The Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) and Imago Couple Therapy are both research-based methods of psychotherapy. Both methods have been developed in the United States.

In these methods, couple therapy is a space where the vulnerable are given space. To open up the vulnerability is to open up the feeling of cohesion and thereby feel the joy of life.

In most relationships there is a negative pattern, which in the EFT is called 'The negative dance' or 'negative cycle'.

When that cycle dominates, we're all challenged as a couple.

The positive cycle is when there is mutual soft emotions and the relationship feels alive.

It is typical when the negative pattern takes up too much space in our daily life, that one begins considering couple therapy.

The negative cycle can become a spiral of criticism, blame, pullaway, etc.

For all of us it’s a difficult and recognizable spiral, which we must have tools to stop.

We're often good at articulating what we're unhappy about, and what we don't want, and may find it very difficult to see ourselves and what is our own inner needs and part in the conflict.

The Emotionally Focused Couple therapy and Imago couple therapy methods have in common that we get a clearer eye on the pattern and join as a team to solve it. And after some time and pratice, we get into a more soft and safe contact. And whats important: that when we get into the unavoidable negative pattern again, we can more quickly and with more ease, get out of it againby helping eachother. It takes practice and time.

In practicing couples therapy - in expressing ourselves and opening up, our partner can more easily understand, what we are struggling with; the relationship is seen as ok; we are both ok.

We do go into a negative spiral and then the spiral takes away the safe space and the joy. It gets hard.On the outside, what is the content of our fights, we often express irritation, frustration, anger and criticism. In the negative dance, we point the finger at each other, so that we both end up feeling inadequate and lonely.

On the inside ​weare often longing for our partner doing something ​else, showing up in another way – that he or she shows and expresses the softer emotions and vulnerability. For ​both of us, we ​don't always ​know ​what we are longing for and how to expres. Or it comes out of our mouth as demands and critic, and the partner feels wrong, inadequate, worthless and empty.

​The couple therapy is about recreating ​mutual empathy and understanding, respect for each others standing and bagage, and thus for old survival- and protective instincts. This opens up the possibility, that the deeper unmet needs we have brought with us into the relationsship can be expressed.

Our partner can more easily have empathy and understanding, when we show vulnerability and reflection, than when we criticize and blame, pull away, get angry, put up a wall, become critical and get tough in tone.


The beautiful special and powerful thing about the Imago couple therapy is that we practice soft communication - we reach out and visit each others worlds in a safe structure. ‘Crossing the Bridge’ to each others different sides and trying to achieve the understanding and empathy towards each other we both often so deeply need and long for. It also takes times and patience.​

It requires that we pratice talking in turn, and listen deeply and in a insightful way to the difficult themes to our partner,such as difficulties with work, children, familiy, sex, economics, insecurity, failure and more. Themes that so often can get us in to misunderstandings, if we dont get into deeper contact about them.

The worst hurting part is when the mutual contact is gone. It entails so much inner pain and then the negative dance starts escalating over time in the couple life.



There are several You Tube videos with small talks about EFT from Dr. Sue Johnson.

Crossing the Bridge’ you can find examples by Hedy Schleifer on You Tube.

If you want more information please contact me.​

​If you want basic Imago training please contact my partner at you can have a half-price trial session in January 2021.

​Fotos på hjemmeside:

Suste Bonnén og Nils Krogh

Illustrationer på hjemmeside:

Lene Perez fra bogen Stressfri zone i dit par- og familieliv; Frydenlund. 

Af Mai-britt Schwab

Mai-Britt Juel Schwab Andersson

  • Certificeret par og relationsterapeut
  • Psykoterapeut MPF
  • Psykomotorisk terapeut,
  • Cand. mag. i dansk og psykologi

Kontakt mig

Telefon 25 31 77 42
E-mail: ​

Medlem af Psykoterapeutforeningen, MPF, og arbejder under foreningens etiske retningslinjer.

Huset Schwab

Klinikken ligger i Ålborg, nærmere oplysninger efter aftale.

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