This is who we are
Kobus van der Merwe Therapist
El'Marie Grove Practice manager
Award Los Angeles
About Kobus van der Merwe
- Imago Faculty, Certified Imago Clinical Therapist and Workshop Presenter
338 Spitskop Rd, Die Wilgers, Pretoria, 0083, South Africa
- 082 331 4704
Kobus grew up in a family where the power of relationships was always a focal point. His father, Freek, was a church minister and very much involved in community work while his mother, Cornel, a qualified psychiatrist provided therapy to patients in the area.
While studying Theology, Kobus came to understand how relationships influence a person’s perception and understanding of reality. Karl Barth, regarded as one of the greatest Protestant theologians of the twentieth century, who explained God as the ‘gans andere’ (the ‘total Other’), greatly influenced him during this time. His studies in psychology, especially systems theory and family therapy, also contributed to his views on the relational paradigm.
Kobus holds BA Honours degrees in Hebrew and Greek as well as Psychology. He also has a Bachelor of Divinity degree in Theology. In 1992, Kobus was ordained as minister in the Dutch Reformed Church (Hervormde Kerk) in South Africa and served a congregation on the East Rand for five years.
It was during this period that Kobus became involved in a psychiatry practice where he worked closely with people and their relationship with God. He also has six years’ experience at a psychiatry hospital in family, couples, and group therapy where he worked with a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and occupational therapists.
When Anita, his wife and childhood sweetheart he married in 1992, saw his passion for helping people achieve and maintain better relationships, she suggested he attend an Imago Getting The Love You Want workshop for couples. Inspired by his first teachers in Imago relationship theory, Hedy and Yumi Schleifer, Kobus started his Basic Clinical Training in 1996.
He has subsequently completed his advanced training with Maya Kohlman in Denmark to become the first Imago workshop presenter in South Africa.
Kobus is the first Imago Clinical Instructor in South Africa, a programme he was invited to join by Maureen Brine from Canada. He completed the first year of training with master Imago trainer Jette Simon from Denmark and the second year with the Dean of the Imago faculty, Bruce Crapuchettes, in Pasadena, California. Kobus serves on the board of Imago Africa and is also a member of the faculty of Imago Relationships International.
Over the past 18 years, Kobus has presented workshops for couples all over Southern Africa. In the process, he has assisted more than 2 800 couples improve their relationships. In cooperation with Imago Africa and Imago Relationships International, Kobus regularly organises training courses for both therapists and workshop presenters. This is done to ensure a continually expanding network of trained Imago professionals that cover most areas of Southern Africa.
He regards Anita as his best teacher about the warmth and unconditional nature of love. And his three beautiful children – Freek, Hendrien, and Cornelia – constantly teach him about the sensitivity and fullness of being alive.