perfectionism therapy with rachel dorneanu

Embrace Imperfection: Guide to Perfectionism Therapy with Sage Counseling and Wellness

Say you’ve spent all week on a project, submitted it for approval, and it has red marks all over it.

Not only are you upset, you may feel devastated.

Maybe your self worth is wrapped up in academics or your work life.

Constantly needing to do better, be better, and succeed gracefully (even if only on the outside). You’re not alone in this.

Do you sometimes ask yourself, “Am I a Perfectionist?” or say “Why would I even try to speak up? I’ll sound dumb.”

Maybe you feel a pressure to keep up with The Jones’.

Others may have said you have a need to people please.

Looking for a perfectionism therapist for online sessions or in Cumming, Georgia?

Breaking Free: What can perfectionism look like?

  • Idea of being perfect/without flaws
  • Impossibly high standards (for self and/or others). These standards are unrealistic and unattainable
  • Never being disagreeable
  • Proving ourselves over and over again
  • Being hard on ourselves
  • Burnout
  • Not asking for help
  • Fear and anxiety, maybe even imposter syndrome
  • No risk-taking
    relaxed online therapy in georgia

    As a recovering perfectionist, I tend to resonate with having high standards and being hard on myself.

    Maybe you’ve said to yourself “If I’m not exhausted by the end of my day, I didn’t do enough.” or “I have to exceed everyone’s expectations to prove myself.”

    What can perfectionism affect?

    • Professional success
    • Parenting
    • Physical appearance
    • Academic success
    • Athletic ability/fitness goals
    • Physical environment
    • Lifestyle

    Are you also a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)? Perfectionism and HSP traits can be linked for some people.

    From Striving to Thriving: Sage Counseling and Wellness’ Approach to Perfectionism

    • being kinder to yourself and cultivating self-compassion
    • setting realistic expectations for yourself and others
    • less bullying in your head
    • changing your mindset to be more realistic with various life situations
    • working to lessen the unhelpful parts of perfectionism like avoidance or the strict rules for your life, that you made up in your head
    • improving mindfulness to lessen anxiety and be more present than future focused
    • asking for help before you drown in your workload
    • setting healthy boundaries for yourself and with others
    • less bottled up frustration
    • letting go of the badge of honor of “being perfect”



    What can I expect in sessions?

    First, you will attend a 80 minute intake session where we’ll explore your background history and we’ll set some tentative goals. Then we’ll schedule out a few future 50 minute sessions to start working on your goals. 

    Sessions will occur online as we explore your concerns, possibly using books/workbooks or creative means, process life together, and at times have homework to make sure your new skills stick. 

    It may take time, but the changes are worth it. It took years to set these expectations in place, let’s work to make sure your thoughts and actions feel more reasonable for you. We’ll overcome your perfectionism together.

    What Comes Next

    Schedule a free 15-minute consultation call with the therapist you would like to work with or fill out our potential client form here. From there, you will set up your first session, also known as an intake session. With your chosen therapist, let them know a bit about your concern, your history with past treatment, ask about our fees, and the best days and times to attend therapy sessions. 


    Each therapist at Sage Counseling and Wellness has their own fee structure. When you have the initial consultation call with your therapist, you will discuss your fee with them. 

    Our therapists do not participate in-network with any insurance companies. Clients pay their therapist each time they come to a session and are then emailed an insurance-compatible statement at the end of each month to send to their insurance companies for out-of-network reimbursement called a superbill. Each insurance company varies on what reimbursement they give for psychotherapy out of network. You may want to check with your insurance company to find out what they offer for psychotherapy with a therapist with your therapist’s particular licensure in Georgia.

    What Can I Expect at My First Therapy Appointment?

    Many people have fears, assumptions, and at times, no idea at all about what therapy will be like the first time they come in for a first session. We would also encourage you to reach out and ask your therapist any questions you have about what therapy will be like with them.

    Each therapist has their own way of approaching their work. But here are some things that may happen in your first session here at Sage Counseling and Wellness:

    • When you start your first online appointment, you’ll be in the virtual waiting room. 
    • While you wait for your appointment, take a moment to breathe, look over any thoughts or items you’d like to share in the session, and perhaps take a restroom break beforehand so you can be fully present.
    • As sessions are virtual, you can sit however you want to sit comfortably. Some clients prefer to sit at a desk, others in a comfy chair with a laptop or tablet, and some others sit on the floor on a yoga mat to stretch while in session. It’s completely up to you. 
    • In your first session, your therapist will likely remind you that what you talk about in session is completely confidential with a few legal and ethical exceptions, which will be explained to you (and which are outlined in our consent to treatment document). If you have any questions about those policies, you’re encouraged to ask!
    • Your therapist might discuss any other policies they have (cancellation, payment, session length, scheduling, or other ‘frequently asked questions’). This all only takes a few minutes.
    • Then, depending on the level of crisis that you’re currently experiencing, your therapist might review their particular style of therapy, discuss your intake form with you, begin a more thorough assessment of your history, or just ask you what brings you in at that particular time. From there on, it’s a conversation and there are no right or wrong things for you to say — the only thing you can do ‘wrong’ at that point is to be dishonest, and in doing so you would only slow down your progress. If there is something about your therapist that seems like it would get in the way of you feeling comfortable being honest, you can say so, and your therapist may be able to help you feel more comfortable. We want you to feel comfortable and confident with your therapist. If at any time you don’t, please let them know or let the director know.
    • Your therapist may or may not take notes, depending on their treatment style. These notes are also confidential unless you consent to their release, and they are kept safely in our electronic health record system.
    • Therapy is a safe space to show your vulnerability so crying is perfectly acceptable.
    • You’ll pay for your session at the end, generally, via your credit card on file.
    • You can discuss a regular meeting time with your therapist so that this time becomes your reserved time. This helps in accountability for you to work on your progress as well.

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