Book: The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism

Book Title:

The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism – Evidence-Based Skills to Help You Let Go of Self-Criticism.

Author(s): Sharon Martin.

Year: 2019.

Edition: First (1st).

Publisher: New Harbinger.

Type(s): Paperback and Kindle.


If you feel an intense pressure to be perfect, this evidence-based workbook offers real strategies based in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you develop a more balanced and healthy perspective.

Do you hold yourself-and perhaps others-to extremely high standards? Do you procrastinate certain tasks because you are afraid you will not carry them out perfectly? If you have answered “yes” to one or both of these questions, chances are you are a perfectionist. And while there’s nothing wrong with hard work and high standards, perfectionism can also take over your life if you let it. So, how can you find balance?

With this workbook, you will identify the causes of your perfectionism and the ways it is negatively impacting your life. Rather than measuring your self-worth by productivity and accomplishments, you will learn to exercise self compassion, and extend that compassion to others. You will also learn ways to prioritise the things that really matter to you, without focusing on attaining fixed goals.

Linking Recognition Performance in Participants with Greater PTSD Symptom Severity & Ineffective Encoding Reflected in Altered Modulation of Beta Band Oscillatory Activity

Research Paper Title

Altered Modulation of Beta Band Oscillations During Memory Encoding Is Predictive of Lower Subsequent Recognition Performance in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


The researchers studied the relationship between electrophysiological markers of memory encoding, subsequent recognition performance, and severity of PTSD symptoms in service members with combat exposure (n = 40, age: 41.2 ± 7.2 years) and various levels of PTSD symptom severity assessed using the PTSD Check List for DSM V version (PCL-5).


Brain activity was recorded using magnetoencephalography during a serial presentation of 86 images of outdoor scenes that were studied by participants for an upcoming recognition test.

In a second session, the original images were shown intermixed with an equal number of novel images while participants performed the recognition task.


Participants recognised 76.0% ± 12.1% of the original images and correctly categorised as novel 89.9% ± 7.0% of the novel images.

A negative correlation was present between PCL-5 scores and discrimination performance (Spearman rs = -0.38, p = 0.016). PCL-5 scores were also negatively correlated with the recognition accuracy for original images (rs = -0.37, p = 0.02).

Increases in theta and gamma power and decreases in alpha and beta power were observed over distributed brain networks during memory encoding.

Higher PCL-5 scores were associated with less suppression of beta band power in bilateral ventral and medial temporal regions and in the left orbitofrontal cortex.

These regions also showed positive correlations between the magnitude of suppression of beta power during encoding and subsequent recognition accuracy.


These findings indicate that the lower recognition performance in participants with greater PTSD symptom severity may be due in part to ineffective encoding reflected in altered modulation of beta band oscillatory activity.


Popescu, M., Popescu, E-A., DeGraba, T.J. & Hughes, J.D. (2020) Altered Modulation of Beta Band Oscillations During Memory Encoding Is Predictive of Lower Subsequent Recognition Performance in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. NeuroImage. Clinical. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2019.102154. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Do PTSD, TBI & Sleep Distrubances affect Military Performance Individually or in Combination?

Research Paper Title

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Sleep, and Performance in Military Personnel.


Sleep disturbances, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury are highly prevalent in military personnel and veterans.

These disorders can negatively impact military performance.

Although literature evaluating how post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury directly impact military performance is limited, there is evidence supporting that these disorders negatively impact cognitive and social functioning.

What is not clear is if impaired performance results from these entities individually, or a combination of each.

Further research using standardised evaluations for the clinical disorders and metrics of military performance is required to assess the overall performance decrements related to these disorders.


Moore, B.A., Borck, M.S., Brager, A., Collen, J., LoPresti, M. & Mysliwiec, V. (2020) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, Sleep, and Performance in Military Personnel. Sleep Medicine Clinics. 15(1), pp.87-100. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2019.11.004. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

How Does Anxiety Affect Performance?

The effects of anxiety on performance can be shown on a curve.

As the level of anxiety increases, performance efficiency increases proportionately, but only up to a point.

As anxiety increases further, performance efficiency decreases.

Before the peak of the curve, anxiety is considered adaptive because it helps people prepare for a crisis and improve their functioning.

Beyond the peak of the curve, anxiety is considered maladaptive because it produces distress and impairs functioning.

The Yerkes-Dodson Law

The Yerkes–Dodson law is an empirical relationship between arousal and performance, originally developed by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson in 1908.

The law dictates that performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point.

Levels of Arousal (or Anxiety)

Research suggests that different tasks require different levels of arousal for optimal performance. For example:

  • Difficult or intellectually demanding tasks may require a lower level of arousal (to facilitate concentration); whereas
  • Tasks demanding stamina or persistence may be performed better with higher levels of arousal (to increase motivation).

Because of task differences, the shape of the curve can be highly variable (Diamond et al., 2007).

  • For simple or well-learned tasks, the relationship is monotonic, and performance improves as arousal increases.
  • For complex, unfamiliar, or difficult tasks, the relationship between arousal and performance reverses after a point, and performance thereafter declines as arousal increases.

What is the Relationship to Glucocorticoids?

A 2007 review of the effects of stress hormones (glucocorticoids, GC) and human cognition revealed that memory performance versus circulating levels of glucocorticoids does manifest an upside down U shaped curve and the authors noted the resemblance to the Yerkes-Dodson curve.

For example, long-term potentiation (LTP) (the process of forming long-term memories) is optimal when glucocorticoid levels are mildly elevated whereas significant decreases of LTP are observed after adrenalectomy (low GC state) or after exogenous glucocorticoid administration (high GC state).

This review also revealed that in order for a situation to induce a stress response, it has to be interpreted as one or more of the following:

  • Novel;
  • Unpredictable;
  • Not controllable by the individual; and/or
  • A social evaluative threat (negative social evaluation possibly leading to social rejection).

It has also been shown that elevated levels of glucocorticoids enhance memory for emotionally arousing events but lead more often than not to poor memory for material unrelated to the source of stress/emotional arousal (Lupien et al, 2007).


Diamond, D.M., Campbell, A.M., Park, C.P., Halonen, J. & Zoladz, P.R. (2007). The Temporal Dynamics Model of Emotional Memory Processing: A Synthesis on the Neurobiological Basis of Stress-Induced Amnesia, Flashbulb and Traumatic Memories, and the Yerkes–Dodson Law. Neural Plasticity. 2007: 60803.

Lupien, S.J., Maheu, F., Tu, M., Fioco, A. & Schramek, T.E. (2007) The effects of stress and stress hormones on human cognition: Implications for the field of brain and cognition. Brain and Cognition. 65(3), pp.209-237.

Yerkes, R.M. & Dodson, J.D. (1908) The Relation of Strength of Stimulus to Rapidity of Habit-Formation. Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology. 18, pp.459-482.