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Digital Seminar

Body Perfectionism: Innovative Tools from DBT, CBT, ACT, ERP and More to Improve Self-Worth

Deanna Smith, LCSW, CEDS
Approx. 6 Hours
Aug 09, 2024
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar - Also available: DVD | Live Webinar

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“I have to look perfect.” “I need to lose weight.” “I’ll only wear loose clothes.” “I don’t want to be in photos.”

When your client struggles with body perfectionism, it can feel like the one session you have with them per week doesn’t stand a chance.

Societal pressure and expectations – combined with the disordered eating shame cycle of restricting, bingeing, and compensatory behaviors – makes it feel impossible to help your clients break away from deepseated beliefs and ingrained behaviors.

Watch Deanna Smith, LCSW, CEDS, eating disorders and body image expert, for this comprehensive training that will give you integrative tools to meet the needs of your clients who are struggling with perfectionism, disordered eating, body image, and related negative effects like anxiety and depression. She’ll give you a roadmap for navigating these complex issues, including:

  • Key assessment tools to gain crucial understanding of how your client sees themselves and the world
  • Cutting edge strategies from DBT, CBT, ACT, ERP, and more to decrease symptoms and improve self-worth and self-esteem
  • An intuitive eating framework to heal clients’ relationship with food and body
  • Top tips for working with clients with entrenched beliefs and high relapse potential

Stop your clients’ perfectionistic self-hatred so they can obsess less about food and perceived flaws and build a fulfilling, imperfect life.



Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

* Credit Note - CE Information Coming Soon

Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this non-interactive self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements. 

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. 

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of your profession. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Differentiate adaptive versus maladaptive perfectionism.
  2. Conduct a case conceptualization for clients with disordered eating, body image, and perfectionism.
  3. Utilize cognitive restructuring to challenge negative perfectionistic beliefs about the self.
  4. Integrate clients’ values related to food, weight, and body into treatment to increase motivation for change.
  5. Choose distress tolerance skills to assist clients with managing food and body image triggers.
  6. Utilize a self-compassion practice to decrease perfectionistic self-criticism.


Pressure to Portray a Perfect Image
Myths and Realities of Perfectionism

  • Functions of perfectionism: gain approval, feel in control, compensate for shame
  • Key differences between adaptive versus maladaptive perfectionism
  • Relationships between perfectionism, disordered eating, and body image
  • Disordered eating behaviors typically used by perfectionists
  • The role of diet culture in reinforcing perfectionism
  • The changing nature of beauty standards
  • Social anxiety and appearance-related isolation
  • How to help clients see the costs of perfectionism

Assessment and Case Conceptualization
Overcontrolled or Out of Control?

  • Top signs that your client might be struggling with perfectionism
  • How to explore the impact of perfectionism on functioning
  • Key assessment tools for perfectionism
  • How to take a body image assessment
  • Eating disorders screenings
  • How to talk with clients about food-related behaviors
  • Case conceptualization for clients with perfectionism-related body dissatisfaction
  • How to determine when a higher level of care or specialist is necessary
  • Case study

DBT, CBT, ACT and Other Interventions
Clinical Tools to Shift Beliefs and Behaviors

  • Uncover internalized and externalized perfectionistic expectations
  • DBT middle path and decision-making skills for clients who polarize
  • Cognitive restructuring for self-worth and selfesteem beliefs
  • How to help clients tolerate fears of disappointment
  • Strategies to reduce common body imagerelated avoidance
  • CBT practices to promote flexible thinking
  • Inference-based interventions for reality challenging
  • How to decrease anxious reasoning and comparison-making
  • ACT interventions to identify values related to food, weight, and body
  • Self-compassion practices to decrease perfectionistic self-criticism
  • Distress tolerance skills for body image triggers
  • Inhibitory learning strategies to promote impulse control
  • Mental flexibility practice for fear foods
  • Exposure and response prevention techniques for lowering food fears
  • Inference-based techniques to decrease food obsessions
  • Construct a perfectionism exposure hierarchy
  • Intuitive eating to improve relationship with food and body
  • Case study

Clinical Considerations
Provide the Best Care for Clients with Perfectionism

  • Troubleshoot top barriers to treatment
  • Tools for working with clients who have limited insight into their symptoms
  • How to integrate treatment interventions from multiple modalities
  • Top relapse prevention strategies
  • How to do this work when you’re not an eating disorders specialist
  • Involve healthcare providers and dieticians
  • When and when not to recommend support groups
  • Strategies to bolster clients’ social support systems
  • Impact of the therapist’s own perfectionism and body/food relationship
  • Cultural considerations
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Other Mental Health Professionals
  • Nurses
  • Physicians

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Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

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We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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