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Mental Health

Group therapy

Are you someone who:

  • Feels like what you accomplish is never quite good enough? 
  • Feels you must give more than 100 percent on everything you do or else you will be mediocre or even a failure?
  • Often puts off turning in papers or projects, waiting to get them just right?

If so, rather than simply working toward success, you may be trying to be perfect, and there exists quite a difference between aiming for a successful life and trying to achieve perfection.

What's the difference between a Perfectionist and a Healthy Striver?

Perfectionist Healthy Striver

Sets standards beyond reach and reason

Sets high standards, but just beyond reach

Is never satisfied by anything less than perfection

Enjoys process as well as outcome

Becomes dysfunctionally depressed when experiences failure and disappointment

Bounces back from failure and disappointment quickly and with energy

Is preoccupied with fear of failure and disapproval — this can deplete energy levels

Keeps normal anxiety and fear of failure and disapproval within bounds — uses them to create energy

Sees mistakes as evidence of unworthiness

Sees mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning

Becomes overly defensive when criticized

Reacts positively to helpful criticism

Perfectionism: How does it feel?perfectionism_grouptx.jpg

Of course we all want to be successful and produce good work in our everyday lives. Setting high expectations can be motivating and quite healthy. However, when taken to the extreme, our productivity can actually decrease. Perfectionists frequently experience many of the symptoms listed below:

  • Fear of failure. Perfectionists often equate failure to achieve their goals with a lack of personal worth or value.
  • Fear of making mistakes. Perfectionists often equate mistakes with failure. In orienting their lives around avoiding mistakes, perfectionists miss opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Fear of disapproval. If they let others see their flaws, perfectionists often fear that they will no longer be accepted. Trying to be perfect is a way of trying to protect themselves from criticism, rejection, and disapproval.
  • All-or-none thinking. Perfectionists frequently believe that they are worthless if their accomplishments are not perfect. Perfectionists have difficulty seeing situations in perspective. For example, a "straight A" student who receives a "B" might believe, "I am a total failure."
  • Overemphasis on "shoulds." Perfectionists' lives are often structured by an endless list of "shoulds" that serve as rigid rules for how their lives must be led. With such an overemphasis on shoulds, perfectionists rarely take into account their own wants and desires.
  • Believing that others are easily successful. Perfectionists tend to perceive others as achieving success with a minimum of effort, few errors, emotional stress, and maximum self-confidence. At the same time, perfectionists view their own efforts as unending and forever inadequate.

The vicious cycle of perfectionism and self-esteem

If you are a perfectionist, it is likely that you learned early in life that other people valued you because of how much you accomplished or achieved, meaning you may have learned to value yourself only on the basis of other people's approval. Thus your self-esteem may have come to be based primarily on external standards. This can leave you vulnerable and excessively sensitive to the opinions and criticism of others. In attempting to protect yourself from such criticism, you may decide that being perfect is your only defense. Below is a cycle that perfectionists often find themselves experiencing and some other consequences of perfectionism.

  1. First, perfectionists set unreachable goals, failure is inevitable.
  2. They fail to meet these goals because the goals were impossible to begin with.
  3. The constant pressure to achieve perfection and the inevitable chronic failure reduce productivity and effectiveness.
  4. This cycle leads perfectionists to be self-critical and self-blaming which results in lower self-esteem. It may also lead to anxiety and depression.
  5. Perfectionists may give up completely on their goals and set different goals thinking, "This time if only I try harder I will succeed." Such thinking sets the entire cycle in motion again.

Consequences of Perfectionism

  • Depression
  • Performance anxiety
  • Test anxiety
  • Social anxiety
  • Writer's block
  • Obsessiveness
  • Compulsiveness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Loneliness
  • Impatience
  • Frustration
  • Anger

What to do about perfectionism

The first step in changing from perfectionistic attitudes to healthy striving is to realize that perfectionism is undesirable. Perfection is an illusion that is unattainable. The next step is to challenge the self-defeating thoughts and behaviors that fuel perfectionism. Some of the following strategies may help:

  • Set realistic and reachable goals based on your own wants and needs and what you have accomplished in the past. This will enable you to achieve and also will lead to a greater sense of self-esteem.
  • Set subsequent goals in a sequential manner. As you reach a goal, set your next goal one level beyond your present level of accomplishment.
  • Experiment with your standards for success. Choose any activity and instead of aiming for 100 percent, try for 90 percent, 80 percent, or even 60 percent success. This will help you to realize that the world does not end when you are not perfect.
  • Focus on the process of doing an activity not just on the end result. Evaluate your success not only in terms of what you accomplished but also in terms of how much you enjoyed the task. Recognize that there can be value in the process of pursuing a goal.
  • Use feelings of anxiety and depression as opportunities to ask yourself, "Have I set up impossible expectations for myself in this situation?"
  • Confront the fears that may be behind your perfectionism by asking yourself, "What am I afraid of? What is the worst thing that could happen?"
  • Recognize that many positive things can only be learned by making mistakes. When you make a mistake ask, "What can I learn from this experience?" More specifically, think of a recent mistake you have made and list all the things you can learn from it.
  • Avoid all-or-none thinking in relation to your goals. Learn to discriminate the tasks you want to give high priority to from those tasks that are less important to you. On less important tasks, choose to put forth less effort.

Once you have tried these suggestions, you are likely to realize that perfectionism is not a helpful or necessary influence in your life. There are alternative ways to think that are more beneficial. Not only are you likely to achieve more without your perfectionism, but you will feel better about yourself in the process.

Therapy group

  • Where:  Mental Health Clinic at Hall Health Center
  • When:  See current schedule
  • More Information:  If you would like to enroll or get more information, please call (206) 543-5030 or email Ricardo Hidalgo.

Source: Some content used with permission from University of Michigan Counseling Center.


Group therapy

For those who are already familiar with mindfulness meditation, this follow-up group is being offered as a weekly, 1-hour, ongoing group designed to expand and support one’s meditation practice. 

Group details


Group therapy

Are you someone who:

  • Struggles with repetitive, ruminative or self-critical thoughts?
  • Are undermined by an inability to concentrate or focus?
  • Are looking for a way to manage or cope with difficult emotions?

Mindfulness meditation is a practice that involves cultivating attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental manner. Over time this practice creates an internal awareness that allows us to be with ourselves and others with a gentle, open attitude that is particularly helpful for disengaging from tendencies to criticize, ruminate, react or avoid.

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation

The benefits of mindfulness meditation have been widely studied and there is substantial empirical evidence suggesting that regular practice is effective for:

  • Alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Increasing capacity for attention and concentration
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Enhancing resilience to stress

Group details

This 8-week course is designed to offer basic meditation skills to anyone interested in starting a practice. No prior knowledge or experience is required. Participants will be provided with materials, instruction and support for building and sustaining a meditation practice. There will be an at-home practice component that is essential for deriving maximum benefits from the course.

  • Where:  Mental Health Clinic at Hall Health Center
  • When:  See current schedule
  • Session length:  8 weeks
  • More information: If you would like to enroll, contact the Mental Health Clinic at (206) 543-5030.
    If you have questions about the course, e-mail or phone the group leader, Meghann Gerber, PsyD, at  (206) 221-7941 or meghanng@uw.edu

See also:  Mindfulness Meditation Follow-Up Group


Group Therapy

Are you someone who

  • Spends a lot of time worrying about how other people think about you?
  • Feels an excessive need for approval and control?
  • Avoids situations that make you nervous or feel self-conscious?
  • Has a difficult time speaking in front of people?
  • Magnifies the importance of small errors?

There is a group for you!


Mental Health Clinic fees

NOTE: All appointments are approximately 50 minutes, except where indicated

Psychiatric consultation, medication evaluation and/or follow-up by an ARNP or MD

  • Initial psychiatric/medication evaluation (approximately 50 minutes):   $265.00
  • Medication management (approximately 20 minutes):   $102.00

Psychotherapy services by a masters-level provider & psychologist

  • Initial individual evaluation  (approximately 60 minutes):  $266.00
  • Ongoing individual therapy (45-50 minutes):  $142.00
  • Initial marriage/family therapy evaluation*:  $266.00
  • Ongoing marriage/family Therapy:   $208.00
  • Group therapy:   $43.00

* For initial marriage and family visits, where more time is required to make accurate evaluation and treatment plans

Billing

Cancellation, no-show and late fees

We urge you to keep your scheduled appointments.

  • If we do not receive at least 24 hours (For Monday appointment, call by Friday) advance notice of your cancellation or need to reschedule, you will be charged a $40 fee.
  • We also charge a late fee of $25 if you are more than 10 minutes late for your counseling appointment.
  • If you are late for medication appointments, we may need to reschedule your appointment and charge a late-cancellation fee of $40.

NOTE: Insurance does not pay for missed appointments or late cancellations.

All patients are responsible for the bills incurred. Insurance plans vary greatly and charges for clinic visits may or may not be covered.

Insurance and fees for students and non-students

Hall Health Center is the preferred provider for the Student Health and Insurance Plan (SHIP) and the Graduate Appointee Insurance Program. Our services are also covered by many health and insurance plans according to the contracted benefits.

Please note that SHIP will no longer be offered starting Fall Quarter of 2015. Click here for more information.

UW students who are regularly enrolled and who pay tuition and activity fees are subsidized for some office visits. Fees are charged for ancillary and specialty services including Mental Health, Nutrition Services, Physical Therapy, Travel Clinic, lab, radiology, etc. We will bill your insurance plan whenever possible. Patients may need a referral from their primary care provider to access specialty services at Hall Health Center.

All other patients are charged fees or co-payments for office visits and services. We will directly bill your insurance plan whenever possible.

Managed care patients are responsible for paying any co-payments as outlined in your benefits plan. Consult your benefits plan for covered and non-covered services.

For any questions related to billing or insurance matters contact our billing office.


This is a current listing of therapy and support groups offered by the Mental Health Clinic at Hall Health.

Spring Quarter 2014

A Mindful Approach to Working with Anxiety Group

Explore common signs of anxiety and learn how to approach the anxiety in your life and situations you tend to avoid.

Group leaders: Chia-Wen Moon and Carey DeMartini

Sessions

Tuesdays from 2:00-3:30, starting April 8th

Click here for more information.

Beginning Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation groups are **currently full** for spring quarter.  If you want to get on the waitlist and/or participate in the summer or fall, you can contact the Mental Health Clinic now to set up an initial visit and then be first in line to join the group time of your choosing for summer or fall quarter.

meditation.jpgHave troublesome tendencies to criticize, ruminate, react or avoid?  This group will help you address these behaviors.

Group leader: Meghann Gerber

Sessions

Wednesdays 8:30 – 10:00 am, starting April 16th

Wednesdays 4:00 – 5:30 pm, starting April 16th

Thursdays 10:00 – 11:30 am, starting April 17th

Click here for more information.

DBT Skills Group

Come join us to learn how to increase self-awareness, build relationship skills, manage crisis situations, and better control your emotions. Mindfulness is taught every quarter, with Distress Tolerance in the Fall, Emotion Regulation in the Winter and Interpersonal Effectiveness in the Spring.

Group leaders: Treg Isaacson and Chia-Wen Moon

Sessions

Mondays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting March 31st

Ask your provider for a referral to join.

LGBTQ & Questioning Support Group

The purpose of this group is to provide a safe, supportive, and affirming environment where members can share thoughts and feelings around sexual orientation.

Group leader: Ryli Webster

Sessions

Wednesdays at 1:30pm, continuous/open

Click here for more information.

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention is a University of Washington developed, evidence-based treatment that has been shown to be helpful for individuals who are currently in recovery for addictive behaviors.

Group leaders: Ryli Webster and Carey Demartini

Sessions

Thursdays from 3-4:30pm

Starting April 17th

Click here for more information.

Mindfulness Meditation Follow-Up Group

For those who are already familiar with mindfulness meditation, this follow-up group is being offered as an open, ongoing, weekly group.

Group leader: Meghann Gerber

Sessions

Thursdays at 12:00pm, starting April 17th

Click here for more information.

Procrastination/Perfectionism Group

A therapy group for people struggling with procrastination and perfectionism. These are ongoing groups so you may join at any time during the quarter.

Group leader: Ricardo Hidalgo

Sessions

Wednesdays at 4:00pm, continuous/open

Fridays at 10:00am, continuous/open

Click here for more information.

For more information about our support group offerings, please contact us.


Scope of care

The Mental Health Clinic at Hall Health uses and effective brief treatment approach.  Duration of therapy is usually six to twelve sessions with the goal of rapid stabilization. Our chief goal for is to assist you in returning to the level of functioning required to carry out your work. 

Exceptions to a brief treatment approach may be made on a case-by-case basis.  Psychiatric services, such as medication evaluation, may include follow-up appointments on an indefinite basis.  Group therapy is also an exception to a brief treatment approach.

We provide a variety of high-quality mental health services to UW students.

Services include:

Who is eligible to receive our services?

All current UW students are eligible to receive services from our clinic. Our convenient campus location, competitive fees, evening hours, and the high caliber of our staff make our clinic a desirable option.

Our clinic is not the best resource for all problems and situations, and we may refer you to another provider.   Schedule an appointment with us for an evaluation and we will provide you with resources if we are unable to continue to see you at Hall Health.

We do not provide the following services:

  • Counseling and therapy for UW faculty and staff
  • Intensive outpatient mental health treatment
  • 24 hour in-person care
  • Treatment has been mandated by the legal system or an employer

We will likely refer you elsewhere if: 

  • You have an eating disorder and your weight is below 75% of ideal body mass index, or if you meet the criteria for an inpatient program
  • You refuse to comply with treatment recommendations
  • You do not comply with payment plans

Common issues we can help you with

We provide treatment and support for a multitude of issues including:


  • Life transitions
  • LGBTQI issues
  • Parenting issues
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Relationship issues
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Separation or divorce
  • Sexual assault

 


Authorization For UW Medicine to obtain PHI from outside providers


Use this form to authorize UW Medicine to release medical information to another provider or facility.


1. Why is it important to maintain a medical record?

Each time you visit a Hall Health Center provider, a record of your visit is made. Typically this record contains your symptoms, examination and text results, diagnoses, treatment, and a plan for future care or treatment. This information, often called your health or medical record, serves as:


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