of acceptance and commitment therapy for clinical perfectionism.” Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders 22:100444.

We understand, sometimes things come up!

Praxis will offer a full refund to registrants of both live and live-online trainings who cancel their registration prior to 14 days before an event/course. If a registrant would like to cancel their registration within 14 days of the event, no refund will be offered. However, the registrant can elect to receive a credit to be used toward another Praxis event within 1 calendar year.