For example, in order to identify these schemas or clarify faulty relational expectations, therapists working from an object relations, attachment, or cognitive behavioral framework often ask themselves (and their clients) questions like these: 1. What does the client tend to want from me or others? (For example, clients who repeatedly were ignored, dismissed, or even rejected might wish to be responded to emotionally, reached out to when they have a problem, or to be taken seriously when they express a concern.) 2. What does the client usually expect from others? (Different clients might expect others to diminish or compete with them, to take advantage and try to exploit them, or to admire and idealize them as special.) 3. What is the client’s experience of self in relationship to others? (For example, they might think of themselves as being unimportant or unwanted, burdensome to others, or responsible for handling everything.) 4. What are the emotional reactions that keep recurring? (In relationships, the client may repeatedly find himself feeling insecure or worried, self-conscious or ashamed, or—for those who have enjoyed better developmental experiences—perhaps confident and appreciated.) 5. As a result of these core beliefs, what are the client’s interpersonal strategies for coping with his relational problems? (Common strategies include seeking approval or trying to please others, complying and going along with what others want them to do, emotionally disengaging or physically withdrawing from others, or trying to dominate others through intimidation or control others via criticism and disapproval.) 6. Finally, what kind of reactions do these interpersonal styles tend to elicit from the therapist and others? (For example, when interacting together, others often may feel boredom, disinterest, or irritation; a press to rescue or take care of them in some way; or a helpless feeling that no matter how hard we try, whatever we do to help disappoints them and fails to meet their need.)

~ Edward Teyber