Launching Your Daughter

Launching Your Daughter podcast was created to support parents and caregivers in empowering their tween and teen girls as they prepare for young adulthood. Guests will be interviewed to discuss topics such as anxiety, perfectionism, depression, trauma, relationship struggles, budgeting time and money, nutrition and self-care. Conversations about mindfulness, self compassion, mind, body and spirit connections, holistic and alternative approaches used in psychotherapy and counseling will also be explored. As the host of Launching Your Daughter, my name is Nicole Burgess and I’m a licensed marriage and family therapist, transpersonal psychotherapist, parent educator and adolescent mentor. For more information go to the website at
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Launching Your Daughter


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Oct 18, 2016

Today’s guest is Dr. Melvin Varghese a psychologist in Philadelphia, PA and host of the popular podcast Selling the Couch. He is a colleague and my mentor in this podcasting journey. We discuss what perfectionism looks like from a male perspective, how it impacted Melvin growing up and how he manages it as an adult. One goal of this episode is to continue to raise awareness how perfectionism not only affects women, but men too and ways to challenge old thoughts/stories we tell ourselves. Now here is todays episode.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How Melvin recognized perfectionism beginning as teenager and ways it manifested
  • How he manages those behaviors and thoughts now
  • Continuing to challenge societal beliefs about what it means to be a man

Embracing imperfection

  • Men sometimes wear perfectionism as a badge of honor
  • Society seems to have a double standard for men
  • “When I hold this truth and embrace these imperfections is when others can see our humanity.”
  • Give ourselves permission to feel both negative emotions and positive emotions
  • Step into our growth edge
  • Melvin shares how as a teenager perfectionism manifested in behaviors
  • His family moved to U.S. when he was in second grade
  • Wanted to do well academically for my parents and brother
  • He identified his self-worth with his grades
  • Began to manifest in some obsessive/compulsive behaviors, such as, how items on his desk were arranged
  • Our minds can go to one extreme or other i.e. “I won’t live up to my potential” More pressure on teens today
  • Can impact their views of self-worth Reminding them they are okay and failures are learning opportunities
  • As an adult When he first created his business old perfectionism thoughts returned and he recognized fear of not being liked
  • He combated perfectionism with:
    • Setting time limits for activities
    • Reminded himself-not about being perfect but about embracing imperfection
    • Using “both”/“and” vs “either”/“or”
    • Gaining self-awareness regarding old thoughts and beliefs
    • “I can put information out there and may not resonate with everyone and that is ok plus I can continue to tweak/modify as I go.”
    • Wants the world to see him as who he is

Self-Care skills:

  • Has consistent morning routine
  • Does 30 minutes of exercise
  • Listens to TED talk Has meditation routine
  • Plans day with 1 to 3 tasks
  • Breaks day into 30 minute chucks
  • Gets 8 hours of sleep each night


Sue Johnson-Hold Me Tight

Brene Brown-The Gift of Imperfection

Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D.-The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life

If you liked this episode I invite you to subscribe on iTunes to receive the weekly updates. This podcast is also available on Stitcher, Google Play, YouTube and now iHeartRadio. Website is

Melvin’s Information:


Coming soon for entrepreneur:

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