The Conference recordings are available until the end of January for those who registered, on the following link:


What an honor it is to be part of this community of experts! May I remind you that YOU are part of this amazing pool of experts and together we create an orchestra of collective wisdom? This addition will focus on the expertise of this vibrant community starting with an article written by Kobus van der Merwe. If you were not able to attend the National Chapter meeting on 2 February, here is your chance to get a glimpse of the exciting content.

“A powerful basis for change in Imago Couples therapy.

When couples are in love or a power struggle, they don’t see the “otherness” of their partner. They only see their own positive projections (in the love phase) or negative projections (power struggle). For example, in the power struggle, couples see each other as the source of their pain and as enemies. They also see their partners as intentionally trying to harm them or to withhold love from them. This causes the space to feel very unsafe and leads to polarization and disconnection. From this context, nothing creative can happen. Even the dialogue itself becomes a power struggle – you are not sending and inviting when speaking, but you are convincing and attacking. You are not visiting or listening, but you are protecting and waiting to defend yourself. There is then even not in the dialogue any sense of connection or repair.

So, an important condition for an effective dialogue, but also for a successful couplehood, is to help the couple to re-image each other. This is a process where the Imago therapist helps the couple to see each other as wounded, especially from the perspective of their childhood. Woundedness is seen as developmental needs that were not met during childhood. Part of re-visioning is to understand that we learn as children to protect ourselves against the pain by developing adaptations to survive. For example, in the identity stage, we need to be mirrored. But when we are defectively mirrored, then children feel invisible and adapt by becoming vague. This adaptation and self-absorption cause pain in the partner – pain that triggers their old childhood wounds and adaptations. This becomes the power struggle.

In revisioning, partners can see the wounded child in each other that reaches out for connection and who wants to feel alive. With that, will develop empathy that leads to repair and healing. A few exercises that create revisioning is:

  1. Parent/Child Dialogue
  2. Holding Exercise
  3. Parent-profile and Imago Work-up
  4. Lost-Self Exercise

For effective re-visioning, it is important to have an integrated vision of the other – to see the other in their woundedness AND, also in their magnificent self (Nedra Fetterman). Differentiation through re-visioning leads then from judgment to curiosity and acceptance and then ultimately to WONDER. The partner is the source of Awe, Mystery, and Wonder (Helen la Kelly Hunt). This is to know your partner beyond being a wounded child. Revisioning your partner like that, then your partner becomes the person beyond the wounded child. (Harville Hendrix).

How Imago Couples Therapists and Facilitators can use reimaging in a session is:

  • In the centering at the beginning of the session.
  • Through pausing and focusing during a session.
  • Facilitating the receiver to see the wounded child in the sender and the being the good enough nurturer in that moment.
  • To help the couple to see that everything is an effort to connect.
  • To know that everything that is happening in an effort to feel alive.

Reimaging can help couples to shift from seeing their partners as a problem be solved and managed to a human being with possibilities that can be loved.” By Kobus van der Merwe.

News & Announcements

Imago Research

Creating Expertise – From our Research Corner
This is a marvelous opportunity for you to become involved in research by collecting data and generating evidence for Imago on African soil.  Be a pioneer!

“From our researchers in Namibia studying through Day Break University:
A big thanks to the Imago therapists who have responded to our request for participation. We are super excited to get this project off the ground and want to ask for more willing participants, hence this invitation to all Imago therapists. With this research, we are measuring the effectiveness of Imago relationship therapy on depression in couplehood which is our main focus, as well as on the other variables such as empathy, intimacy, and attachment. We are also measuring the effectiveness of the various treatment modalities (GTLYW workshop, Intensive treatment, and the Imago sessions) against each other.
For a couple to be eligible either one or both partners must experience depressive symptoms. “

For more information please get in contact with Estelle Bailey at

We also have colleagues doing their PhDs via Optentia, northwest University.  The upcoming conference in October will have symposia focusing on this research.



February proved very fruitful in collecting valuable wisdom from many experts in this community. I am happy to share this with you:

National Online Chapter – 2 February

During this meeting, we asked the following: What needs to happen in the community and in the space this year? What are your deepest longings and aspirations? What are your dreams for yourself, Imago Africa (IA), and the community?

Here is a summary of the Collectively dreams we collected:

  • To connect from our essence and not through reactivity.
  • To connect more often in small groups of three-five people. (Facilitated small connection groups being witnessed.)
  • More people to contribute and participate in IA.
  • Becoming a more representative and inclusive organization.
  • Inviting different people to present in IA Events for a variety of expertise and opinions.
  • Training: Updated Training. More and shorter training rather than long training.
  • More formal Supervision, Peer Group Supervision, and debriefing opportunities such as Group as Expert.
  • User-friendly website with community input page.
  • Social connection opportunities. Workshops.
  • A safe community where we can discuss anything in a constructive way?

We would still love to hear from more of you. Please do not hesitate to contact any Board Member. We are already making plans to make your dreams come true.

Group as Expert (GAX) – 17 February

During this event, the experts who participated answered the question, “Should the Group as Expert event be replaced with a Peer Group Supervision event?”

As the experts that they were, they created the following collective wisdom:

  • Regarding the event, there is a surprise element to showing up, not knowing what the question for the day will be, and then being surprised by your own wisdom that emerges from a place of truth, not prepared in advance.
  • GAX is like going into the unknown and emerging into self-discovery and co-creation.
  • The experience is explorative, exposed to a window of each in their own field. It is enriching, enlightening. It is a platform in the Imago Community to feel connected and to learn in a safe space.
  • Listening to the other experts helps stimulate your own thinking.
  • GAX already has its own identity and should stay.
  • It is magic in the making when you are “Gaxing”.
  • CPD points would be welcome and it is also not a necessity for everyone. GAX is a form of peer supervision. However, it can also be more formal where colleagues present case studies or challenges in a space where there is more senior expertise.
  • GAX can possibly alternate with peer supervision.
  • Supervision is very valuable especially in the format of all participants sharing what is liked, what a technical suggestion might be, and what a growth gift might be.
  • These opportunities can also be used to share “sparkling” moments where others may be encouraged and learn from these shared nuggets.”

The Experts have spoken! The wisdom is that both GAX and Supervision are needed and valued.

From these two events, it became clear that the Community as its own “expert”, knows what the Community needs. As a Board, we invite you all to help us create the dreams as described above by participating and making your contribution with your expertise!

Update for the Workshop Presenter Experts

Good news! There is a brand new Manual for the Getting You Want Workshop being released soon. It promises to be practical and user-friendly. Watch this space for a Workshop Presenters Update Event where this manual will be showcased and discussed for your convenience.

Experts in the Cloud

Two WhatsApp Groups came into existence this month.

Imago Cape Chapter:  As of 24 February, all the Experts” in the Cape have their very own platform to communicate, connect and share Imago resources and referrals. Click to join:  (How can we add a link to join here?
Click on this link to join:

Imago Africa Wisdom: During the February Board meeting, it was decided to start a WhatsApp group exclusively for theoretical sharing on the Imago Relationship Theory. Please feel free to join these discussions. This is another contribution from the Imago Africa Board to support your clinical excellence.
Click on this link to join:

Membership for Expert Community

Kindly be reminded to renew your membership, due 1 March.   There is an exciting year ahead with multiple opportunities to quickly earn back your membership fee through all the membership discounts.
Contact El’Marie at for action.

Board Nominations for your Expert Board

Herewith your invitation to the IA Annual General Meeting on 17 April.  Nominations for the Chair and Secretary positions are due by 26 March 2021.
Please contact me,, or any other board member for more information.

Conference for “Experts” – the science of Human Connection

We need your help to make this event spectacular.  If you want to know and don’t know what you can do to help, please do not hesitate to contact Carol Dixon

Save the Date: Calendar for Expert Planning and Collecting Wisdom

1 March 2021

Members renew an annual subscription

1 – 14 March 2021

Free Global Marriage Booster
Link to the event:  Sign Up (

5 March 2021

Group Supervision for trainees with Kobus van der Merwe.
Contact El’Marie at for more information

6 – 7 March 2021

Online Singles Workshop with Kobus van der Merwe

8 March 2021

International Imago Central Collaborative Committee (IICCC) – International

10 March 2021

09:30: KZN Diggers Chapter meets: Kerry Anderson will be speaking on Awareness of White Privilege

12 March 2021

Clinical update training – one-day online training with Kobus van der Merwe
If you are trained before 2012 and want to learn new skills to deepen the dialogue, and if you want to get an update of the theoretical emphasis in 2021, then this training is for you.

15 – 18 March 2021

Face to Face Imago Clinical Training, Module 1 with Kobus van der Merwe and Michele Naude

16 March 2021

International Workshop Presenters Circle (WPC) – International

17 March 2021

Group as Expert  (CAX)

25 March 2021
Online IA Chapter/event hosted by Namibia.  Topic to be announced.

31 March 2021
IA Board meeting. Open for attendance.

Conference Planning every Tuesday


9 April: Online Group Supervision with Kobus
13 April: International Imago Central Collaborative Committee (ICCC)
14 April: KZN Diggers Chapter
17 April: AGM
20 April: International Workshop Presenters Circle (WPC)
21 April: Group as Expert (GAX)
24 – 25 April: Online Hybrid Afr. workshop with Kobus
28 April: IA Board Meeting

In closing, thinking of the wisdom that Kobus shared about Re-Imaging, I leave you with these quotes:

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

“We do not think ourselves into new ways of living we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” Richard Rohr

Much love,