- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: New Harbinger Publications; 2nd ed. edition (Jan. 15 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 157224559X
- ISBN-13: 978-1572245594
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
When Perfect Isn't Good Enough: Strategies for Coping with Perfectionism Paperback – Jan 15 2009
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An excellent description of perfectionism and its self-sabotaging disadvantages. Presents many efficient and effective cognitive-behavioral methods for dealing with and minimizing this affliction. Quite practical and thorough-but nicely flexible and unperfectionistic!"
-Albert Ellis, Ph.D., president of the Albert Ellis Institute in New York City and author of A Guide to Rational Living
"All of us know someone who is a perfectionist and most of us have joked about it at one time or another. For some it can be a useful trait that ensures some organization in a disorganized world. But for those individuals coping with too much perfectionism, it can be a curse that takes the pleasure out of life and in some cases can lead to severe anxiety disorders. Now two leading mental health practitioners and clinical scientists provide up-to-date, scientifically validated skills for overcoming perfectionism and regaining control of one's life. This long overdue book should relieve much suffering and enhance functioning for the millions of individuals dealing with excessive perfectionism."
-David H. Barlow, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University
" When Perfect Isn't Good Enough surpasses any of the other books on perfectionism in quality and scope. Antony and Swinson have synthesized what we know about perfectionism and used it to create the first well-integrated approach to reduce the suffering caused by it. The chapters clearly define perfectionism and provide concrete steps to master this demon. Final chapters focus on how perfectionism can manifest itself in other disorders, demonstrating how pernicious this phenomenon can be-and why such a book is so essential. This book will be invaluable to people suffering from perfectionism and to the therapists trying to help them."
-Randy O. Frost, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Smith College in Northampton, MA
" When Perfect Isn't Good Enough is an excellent source for people looking to adjust their standards and expectations and, by so doing, increase the joy in their lives. It is easy to read, filled with solid advice, and based on the best scientific research. Unlike most other self-help books, the many exercises suggested by the authors provide the reader with the tools to put these words into action. Antony and Swinson have produced a thorough and systemic manual to lead the perfectionist out of the misery of depression, anger, worry, and social anxiety, and into the promised land of realistic self-evaluation, self-esteem, and positive interpersonal relations. Bravo!"
-Richard Heimberg, Ph.D., Adult Anxiety Clinic in the department of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA
About the Author
Martin M. Antony, PhD, is professor in the department of psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, ON, Canada, where he also served as department chair and graduate program director. Previously, he was founding director of both the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic and the Psychology Residency Program at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. He is also past president of the Canadian Psychological Association. Antony has published thirty books, and more than 225 scientific articles and book chapters, mostly inareas related to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, specific phobia, and perfectionism. He has received a number of prestigious awards, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the American and Canadian Psychological associations, the Association for Psychological Science, the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, and the Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies. Antony has trained andsupervised numerous students in psychology, psychiatry, social work, and other disciplines. He has given more than 300 workshops and presentations to professionals across four continents. He has also been interviewed, featured, or quoted more than 450 times in various print, radio, television, and online media outlets, including CBC, CNN, CTV, The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chatelaine, O, The Oprah Magazine, Reader's Digest, Prevention, Scientific American Mind, and many others.
Richard P. Swinson, MD, is professor emeritus and past chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada. Previously, he was medical director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Clinic, and psychiatrist-in-chief at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK. He was awarded an inaugural Distinguished Fellowship of the Canadian Psychiatric Association in 2006, and Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2017. His research interests lie in the theory, assessment, and treatment of anxiety disorders, particularly OCD and social anxiety disorder (SAD). He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, thirty book chapters, and ten books. Swinson has held numerous research grants since 1966, and has been an invited speaker at many conferences around the world on anxiety disorders and substance use disorders. He also chaired the steering committee for the Canadian Anxiety Treatment Guidelines Initiative, leading to the publication of Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Anxiety Disorders in 2006.
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The first section of the book, Understanding Perfectionism, helps the reader to better understand the impact of perfectionism on their life, particularly in the areas of thoughts and behavior. The second section, Overcoming Perfectionism, begins with a self-assessment designed to help the reader identify how their own perfectionistic tendencies manifest. Following the assessment, specific exercises assist the reader in identifying goals and developing a plan for change. Finally, this section offers a wide variety of strategies for changing perfectionist thoughts and behaviors.
The final section of the book focuses on specific problems related to perfectionism, with chapters on depression, anger, social anxiety, worry, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and body image. These chapters contain additional exercises, further information on coping strategies, and an overview of available mental health treatment for each concern.
I particularly like the workbook-style format of this book, as it provides the reader with personalized assistance. Reading this book is an excellent first step for anyone who is trying to understand and wanting to change their perfectionistic tendencies; it also can be used as an adjunct to therapy.