Love letter from the chair February 2021

Love letter from the Chair, November 2020
Nov 18, 2020
Love letter from the chair March 2021
Mar 3, 2021

Love letter from the chair February 2021


Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow, Arch Rock, Keurboomstrand, Western Cape, SA

Do you remember way back in 1999, when the world faced the “Y2K” threat? It was during that time when I was doing my internship at a counseling center in St. Louis, Missouri.  We were flooded with clients who feared the end of the world. I remember vividly how I looked ahead toward 2020, which at that time seemed so very far away.  I could not then have fathomed 2020 arriving AND living through it!  Yet, here we are in the early days of 2021 and there is again still so much turmoil, chaos, and the threat of this global pandemic.  It almost feels like déjà vu.  Truth is, life goes on.  We, in our human resilient adaptability still live.  As long as we wake up every morning, it is a new day, with a new beginning and new opportunities to make different choices than what we made the day before.

This introduction is inspired by these photographs.  Both brought me comfort and hope for the future.  No matter what happens in the world, in our communities, and in our personal lives, there are some things that are constant.  During my mini vacation, I sat for hours watching the rhythmic waves and tides come and go. They have been doing this from the beginning of time and will continue long after we are gone.  (The same is true for the rock standing through wind and wave.  It reminds me of the human brain when we focus on our breathing.  Breathing in…. and breathing out….  The brain knows that after breathing in, comes breathing out and after breathing out, comes breathing in… The sheer predictability bringing grounded calmness. So, we too teach our clients to focus on their breathing.  For me, this micro rhythm of the brain connects with the macro rhythm of the waves of the ocean, it is predictable and grounding.

This year I will breathe and focus.  I invite you to do the same.  Let us live this year by focusing on our own choices, what we can take responsibility for (even though it seems the world is in chaos and seemingly falling apart), and commit to an intention to thrive.

The very first week of this year, I had the privilege of sharing a two-day journey with a couple.  The impact of the work we do, never fails to amaze me.  Together with the couple, their commitment to show up and do the work, and my commitment to holding the space for them, changed the space.  We as Imago Practitioners can continue to focus on what we CAN do, focus on living our truth, focus on our integrity, focus on our contribution to the space between whether it be in our personal lives, professional lives, virtual platforms or any human interaction.

Therefore, I choose this year to thrive, to live in celebrating our differences, enjoying these differences, and embracing the story that each person carries.  In doing so, remembering to breathe, knowing that the tidal waves ebb and flow, and knowing that my brain knows to breathe in and out.  All I need to do is focus because life is going to happen.

I leave you with this quote from James Hollis: To become a person does not necessarily mean to be well adjusted, well adapted, approved of by others.  It means to become who you are.  We are meant to become more eccentric, more peculiar, more odd.  We are not meant just to fit in.  We are here to be different.  We are here to be the individual”.


News & Announcements

Imago Research

Our colleagues, Estelle Bailey (Namibia), Thea Smith, and Edelwiess Bester Scheepers, have bravely enrolled themselves for a Ph.D. at Daybreak University in Los Angeles and their main focus is Imago relationship Therapy. I am sure that you will all agree that it is of the utmost importance that Imago becomes evidence-based.  We wholeheartedly support this endeavor.  To have an effective study, they need at least 80 couples:

The invitation is for all Imago therapists, to be part of new and exciting research that is being done in the field of Imago Relationship Therapy.  Their target population will be individuals in a committed relationship with Depression accessing Imago Therapy. In short, this research will look at the effect of IRT on Depression and:

  • Intimacy
  • Connectedness
  • Relationship Satisfaction
  • Empathy

The method of gaining data would be to ask your clients who attend Getting the Love You Want Workshops, Intensive Therapy, and Weekly Therapy session, to complete online surveys at different time points. They as well as you will be incentivized for your effort.

Estelle hopes that you are just as excited as they are to have researched regarding a therapeutic technique we use and believe to work.

Should you wish to participate in the study, you are welcome to send an email to and they will send you a welcome pack regarding all procedures relating to the study.

Thank you for considering participating in this study.


Conference Journey towards an African Relational Summit

Since our feedback in the November 2020 Edition of the newsletter, I am happy to announce that the ball is rolling.  Mark your calendars as the dates are set for 1-3 October 2021, Johannesburg (venue to be confirmed).

2020 has actualized our need for meaningful and satisfying human connection, co-operation, and world-wide peace.  Therefore, we are thrilled that our Theme of Human Connectedness – an African perspectivewill hold all that we dream and aspire to the conference to be.

We proudly announce that we have two very special people who will help make our conference the most memorable, unique, diverse, and dynamic.  They are Keynote Speaker, local Guest Pulane Sekepe, and Guest recital, Puno Selesho.

In addition to these beautiful ladies, we also present virtual (hopefully) International Keynote Speakers: Harville Hendrix and Helen La Kelly Hunt.  This is the opportunity you have been waiting for to meet the founders of Imago.

Start saving now and book your place with the Best Kept Secret ticket R4500 (a 60% discount) for Imago Africa paid up members only, and valid until 29 February.

We already need help, so if you want to get involved at this planning and organisational stage, please contact Carol Dixon and join the weekly meetings on Tuesdays.  See calendar below.

Membership Renewal

With 1 March around the corner, it is time to renew your membership or become a member.  Just looking at the Best Kept Secret fee for IA members, it is already worth every penny. Thank you in advance for renewing your membership.

Contact El’Marie Grove at for more details and assistance.

Board nominations

You are all invited to our Annual General Meeting, 17 April, which also marks the beginning of the next term.  So far, we are collecting nominations for the Chair and Secretary positions.  Please contact me directly at, or any other board member with your nominations.  Nominations are due by 26 March 2021. Watch this space for an update as changes in portfolio vacancies might occur.


Save The Date 

1 February 2021

Nominations open for Chairperson and Secretarial Portfolios.

2 February 2021

17:00 – 18:00: Conference Planning Committee

18:30 – 20:00: National Online Chapter

  • Topic: How to use Re-Imagining in IRT presented by Kobus van der Merwe
  • Community participation: Co-creating an Imao Africa vision for 2021.  We want to hear what it is that you like to learn, discuss and bring for your personal and professional growth.

5 February 2021

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

8 February 2021

16:00 – 18:00 ICCC (see below International Happenings)

9, 16 & 23 February 2021

17:00 – 19:00: Conference Planning Committee

10 February 2021

09:00 – 13:00: KZN Chapter meets

13 – 14 February 2021

Getting The Love You Want online workshop facilitated by Carol-Ann Dixon and Michele Naude
Email: or call 083 884 5900 for more information or to book

16 February 2021

22:00 – 23:30: WPC (See below International Happenings)

17 February 2021

15:00 – 16:30: Group as Expert Facilitated by Michele Naude & Sonia Kruger

20 – 21 February 2021

Online English Hybrid workshop Facilitated by Kobus van der Merwe
Contact El’Marie at for more information



28 February IA Financial Yearend

1 March Membership Annual Subscription Renewal Due

17 April  Imago Africa AGM

1-3 October Imago Africa Conference



With everything moving online, the world has shrunk.  It is easier to connect and attend events all over the world.  I am happy to share two connection opportunities for all Imago lovers.

The ICCC (Imago Central Collaborative Committee) works towards creating a sense of community and connection internationally for IRW (Imago Relationships Worldwide) – similar to our National Chapter meetings.

Everyone is welcome to attend and participate.  It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other therapists across the world, share resources, and connect.

The next meeting is Monday, 8 February @ 16:00.

The WPC (Workshop Presenters Circle) meets every 3rd Tuesday of the month at 10 pm.  The next meeting is scheduled for 16 February and the Topic will be a discussion around Zero Negativity.

The WPC is open to all workshop presenters, those training to be presenters, and those interested and curious about taking on this path.  After attending this group for the past year, I found it to be helpful, encouraging and inspiring.

Contact El’Marie at if you wish to receive the link to either of these two meetings.

In closing, we as a Board are always open to hearing from you.  We need you and we welcome all your contributions.

Much love,