Be Well, Do Well: Aiming High and Enjoying Life, Developing a Positive Attitude to Ourselves and Work

Alan Percy is former Head of Counselling at the University of Oxford. He is past chair of HUCS (Heads of University Counselling Services) 2019-20, and is a senior accredited psychotherapist, BACP. This talk will draw on Alan’s research about the growth of what he calls ‘persecutory perfectionism’ and how that is a key driver behind most MH problems in young (and many older) people today. Rather than increasing performance and productivity, which people mistakenly see as a helpful thing, perfectionism can be more of a de- motivator resulting in paralysing procrastination, anxiety and depression. Aiming for high achievement and excellence is very different to delusional perfectionism.

Alan will discuss how to cope with perfectionism in relation to exams and finals ,with some practical suggestions. The talk will also explore the negative effects of rigid, polarised thinking compared with the positive effects of curiosity, exploration, uncertainty and creativity.


Dinner afterwards is free to current students in Hall — please book on the meal system by Friday 28 at 11am.