Michael Brustein, PsyD.

Author of Perfectionism: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals

Michael Brustein, PsyD.

Author of Perfectionism: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals

Perfectionism: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals

 
bookThe book I wrote is for psychotherapists and students in the mental health field. The book uses an integrated approach to understand the etiology of perfectionism from the perspectives of various researchers and theorists. It addresses the assessment of adaptive and maladaptive forms of perfectionism, how to manage the defenses and ambivalence displayed by perfectionist clients, and their tendencies toward termination. Case studies will aid psychotherapists in understanding the complex transference and counter-transference issues that often arise with this population.

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What is perfectionism?

There are three subtypes of perfectionism.

Self-oriented perfectionists: Self-oriented perfectionists have excessively high standards regarding their performance towards personal goals or on tasks. One mistake can make them prone to view themselves as a complete failure possibly leading to depression or frustration. Additionally, even when self-oriented perfectionists achieve a goal they may devalue it. For example, after getting an A on a test they may diminish this accomplishment by framing the test as simple.

Socially oriented perfectionists: Socially oriented perfectionists believe others have excessively high expectations of themselves. They may believe if they fail to meet people’s expectations they will be viewed negatively, disliked or abandoned. In the process of attempting to satisfy others, their own needs may go unmet. The constant pressure to please others may make them feel overburdened and depressed.

Other oriented perfectionists: Other oriented perfectionists have excessively high standards of other people. When others fail to meet these expectations they may be extremely harsh. This may lead to interpersonal conflict or angry outbursts. It is important to note that individuals may display traits that resemble more than one perfectionist subtype.

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Michael Brustein, PsyD. New York Psychologist // New Jersey Psychologist // 80 Eighth Ave., Suite 1101 New York, NY 10011 // 917-847-4217