perfectionism, Latter-day Saints, psychotherapy, counseling, Mormon


There is a growing body of literature that shows how perfectionism has tremendous effects on a person’s well-being. Specifically, maladaptive perfectionism continues to have an alarming influence on many individuals’ experiences with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and suicidal ideations. Interestingly, for religious or spiritual individuals, perfectionism is often colored by profound religious themes that further complicate treatment. This paper seeks to explore this issue by introducing the case of Sister Vivi, a Mormon woman who suffered a great deal of depression and anxiety, and eventually a suicide attempt due to perfectionism entwined within her religious beliefs. In cooperation with her ecclesiastical leader, the therapist introduced the concept of God’s divine grace as a therapeutic tool to help ameliorate the suffering due to her perfectionism. In this article we detail how grace, bibliotherapy, mindfulness meditations, and a compassionate and understanding therapist helped this client and can help other clients experiencing religiously-enmeshed toxic perfectionism.