The intertwined path of perfectionism and self-criticism in a client with obsessive-compulsive personality disorder

Simone Cheli*, Angus MacBeth, Raffaele Popolo, Giancarlo Dimaggio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Psychotherapy for obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), where perfectionism is a defining criterion, is understudied. Despite a high prevalence few evidence-based treatments are available for the presentation. Here we describe the course of a 6-month program of metacognitive interpersonal therapy with an OCPD patient with prominent perfectionism and self-criticism, which were considered primary outcomes of the case study. Therapy aimed initially at increasing awareness of maladaptive interpersonal schemas and promoting a healthy self. First, behavioral experiments were used to try and counteract perfectionism. Second, experiential techniques, such as guided imagery and rescripting, were used to help the client in connect with different, healthier aspects of the self, thus increasing personal and interpersonal wellbeing. Qualitative and quantitative outcomes at the intervention end and at 1-month follow-up are summarized. Finally, we reflect on how this case study can inform treatment of perfectionism in OCPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2055-2066
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Volume76
Issue number11
Early online date12 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • imagery
  • metacognitive interpersonal therapy
  • obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
  • perfectionism
  • self-criticism

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