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This paper deals with perturbation theory for discrete spectra of linear operators. To simplify exposition, we consider here self-adjoint operators. This theory is based on the Feshbach–Schur map and it has advantages with respect to the standard perturbation theory in three aspects: (a) it readily produces rigorous estimates on eigenvalues and eigenfunctions with explicit constants; (b) it is compact and elementary (it uses properties of norms and the fundamental theorem of algebra about solutions of polynomial equations); and (c) it is based on a self-contained formulation of a fixed point problem for the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions, allowing for easy iterations. We apply our abstract results to obtain rigorous bounds on the ground states of Helium-type ions.