Mental Health Symposium: Focus on Perfectionism

MHS: Perfectionism


The UVU College of Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to present the 2015 UVU Mental Health Symposium: Focus on Perfectionism. This single-day event is scheduled for Friday, January 23rd, 2015 from 9am until 3pm in the Sorensen Student Center on UVU campus.

Call For Proposals

You can download the Call For Proposals here


Same-day registration will be available at the conference, at the same price; $39.


Julie de Azevedo HanksJulie de Azevedo Hanks

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, MSW, LCSW is the founder and executive director of Wasatch Family Therapy, which serves individuals and families in the Utah, Salt Lake, and Davis County areas. As a media contributor, relationship guru, blogger, and mental health expert, Julie’s work has been featured in such top-media outlets as Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Reader's Digest, and Woman's Day. Recognized as the #1 online influencer for depression and the #2 mental health expert by Sharecare, a social media site founded by Web MD's Jeff Arnold and Dr. Oz, Hanks is passionate about providing healing, education, and meaningful discussion concerning mental health. Currently, Hanks is a PhD candidate in marriage and family therapy studying creative productivity in mothers and recently published her first book, The Burnout Cure:  An emotional survival guide for overwhelmed women. Also an award-winning performing songwriter, Julie has produced 10 solo CD's and contributed to numerous music projects over the past 30 years. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children, taking long naps, and eating a lot of chocolate. Explore more of Julie’s work by visiting or


MHS: PerfectionismKristine Doty, PhD

Kris Doty is a graduate of Utah Valley University, having received her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science.  She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in social work from the University of Utah.  Kris is a licensed clinical social worker with a specialty in crisis intervention.  Her practice experience includes working in the emergency room at Utah Valley Hospital, and disaster mental health work with the American Red Cross.  Kris is currently the Chair of the Behavioral Science Department at UVU and teaches in the social work program.

Matthew DraperMatthew R. Draper, PhD

Matthew R. Draper is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Utah Valley University.  He completed his doctoral work in Counseling Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.  Before working at Utah Valley Matt served as Director of Clinical Training and Mental Health Counseling Program Director at Indiana State University.  His clinical work focuses on the intersections of religious spirituality and well-being.  His teaching specialization is in the areas of psychotherapy theory and practice, the history of psychotherapy, and philosophy of the behavioral sciences.  Matt’s research and scholarship entails careful examinations of the philosophy and practice of psychotherapy, particularly the moral philosophy of psychotherapy, from a broadly phenomenological hermeneutic frame.  He also examines how these ideas relate to working with marginalized and underserved groups like religious minorities and the currently and formerly incarcerated. 

James McGrawJames McGraw

James S. McGraw is a Behavioral Science Undergraduate student at Utah Valley University and research assistant for Matthew R. Draper. His research interests include theoretical psychology, and the relationship between religions spirituality and well-being. Before he attended UVU James served a LDS Full-time two year mission to Lansing, Michigan. He plans on continuing his schooling and earn a PhD. in Clinical Psychology.


John RobbinsJohn Robbins, LMFT, PhD

Dr. John Robbins, LMFT is the Director of Training for the Masters program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Argosy University. He is an AAMFT and Utah approved counseling supervisor, providing clinical supervision for professionals seeking licensure. Prior to joining Argosy, he served as a counselor for at-risk adolescents and gang intervention programs in Dallas, Texas. In 2000, he received national acclaim in USA Today for his cutting edge work in the area of integrating spirituality and psychotherapy. His book, entitled The Power of Spirituality in Therapy: Integrating Spiritual and Religious Beliefs in Mental Health Practice, is published through Haworth Press.

Martin RoundyMartin Roundy, BS, MEd

Martin Roundy is currently the Regional Training Manager for Western Region of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, and has been a full-time professional instructor and trainer for 45 years. Martin has a B.S. and M.Ed. from Brigham Young University.  He has also completed extensive coursework toward his Ph.D. He maintained a private practice in psychotherapy in Massachusetts for 17 years, specializing in the treatment of adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Martin is married to Judith A. Harding Roundy, Ph.D., and is the father of two daughters, six sons, and grandfather of twenty.

Elona ShelleyElona Shelley

Elona Shelley grew up in Moore, Idaho.  She graduated from BYU and now lives with her husband, Monte Shelley, in Orem, Utah. She has spoken at various women gatherings, including BYU Women’s Conference, and has been the keynote speaker at several Stake Relief Society Conferences. She is the author of Confessions of a Molly Mormon, Trading Perfectionism for Peace, Fear for Faith, and Judging for Joy, which has been acclaimed by both men and women. Articles written by Elona have been published in Segullah Magazine (2006) and Meridian Magazine (2013). Currently she is working on two new books, both of which address the challenges of perfectionism and learning to live joyfully. 

Daniel SturtevantDaniel Sturtevant

Daniel Sturtevant is a student at Utah Valley University working towards an integrated psychology and philosophy degree with a minor in music. His research interests include LGBTQ issues, psychotherapy theory, and identity.  In his free time, he enjoys composing music and hiking in the mountains.



Fred WardFred S. Ward, BSW, SSW

Fred Ward graduated in May 2014 with a BSW from Utah Valley University. His practice experience includes the Wasatch House which is a daytime training/improvement program for severely mentally ill clients, and he is currently employed by the Disabled Rights Action Committee (DRAC) as a social worker and case manager, working with Utah State’s New Choice Waiver Program in the area of Home Community Based Services (HCBS) with seniors and the disabled.




Opening Keynote 

Embracing Imperfection: Creativity as an Antidote to Perfectionism–  Julie de Azevedo Hanks  (Centre Stage  9am – 9:50 am)

Perfectionism is associated with many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. But what drives us to work exceptionally hard to achieve flawless appearance and performance? How can we free ourselves of destructive and rigid patterns, individually and as a society, and more fully embrace our humanity?  By weaving together current research with personal and clinical examples, suggestions for cultivating creativity as an approach to life will be offered as an antidote to rigid perfectionistic tendencies.

10 am  Session

12 tools for Maintaining a More Healthy Perspective  – Elona Shelley  (Centre Stage  10am – 10:50am)

Join well-known speaker and author, Elona Shelley as she explores some of the negative effects of perfectionism. She will share twelve tools for maintaining a more healthy perspective which is applicable both to perfectionists and to their family members and others supporting perfectionists in their recovery.

11 am Session

Perfectionism: A Double Edged Sword  – John Robbins, LMFT, PhD  (Centre Stage 11am – 11:50am)

In this session, Dr. Robbins will suggest that perfectionism is driven by fear. It is proposed that addressing multiple levels of fear is critical in the process of understanding a person’s or family’s desire for perfection. Avoidance of vulnerability, being truly seen, or losing something the person or family has are all fears that drive them into seeking perfection. The presenter will demonstrate how to address fears involved with perfectionism, as well as the process of framing a person’s mindset away from perfection to one of progress.

12pm Luncheon Session

How the Commandment to ‘Be Ye Therefore Perfect’ Impacts Women – Kris Doty, PhD, LCSW Moderator (Grande Ballroom 12pm — 12:50pm)

This panel will include a frank discussion of the cultural impact of perfectionism on women’s mental health and lifestyle choices. The four panelists, all of whom are experienced clinicians who provide therapy in the area of perfectionism, will share their thoughts and insights surrounding this issue. There will be ample time for questions and lively discussion with the audience. 

1 pm Session

Overcoming Atelophobia: Becoming Good Enough in a Never Good Enough World – Martin Roundy, BS, MEd (Centre Stage 1pm – 1:50 pm)

Martin Roundy will explore the definition of atelophobia – the fear of not being good enough or fear of imperfection. This session will discuss measures we use to assess how good enough we are, how Christians/Mormons view atelophobia, and how society teaches us to become atelophobic. We will also explore perfectionism’s promise, the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism and visions of ‘good enough’.

Download session materials here and here.

2 pm Session

Clinical and Spiritual Implications of Perfectionism and Depression in LDS Men and Women – Kris Doty, PhD, LCSW and Fred S. Ward, BSW, SSW (Centre Stage 2 – 2:50pm)

Join Dr. Doty and Fred Ward as they discuss their recent quantitative studies which discovered a strong correlation between religiosity, perfectionism and depression in LDS men and women. This presentation will include examples of what the men and women who participated in the study have experienced, and how it has affected their struggles with depression. Implications for clinical practice, including therapeutic and spiritual interventions will also be included.                                                                                                                                                            

3 pm Session

                                                                                                                                                         A Reframing of ‘Be Ye Therefore Perfect’ for Counselors Helping Mormon Clients Struggling with Perfectionism – Matthew R. Draper, PhD, James McGraw and Daniel Sturtevant (Centre Stage 3pm 3:50 pm)

Counselors working with LDS clients find that (at times) the same perfectionism perpetuating suffering in their clients also ties deeply into the client’s understanding of their faith. When the therapist confronts this perfectionism, they may encounter resistance because the client experiences this as a confrontation of their faith as well. Unbeknownst to many clients, the form of perfectionism that contributes to depression and anxiety is contrary to the theology of perfection espoused by LDS clergy and theologians. In this session, the presenters  will suggest interventions for counselors ranging from experiential exercises to dialogues in-session - as well as homework assignments to clarify the difference between perfection and perfectionism

Conference History