Dr. Keith Gaynor Lecture
On Friday February 19, Dr. Keith Gaynor, senior clinical psychologist at St John of
God Hospital in Dublin, came to be part of the Counseling and Psychology lecture series.
Dr. Gaynor presented a lecture titled "Why Perfectionists become Depressed?". The
perfectionists in the 70 strong crowd would certainly have felt uneasy as Gaynor purposely
left slight errors in his PowerPoint, aimed at getting the audience feeling some of
the problems associated with perfectionism – something which initially feels like
a good thing. After all, who doesn’t want to pass their exams with flying colors and
raise perfect kids? Dr. Gaynor highlighted that perfectionism can cause a range of
negative consequences including an increased risk of depression and anxiety disorders.
Dr. Gaynor explained that perfectionism is the setting of extremely demanding standards that are relentlessly pursed despite this causing problems, or that it can be seen as a fear that you’ll never be able to perfect what you do. He then explored the common effects of perfectionism and the endless cycle of low self-esteem and self-criticism which accompany the lives of many perfectionists. The audience was able to participate in the lecture through asking questions, which was the ideal and entertaining way to integrate the perfectionists’ own opinions into the talk.
Dr. Gaynor finished his presentation by urging the audience to be less like his Irish countrymen and practice taking a compliment, enjoying praise, acknowledge our own hard work and recognise when we do something right which leads to a positive cycle of perfectionism with resilient self esteem, flexible expectations and no procrastination.
Story and photos by Jess Wright.