Kobus Van Der Merwe
Kobus Van Der Merwe, PhD candidate
LOCATION: South Africa |  English, Afrikaans
TITLE: Senior Faculty
Connecting is Being.

Kobus van der Merwe is a dedicated Imago International Faculty Member and certified Imago Relationship Therapist and workshop presenter based in South Africa. With a passion for helping couples and families, Kobus has spent his career honing his expertise in Imago Relationship Therapy. His experience and training have allowed him to assist therapists in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and Europe. In recognition of his exceptional work, he received the Harville Hendrix Award for Clinical Excellence in 2016.

Kobus shares his life with his wife, Anita, whom he married in 1992, and together they have three adult children. He began his academic journey by studying theology at the University of Pretoria, finishing in 1992. After five years as a minister of religion in the Dutch Reformed Church, he developed an interest in family therapy while working in a psychiatric hospital. This led him to pursue a career in psychology, and he is currently working on a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Imago Relationship Therapy at Daybreak University.

Kobus has an extensive background in working with a multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals at the Benmed Psychiatry clinic. Here, he focused on systemic and eco-systemic perspectives in family therapy and co-facilitated group sessions with psychiatrists and therapists. He became a certified Imago Clinical Therapist in 1996 after completing his training with Hedy Schleifer and went on to become an Imago Clinical Instructor in 2002.

Throughout his career, Kobus has dedicated more than 23,000 hours to couples’ therapy, facilitated 408 Imago Getting The Love You Want Couples Workshops, and trained 950 Imago Therapists and Professional Facilitators. His contributions have extended to international conferences in the United States, Canada, Denmark, South Korea, and South Africa.

Kobus is particularly interested in the cosmological metatheory of Imago Relationship Theory and its practical application of “All is connected” in working with couples. His work is influenced by his family of origin, particularly his mother’s holistic approach to psychiatry and his father’s relational theology. Kobus also greatly values the insights of Harville Hendrix on connectedness and Hedy Schleifer’s concept of the sacred space.

He is a clinical professor at Daybreak University.

Academic and Professional Qualifications:

  • Matric: 1986, Goudrif High school Germiston

  • BA: 1989, University of Pretoria

  • BA (Hons – Semitic/Greek): 1991, University of Pretoria

  • BD (Theology): 1992, University of Pretoria

  • BA (Hons – Psychology): 2000, University of South Africa

  • MA (Counseling Psychology): 2022, Daybreak University

  • Ph.D. candidate: Current, Daybreak University


Kobus Van der Merwe is a Certified Imago Therapist, Imago Workshop Presenter, Advanced Clinician, and Imago Clinical Instructor. He was the first Imago Workshop Presenter and Clinical Instructor in South Africa. Before being involved with Imago, he was ordained as minister in the Dutch Reformed Church.



  • Begin here: Imago Clinical Training (Clinical)

    Begin here: Imago Clinical Training (Clinical)

    STARTS  December 5, 2024
  • Begin here: Imago Clinical Training (Clinical)

    Begin here: Imago Clinical Training (Clinical)

    STARTS  September 5, 2024