Perfectionism leading to anxiety

This delightful 20-year old reported that she’d always had anxiety/depression. Although she admitted it had been worse in the last few years. She finds school stressful although she has a solid career/education plan.

When I worked with her two years ago she had been masking herself by hiding under layers of makeup and spray tanning. She reported then that she didn’t feel comfortable in her own skin.

She had gained weight since she started taking birth control pills and the tanner made her feel thinner. She wears less make up now and feels more confident about her face.

The anxiety attacks are triggered when things “aren’t right the first time.” This theme of perfectionism is common in her generation.

Here’s the theme that came through clearly in our pre-induction interview: Not feeling perfect leads to anxiety which becomes depression. So we focused on her need to be perfect.

Following a progressive relaxation induction and deepener (counted from 10 down to 1 and then asked her to step to the other side of one) There was glass on the other side of one. And, as we stepped onto the beach, she reported sand on top of the glass.

My emotional release metaphor suggests that clients can throw away bags of old garbage from their lives. Rather than throwing bags away, my client later reported that she released balloons from her head and felt MUCH lighter at the end of her session.

I like this particular process because it is content free. I simply tell clients that the bags contain “old negative thoughts, beliefs, experiences, events and emotions that have prevented you from having the life you want, achieving your goal, etc”   There’s no need to look in any of the bags, or in this case, balloons. The subconscious mind knows exactly what to release. It is a simple yet powerful process.

Comments are closed.