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ERIC Number: ED263491
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Dynamics of Perfectionism: Fear of Self-Compassion.
White, Debra J.
Many clients experience chronic anxiety, procrastination, indecisiveness, and a lack of commitment in their lives. In a number of these cases, the dynamic underlying the distress of these individuals is that of perfectionism, an exceedingly strong internal demand to perform constantly without flaw. Many social and familial factors set the stage for perfectionism, and it manifests itself in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive dynamics. Many forms of religious training, traditional Western education, and the media all uphold perfectionistic thinking. The obsession with being perfect infiltrates families and is passed on from generation to generation. The perfectionist seems to lack a sense of self-compassion, compassion as an attitude which includes trust in oneself to learn and grow, a commitment to providing oneself a nurturing inner environment in which to grow, and loyalty to oneself while growing. Therapy with a perfectionistic client is often difficult. Guidelines which may be helpful include: (1) placing the dynamic of perfectionism within the environmental context; (2) helping clients to experience the degree to which perfectionistic standards infiltrate their lives; (3) examining the full cycle of critical self-statements, emotional reactions, and compulsive behaviors; and (4) addressing the underlying fear of self-compassion. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A