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Hartbeespoort Medical Centre
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Pre-Marital Counselling


Pre-Marital Counselling

Falling in love is easy, but it takes significant effort, to provide your marriage with the fuel it needs to last a whole lifetime. Research indicates that premarital counselling can reduce the odds of divorce by 30%.  An investment in counselling or a pre-marital workshop will start your committed relationship off on the right foot and will set you up for success.Pre-Marital Counselling is provided for couples that are engaged,  plan on getting married or have recently tied the knot. Pre-Marital Counselling will help you to understand the dynamics within your relationship and will teach you how to attain the love that you want out of your marriage. It will help you to work through challenging times and will teach you important skills and techniques to enable better communication and connection between you and your partner.

Pre-marital counselling is based on the world renown Imago Relationship Therapy methodology and process.

What to expect

The Imago Pre-Marital counselling approach is an integrated approach that is focused on the establishment of fundamental building blocks to enable deepened connection and understanding in your marriage.

It is suggested that a couple attend 4 sessions (1.5 hours each) as part of the pre-marital counselling process.

These sessions will cover the following:

  • understanding your behaviour and that of your spouse
  • effective communication techniques and skills
  • dealing with reactivity
  • the influence of our childhoods on our marriage
  • sex, finances and in-laws – setting our marriage up for success


Pre-marital counselling will:

  • Teach you how  to talk to each other in a meaningful way about relationship issues
  • Help you both understand your own behaviour and feelings
  • Help you both understand the behaviour and feelings of your spouse
  • Help you to understand the core dynamics that exist within your relationship and how this could create conflict
  • Enable you to experience a deepened connection with your spouse
  • Enable you to experience a sense of being heard and feeling understood
  • Allow you to talk about matters such as sex, finances and in-laws in a safe and empathic manner to ensure that you set up your relationship for future success


Sessions are charged at medical aid rates and can therefore be claimed from your medical aid.

To enquire about a pre-marital counselling session, please click here.

About Imago

Imago Relationship Therapy is an integrated theory and process for working with couples, parents, and children, business colleagues, and others who seek to enhance the relationships they share. Based on the ground-breaking work of Harville Hendrix, PhD, author of “Getting the Love You Want”, “Keeping the Love You Find”, “Giving the Love That Heals”, and “Receiving Love”, Imago therapy is a wonderfully effective and safe approach for helping relationships grow into a deeper understanding and honest relating as each individual evolves into greater wholeness within their relational context.The basic assumption of Imago (Latin word for Image pronounced Im-ah-go) is that committed partnerships have a higher calling/mission than simply the pursuit of happiness. The purpose is to help each other heal the childhood ‘wounds’ that have resulted from imperfect parenting. Often people incorrectly assume that it is only in homes of abuse and profound neglect that “wounding occurs”.

The premise of Imago is that we are called into relationship in order to heal these relational wounds. Because we are born in relationship, and we are wounded in relationship (by imperfect parents), healing needs to occur within a relationship.The basic principles of Imago Relationship Therapy are as follows:

  • We were born whole and complete.
  • We became wounded during the early nurturing and socialization stages of development by our primary caretakers.
  • We have a composite image of all the positive and negative traits of our primary caretakers deep in our unconscious mind. This is called the Imago. It is like the unconscious blueprint of the one we need to be our partner in a committed, intimate relationship.
  • We look for someone who is an “Imago match,” that is, someone who matches up with the composite image of our primary caretakers. This is important because we marry or commit for the purpose of healing and finishing the unfinished business of childhood. Our parents are the ones who wounded us, but a primary love partner who matches their traits is their stand-in.
  • Romantic love is the door to a committed relationship and/or marriage and is nature’s way of connecting us with the perfect partner for our eventual healing.
  • We move into a power struggle as soon as we make a commitment to this person. The power struggle is necessary, for imbedded in a couple’s frustrations lies the information for healing and growth.
  • The first two stages of a committed relationship, “romantic love” and the “power struggle,” are engaged in at an unconscious level. Our unconscious mind chose our partner for the purpose of healing childhood wounds.
  • Inevitably, our love partner is incompatible with us and least able to meet our needs and most able to wound us all over again.
  • The goal of Imago Relationship Therapy is to align our conscious mind, which usually wants happiness and good feelings, with the agenda of the unconscious mind, which wants healing and growth. Thus, the goal of therapy is to assist clients to develop conscious, intimate, committed relationships.
  • This transition cannot take place through insight alone. Specific skills and processes are necessary that need to be practiced daily to shift us from having an unconscious relationship to a conscious relationship.
  • It takes commitment, courage, consciousness, patience, and love to create a safe, loving, and passionate relationship.

Pre-Marital Course

Imago Couplehood Course 

When relationships get tough, it can be hard to listen, and impossible to feel heard. The Imago Couplehood course will help you to connect with your partner using a new way of talking together. So:

  • If you are engaged or planning to get married….
  • If you have recently tied the knot…
  • If you are focused on building the foundation of a long and happy life together…

Then the Imago Couplehood course is just what you and your partner need to build the foundation for a long and successful marriage.

What to expect during the course…

  • Learn communication skills that will foster understanding, empathy and safety
  • Enhanced empathy for your partner
  • Understand the conflicts and frustrations playing out in your relationship
  • Learn how to initiate, rekindle and maintain fun and passion in your relationship

Cost: R2500 per couple (includes meals, drinks and manuals)

The above costs can be partially claimed back from your medical aid.

Dates: contact to confirm dates of next Pre-Marital course.

To enquire about a pre-marital course, please click here.


What if I want to come for pre-marital counselling, but my partner is not interested? 1. Ask your partner to read through the following two articles:

2. Ask him/her to attend just one session with you before he/she decides to throw the idea out completely

What should I expect from pre-marital counselling? Imago relationship therapy creates a safe environment without judgement or blame where you and your partner can learn to co create a healthy relationship. Together we will explore and heal the underlying pain that exists in your relationship. The sessions will not just focus on how to resolve conflict, but it will also lead you on the path of maintaining the romance and passion that exists in your relationship.

What will be required from us during the sessions? You will have to do lots of hard work!  Many counsellors believe that the progress made during counselling sessions rely heavily on the abilities and inputs of the counsellor. I however believe that the progress a couple makes during their sessions is directly correlated with the level of commitment that the couple shows towards the process and their willingness to put in the hard work that their relationship needs.

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