Perfectionism and acceptance

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Abstract

The present paper argues that there is both a positive and a negative form of perfectionism, and that they can be differentiated in terms of acceptance. The basic argument is that there is nothing unhealthy or dysfunctional about the striving for perfection as such—perfectionism, however, becomes dysfunctional when this striving for perfection turns into a demand for perfection, defined as an inability to accept being less than perfect. Positive perfectionism, in other words, is viewed as a dialectic combination of (a) a striving for perfection, and (b) the acceptance of non-perfection. Some therapeutic implications are discussed, and some directions for further research are pointed out.

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  • Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-265
JournalJournal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
Volume22
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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