Belfast Cbt Services



Depression Worry Panic Health Anxiety Social Anxiety Ocd Trauma/Ptsd Agoraphobia Phobia's Relationships Perfectionism

"Changing how you think"

"Changing how you behave"

"Changing how you feel"


Cbt for Relationships

Schema focused cognitive therapy was developed to treat our underlying maladaptive schema's or dysfunctional personality traits. These maladaptive schema's play themselves out time after time in our relationships at work, with our friends, with our families and are most potent in our closest intimate relationships with our partners or spouse. When activated they can cause a great deal of emotional pain and hurt.


With the development of schema therapy and its increasing popularity in cbt for relationship difficulties, it has become possible to heal the emotional pain of relationships leading to a deeper understanding of ourselves and indeed our partners. We seem to have the highest romantic  chemistry for partners who push our emotional buttons. Schema therapy in relationships,  is all about emotional intelligence, the ability to recognise when our emotional buttons are being pressed (our maladaptive schema's) and to learn the ability not to be drawn down the same path time after time causing much emotional hurt!


One of the most common schema's that can cause hurt in relationships is the abandonment schema. Like all schema's it has its origins in childhood and is similar to other schema's in that it is essentially an immature trait. It is thought that this trait has its roots in being overprotected in childhood, losing a parent when young, or a parent who may not have been able to be consistently there emotionally i.e., due to mental illness or alcoholism. Abandonment makes us insecure in intimate relationships, and we can become clingy, jealous, possessive, experience difficulty being away from our partner, misinterpreting what our partners say as signs that they want to leave us. The difficulty is that these type of insecurities can end up driving a partner away and so it becomes like a self fulfilling prophesy.


Another schema which can cause emotional pain, especially  if combined with abandonment is the Mistrust/Abuse schema. This schema's origins can be found again in childhood where it may have been modelled off a parent who was mistrustful of people or someone in your family was emotionally or physically abuseful towards you. In intimate relationships you may become mistrustful, suspicious or paranoid about your partner, you may allow your partner to be abuseful towards you, some people may set up tests for their partners to see if they are telling the truth, in extreme cases even followed their partner, or checked mobile phones or spied on them without little or no concrete proof. Again this type of behaviour serves to push partners away and is one of the most hurtful destructive traits.


A final example of another maladaptive schema which effects relationships is the emotional deprivation schema. Its early origins are from a parent or parents who were cold or unaffectionate for various reasons. As adults then we may still feel emotionally deprived and needy. At times there can be "a never enough quality" about the schema, no matter how much love you get its not enough. You may have difficulty yourself giving love or you may not ask your partner to meet your emotional needs and then blame him/her for not telepathically reading your mind.


The irony of these traits is that the partners that are likely to create the most romantic chemistry for you are partners who may abandon you, not be trustworthy and be emotionally cold and rejecting. Its like you are looking for a partner in the image of the parental figure who may have mostly contributed to your schema. "It doesn't make much sense, it doesn't seem very rational but it follows through regularly."  As a result of this you don't get your needs met and you suffer great pain in your romantic relationships as your emotional buttons get repeatedly pushed.


Schema focused cognitive therapy in relationship difficulties, help people to break these emotional habits or schema's and to be able to have more satisfying relationships with more appropriate partners. It creates a path to personal development where immature  personality schema's can be healed and youcan  become much more comfortable living in your own skin.



Cbt for Relationships What are Abandonment Issues?

What are Abandonment Issues?

Mark E. Smith, LCSW, author of 'Managing Abandonment Issues Through Recovery' answers the question "What Are Abandonment Issues" with practical, day to day living examples.


Abandonment issues are wicked, brutal, explosive, crippling, damaging, and standing ever-ready to completely ruin countless otherwise happy and peaceful moments or events. They're a raging bull in a fragile emotional china shop. They're an irritating bee buzzing around your head, waiting to sting. They're a terrifying fire-breathing dragon directing all of his or her fury, rage, and fire at you.


Recommended Cbt books

Recommended Cbt books

Overcoming Relationship Problems Internationally respected marital therapist Dr Michael Crowe has used his tried-and-tested clinical techniques to develop this new self-help guide dealing with common difficulties in close relationships. From financial pressures to sexual problems, issues surrounding fidelity to the raising of children and blended families, his programme, based on proven CBT methods, will help you understand why conflict arises and show you how to negotiate a happier, more positive outcome. It discusses how to: sustain a long-term relationship; develop more effective communication skills; deal with sexual problems; cope with jealousy; and, develop negotiation skills.



Overcoming Paranoid & Suspicious Thoughts

Do you often suspect the worst of others? Mild to moderate paranoia, or mistrust of other people, is on the increase, and although it may feel justifiable at the time, unfounded suspicions of this kind can make life a misery. Research says between 20 and 30 per cent of people in the UK frequently have suspicious or paranoid thoughts. This is the first self-help guide to coping with what can be a debilitating condition.


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 Belfast Cbt Services                                                                                       Mobile 07740861113

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 Rosetta, Belfast.                                                                           

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