The Centre for Effective Living is a Psychology and Well-Being practice serving the Upper North Shore of Sydney. Established in 2012 with one Psychologist working out of Westleigh, we have grown to become a group practice with a combined team experience of over 50 years.
High standards have been set in place, such that we continuously shape and challenge each other’s practice. Therefore, when you see one of us, you get the benefit of all of our collective experience. We know each others’ strengths and passions. Considering your unique situation, we will provide you with the therapist that suits your needs best.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an emotional or mental health problem, call us now to make an appointment – and take the first step in getting the support you need.
To make an enquiry with us, please fill in one of the following forms and our intake team will soon be in contact. These forms are secure and encrypted and will help in our intake team understand your needs and be ready to find you the psychologist best suited to you. You will also be automatically redirected to our Intake team diary to book a time for them to call you.
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Perfectionism is an interesting idea. Many consider this term a compliment, some pride themselves of being a perfectionist, whilst some would even say that they wish they are a bit more of a perfectionist. However, as a psychologist, I have to say that a huge chunk of my time is actually spent helping clients learn to be less perfect.
People with perfectionism tend to find control an essential part of their lives. Of course, we all need to have a certain level of control to be able to operate in our daily lives effectively. However, for people with perfectionism, their sense of control is often excessive. The underlying belief is that “If I am in control, I am safe”. Therefore, they often spend an incredible amount of time trying to be in control. This can manifest in over-preparation, such as packing absolutely everything into their bag before they go out, or spending too much time reading before they start writing their university assignment. Some people might also try to be in control by following rigid internal rules, such as doing house chores in a meticulous way, or being super self-disciplined.
In my previous career, I spent many years focussing on error; of technique, resonance, intonation or phrasing. It was possible to rehearse endlessly, and difficult to decide when to stop. When was I finished? Sometimes all that attention to error made it difficult to enjoy music-making at all. And the only way to manage in those times was to try harder, do better. Yet trying harder could feel impossible, and quickly lead to exhaustion and avoidance cycles. Asking myself to be OK with anything less than my very best (on my very best day) would have been too uncomfortable, too vulnerable. It was a demanding and exhausting way to live, yet rewarded each time I attributed success to my perfectionism. There was distress and shame associated with living that way. Colluding with my inner demanding critic robbed me of my joy.
Those experiencing depression often express a sense of hopelessness or helplessness. Like no matter what direction they walk, whether they go under, over, around, or through different obstacles, nothing changes. Sometimes it can feel even worse!
So what can we do when we’re stuck there? There is good evidence to suggest that there is a close relationship between our activity and our mood. When we are feeling happy and content, we spend time with people we value, do activities that provide satisfaction and pleasure, and take up new challenges. These activities have a positive feedback loop: doing things we enjoy gives us feelings of pleasure, challenging ourselves means that we have a chance to grow, and having positive relationships with other people makes us feel connected and valued.
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