Psychodynamic/interpersonal group psychotherapy for perfectionism: Evaluating the effectiveness of a short-term treatment

Psychotherapy (Chic). 2015 Jun;52(2):205-17. doi: 10.1037/pst0000016.


This study sought to determine whether clinically significant improvement could be obtained using a psychodynamic/interpersonal group treatment based on a comprehensive conceptualization of perfectionism. A sample of 71 community-recruited perfectionistic individuals participated in the University of British Columbia Perfectionism Treatment Study. Eighteen of these participants were initially nonrandomly assigned to a waitlist control condition. All participants completed measures of perfectionism traits, perfectionistic self-presentation, and automatic perfectionistic thoughts, as well as measures of distress including depression, anxiety, and interpersonal problems at pretreatment, posttreatment, and at a 4-month follow-up. Multilevel modeling demonstrated that perfectionism levels decreased with large effect sizes and that these decreases were associated with reductions in distress measures. Clinically significant decreases were found in all perfectionism components, and posttreatment scores on most variables were significantly lower in the treatment condition versus the waitlist control condition. The findings suggest that psychodynamic/interpersonal group treatment is effective in treating components of perfectionism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • British Columbia
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personality
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Disorders / therapy*
  • Psychotherapy, Brief*
  • Psychotherapy, Group*
  • Self Concept
  • Treatment Outcome