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Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment of Perfectionism


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Table of Contents

1. Nature and Causes of Perfectionism
2. Research on the Treatment of Perfectionism
3. Perfectionism across Psychopathology
4. Perfectionism as a Transdiagnostic Process
5. Assessment of Perfectionism
6. Treatment Planning, Homework, and Supervision
7. The Cognitive-Behavioral Model of Perfectionism and Collaborative Formulation
8. The Therapeutic Alliance and Engagement
9. Self-Monitoring, Psychoeducation, and Surveys
10. Thinking Errors
11. Cognitive Strategies
12. Behavioral Experiments
13. Self-Evaluation and Self-Criticism
14. Procrastination and Time Management
15. Relapse Prevention
16. Emerging Approaches in Treatment of Perfectionism
Appendix 1. Resources
Appendix 2. Handouts
Appendix 3. Self-Report Measures

About the Author

Sarah J. Egan, PhD, is a senior research fellow and previous Director of Clinical Psychology in the School of Psychology at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Her primary research interest is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for clinical perfectionism; she also publishes in the areas of obsessive-compulsive disorder and eating disorders. The recipient of awards for her teaching and high-impact publications, Dr. Egan serves on the editorial board of Stress and Health and is chair of the organizing committee of the World Congress of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. She has presented numerous workshops and papers on CBT for clinical perfectionism and has over 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals. Tracey D. Wade, PhD, is Professor and Dean of the School of Psychology at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. She has worked as a clinician in the area of eating disorders for over 20 years. Her research interests are in the etiology, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders. Dr. Wade is Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) journal Clinical Psychologist and is a member of the Steering Committee of the National Eating Disorder Collaboration in Australia. She is a recipient of the Ian M. Campbell Memorial Prize and of the Early Career Award, both from the APS, and has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Roz Shafran, PhD, is Professor of Translational Psychology at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom. She is the founder and former director of the Charlie Waller Institute of Evidence-Based Psychological Treatment, Associate Editor of Behaviour Research and Therapy, and scientific co-chair of the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies. Dr. Shafran's clinical research interests include cognitive-behavioral theories of and treatments for eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and perfectionism across the age range. She is a recipient of the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Professional Psychology from the British Psychological Society and the Marsh Award for Mental Health Work. With more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, Dr. Shafran is coauthor (with Sarah Egan and Tracey D. Wade) of the self-help guide Overcoming Perfectionism. Martin M. Antony, PhD, ABPP, is Professor of Psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was founding director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic and the Psychology Residency Program at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. The recipient of career awards from the Society of Clinical Psychology, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), and the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Dr. Antony is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has served as president of the CPA and the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. He has published over 30 books and 275 scientific articles and book chapters on cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychological assessment, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and perfectionism.


"At last, an authoritative guide to the understanding and treatment of severe perfectionism. Well written, comprehensive, and with many clinical illustrations. Highly recommended."--Christopher G. Fairburn, DM, FMedSci, FRCPsych, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

"Maladaptive perfectionism is notoriously difficult to treat. Egan et al. provide expert, empirically informed, state-of-the-art advice for understanding, assessing, and treating this common clinical problem. This book will likely become the gold-standard clinician's guide. It offers comprehensive, step-by-step advice that will benefit both trainees and experienced therapists."--Steven Taylor, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Canada

"A 'perfect' book about the treatment of perfectionism! The authors clearly describe the nature of dysfunctional perfectionism and its relationship to psychopathology, and offer a wonderfully nuanced approach to treatment, alone or in the context of various psychological disorders. They know their material inside and out and give the reader all the tools to approach the assessment and treatment of this often vexing and difficult clinical problem. They also provide interventions that can be applied to the treatment of any clinical problem, making the book very useful for both beginning and seasoned clinicians. Bravo!"--Richard G. Heimberg, PhD, Department of Psychology and Director, Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple, Temple University

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