This exploratory study examined the relationship patterns of child abusers in treatment by comparing interactions involving the therapist with those involving a parent. Twenty participants were included in the study. The participants' relationship patterns were assessed using the core conflictual relationship theme (CCRT) method. Core schemas were found in interactions involving the therapist and a parent. The two CCRTs found in interactions with parents were often motivated by a desire for closeness or intimacy, to which the parent reacted with rejection or domination. The participants then felt disappointed, depressed, and unreceptive. In relationship episodes involving the therapist, a similar desire for closeness was answered with help and cooperation from the therapist, hence leading the participants to feel self-controlled and self-confident. Furthermore, the therapist's criticism and opposition was often experienced as an indication of care and acceptance.