ISBN 9781916485501

book logo .png


Currently the book is only available from the author. £6.99 + pp. See contact section.

When a man says he is perfect already, there is only one of two places for him, and that is heaven or the lunatic asylum”.  Henry Ward Beecher 1887.


In what ways is this book on perfectionism the same as, and yet different from, many others dealing with the phenomena?


It draws on the treasure of 50 years plus theoretical observations and research, and the interventions following a general CBT framework. The central features of the therapy utilises the results from the first ‘field study’ to use a form of grounded theory to interview sufferers of perfectionism, which resulted in a clinically useful theory of ‘bad’ perfectionism which was just sufficient and necessary to describe its fundamentals.


“Sufferers of perfectionism are driven by some unarticulated belief that they have to perform certain tasks to be acceptable individuals – a recipe for psychological distress and disturbance”.  David Baker 2012.


It differs from many other attempts at clinical intervention for perfectionism because it attempts to capture the very essence of what sufferers have said about their experience of perfectionism and to combine traditional CBT with a wider philosophical perspective about how individuals can find meaning in their lives in the face of pressures of a ‘modern’ way of living.


Perfectionists give up their fundamental human right to unconditional acceptance.  David Baker.” 2012.


The book challenges the reader to examine the history of their perfectionism, the disruption it causes them and those around them, whilst at the same time actively pursuing goals and aspirations as intently as they would wish,


It provides an essential definition of bad perfectionism, which if used by the sufferer to challenge and change their thinking, will lead to a better and more contented life.


In the 21st century our society relies on those with perfectionistic intent- they are often the best of us, but if combined with conditional worth, perfectionism all too often becomes self-destructive.


Only those who suffer with perfectionism and read the book will be able to judge whether three decades of clinical work, applied research reflecting the personal accounts of sufferers, and extensive recourse to the treasures of previous researchers and theorists on the topic, has led to authenticity and a useful clinical approach.



In my book I've drawn an image for our unconscious which I've called Mephi. The idea of the name came from the song 'Wrapped around your Finger' from the album Synchronicity by the group Police. "Mephistopheles is your name but we know what you are up to just the same."  The trouble is we do not know what our unconscious is up to so Mephi becomes the driver for misery in perfectionism and other emotional and psychological disturbances too. In ancient legend Mephistopheles is a devil who temp people into bad ideas or bad behaviours.

book logo .png