mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary


People with Perfectionism hold themselves and their work to very high standards and tend to suffer from anxieties related to measuring up to the high bars. Some level of perfectionism can be positive when the lofty goals are achievement-oriented. However, when perfectionism is fueled by a fear of failure (instead of desire for success) then it is considered maladaptive.

Maladaptive perfectionists often find it difficult to relax and turn off circling thoughts. They sometimes procrastinate for fear of not doing the project well enough. Perfectionists can become obsessive with to-do lists and rules and methods – this can lead to an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) if not curtailed.

Setting unattainable goals along with constant anxiety, stress, and fear of mistakes is not uncommon for someone suffering from maladaptive perfectionism. These things can all interfere with living a healthy and happy life. A therapist can be successful at helping manage or overcome these undesirable feelings and emotions using a variety of modalities.

At Claibourne Counseling, we specialize in treating Anxiety Disorders, including OCD & Perfectionism!