Takeaway: Constantly striving for perfection can keep you stuck in feelings of shame and disconnection. Thankfully, it is possible to heal. Perfectionism therapy can help you get to the root of these patterns and create real, lasting change. Connect with us today to get started.

Therapy for Perfectionism San Diego

About Erica Basso Therapy

Being a perfectionist is typically associated with being successful and while there's nothing wrong with striving to do your best, a perfectionist's idea of "doing their best" is perfection - which is impossible. Given these unrealistic standards these individuals can begin to feel as though they are always falling short, which heightens their inner critic. If unaware or untreated, unhelpful perfectionism can lead to anxiety, burnout, and other mental health issues. At Erica Basso Therapy, our therapists provide a non judgmental space for your journey in overcoming perfectionism that may affect your everyday life. We specialize in helping high-achieving individuals gain insight into the negative consequences of maladaptive perfectionism, process vulnerable feelings of shame and fear of failure, and swap self criticism with self acceptance and self compassion.

3 of the best San Diego therapists for perfectionism

Erica Basso, LMFT + Owner

As the owner of Erica Basso Therapy, Erica is an authentic and conversational therapist. Her specialty includes helping high-achieving women combat perfectionism and anxiety disorders that prevent them from living an authentic and fulfilling life. Her effective approach has lend her opportunities to be featured in number of publications including Huffpost, Poosh, Sporty & Rich Wellness Club and more.

  • Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

  • License number: 114828

  • M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy

  • Providing therapy since 2016

  • High-achievers, young professionals, anxiety, perfectionism

  • Virtual sessions to California residents (San Diego, OC, Los Angeles, and beyond)

Shakeh Galstian, AMFT

Shakeh Galstian is genuine and insightful in guiding her clients to live authentically and achieve a deeper understanding of themselves. She specializes in working with young women and college students in overcoming patterns of perfectionism, developing self-worth, and navigating life transitions with more confidence and ease.

  • Associate Marriage & Family Therapist (AMFT #131052)

  • M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy from Mount Saint Mary's University

  • Virtual sessions to California residents (San Diego, OC, Los Angeles, and beyond)

  • Young women, college students

Cheyenne Cheshier, AMFT

Cheyenne Cheshier has experience working with individuals struggling with body image and eating disorders and athletes with sports performance. By developing coping skills through evidence-based interventions, Cheyenne empowers high performing individuals to navigate life's challenges with resilience.

  • Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW #119271)

  • Master of Social Work (MSW) from University of Southern California

  • Body Image/Self Esteem, Sports Performance, Young Adults

FAQs about perfectionism therapy

There are various root causes to an individual developing perfectionist tendencies, including psychological, environmental, and genetic. Common signs of perfectionist thinking are black and white thinking and overgeneralization, along with certain personality traits, such as the need for control and high conscientiousness. Environmental factors that make individuals prone to developing perfectionistic behaviors are parental influence in childhood, such as having overly critical or perfectionistic parents, not feeling valued, or feeling in competition with siblings.

Socially prescribed perfectionism is a form of perfectionism that develops after an individual believes others expect them to meet impossibly high expectations and they have learned to view their self worth as contingent on meeting impossibly high standards. In some individuals these perfectionistic behaviors developed as a survival technique or even a response to trauma. The relentless pursuit to perfection tend to give individuals an illusion they are protecting themselves from painful feelings such as shame, rejection, or criticism from others, but in actuality it is a shield that blocks individuals from living an authentic and satisfying life.

What is the root cause of perfectionism?

Individuals with perfectionist tendencies may hold certain cognitive biases around seeking support from a therapist, such as believing it is a sign of weakness or failure. We want to highlight that seeking professional support is a smart and courageous act that many high-achieving people do to remain successful long-term. Therapy can provide numerous benefits for individuals struggling with perfectionism, helping them to develop healthier attitudes and behaviors. Perfectionists tend to be highly self critical and disappointed when making mistakes. Not only does perfectionistic strivings affect one's personal growth, these unrealistic expectations can extend to one's romantic or dating life. Our therapists can help with cognitive restructuring, which is cognitive therapy that is identifying and challenging dysfunctional beliefs and replacing them with more helpful ones. During therapy sessions your therapist will help you evaluate the consequences of having unreasonably high standards and help you test out more realistic goal setting. Your therapist can help you test out your fears and help you evaluate how realistic goals will actually set you up for a more sustainable way to succeed in life. To break free from perfectionistic thinking takes courage and support and our therapists would be honored to be a part of your journey to better mental health.

Can a therapist help with perfectionism?

Understanding root causes can help in treating perfectionism through psychological interventions and therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT), which can help individual's modify distorted thinking patterns and increase their self awareness and compassion. Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in helping individuals change dichotomous thinking by identifying and challenging irrational, perfectionistic beliefs and impossible standards imposed on self. Other key components of cognitive behaviour therapy include behavioral experiments, such as engaging in less perfectionistic behavior to see what happens and learning that less-than-perfect outcomes are acceptable and exposure therapy, which could be gradually confronting fears of failure or making mistakes in a controlled way to reduce anxiety and self criticism. If you're looking for a therapist for perfectionism you're in the right place. Our team is trained in these perfectionism interventions to treat clinical perfectionism that is making it difficult to live in the present moment.

What is the best treatment for perfectionism? 

Therapy can help you embrace your authentic self.

As a practice, we specialize in helping high-achievers overcome perfectionism and low self esteem and we understand the challenges you're facing. We are a team who do more than nod and validate your feelings in session. Your therapist in therapy for perfectionism will create a safe space and provide you practical solutions to develop healthier self confidence, reduce stress and anxiety associated with perfectionistic tendencies and improve overall well being. The therapeutic relationship is one of the most important indicators of successful outcomes in therapy for perfectionism and if you resonated with one of us please do not hesitate to contact us today for your complimentary phone consultation. You deserve a life free from the shackles of maladaptive perfectionism.