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    Perfectionism in sport: a Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy perspective

    Jordana, Anna and Turner, Martin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1975-5561 (2023) Perfectionism in sport: a Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy perspective. In: The Psychology of Perfectionism in Sport, Dance, and Exercise (2nd edition). Routledge, London, pp. 328-350. ISBN 9781032263786 (hardback); 9781032255903 (paperback); 9781003288015 (ebook)

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    Abstract

    Just as sport can be perfectionistic it can also be irrational, providing messages to athletes of the incredible importance of success and the catastrophe of failure. The study of perfectionism is inextricably linked to irrational beliefs through the seminal work of Albert Ellis and Rational Emotive Behaviour therapy (REBT). However, the synergises between these two areas of work are typically underappreciated and have yet to be fully explored in sport. The current chapter addresses this issue by considering perfectionism and some of the issues perfectionism athletes face from an REBT perspective. The chapter starts with a brief overview of REBT. We then consider REBT research in sport. Thereafter, we explain perfectionism within the context of REBT and irrational beliefs. The chapter closes with an applied case example of an athlete dealing with a common challenge in sport – the experience of a debilitating injury. Though our case example we showcase the REBT approach and highlight some of the techniques that can be used to support perfectionistic athletes and provide a basis for better mental health and performance.

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