Weddings Made Easy

Other Gauteng Pre-marital Counselling

Cornelia Swart

Cornelia Swart
Cornelia Swart
Mobile: +27 (0)83 625 5686
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How much time, money, energy and planning go into your wedding ceremony vs your marriage?  The wedding ceremony is a couple of hours….

Your marriage is (hopefully!) the rest of your life!  Is PLANNING part of a marital relationship?  Well, have you ever accomplished any success in life without an element of planning?  Couples often think when they want to get married they know each other very well.  Often this is not the case.

Some people are quite well-adjusted, while others are not. The person who is lacking in good emotional or personality adjustment finds it difficult to live with himself and others.  Most serious marriage problems arise because one or both partners have some long-standing problematic personality characteristics.  Once we marry, these problems are even more likely to be triggered because of the new levels of intimacy, responsibility and give and take required in marriage.

Having compatible goals and understanding each other's plans for the future is also vital for a happy marriage.  Goals affect every area of our lives.  They involve having children (yes, no and how many), where we choose to live, our spiritual interests, career plans and a host of other factors.

Shared recreational interests help build togetherness.  What do you and your prospective spouse share?  Just shopping together, watching TV on the coach and eating out is probably not enough.  We need to share in our recreational, vocational and spiritual lives.

Do you know what your prospective spouse's most important emotional needs are?  If not, your spouse could fall out of love with you!  A husband tends to find his wife irresistible when she learns to join him in a sexual relationship they both find satisfying and enjoyable, becomes his favorite recreational companion, manages her overall appearance in a way that he finds physically attractive, manages household responsibilities, and understands and appreciates him more than anyone else.  A wife tends to find her husband irresistible when he learns to create an environment of affection that clearly and repeatedly expresses his love for her, sets aside time every day just to talk to her with undivided attention and interest, is completely honest and open with her, provides financial support for her, and is committed to the moral and educational development of their children.

The feeling of love is essential for a happy marriage, but it is very fragile. Most couples lose it within a few years of marriage.  It's created before marriage when a man and woman are successful in meeting each other's most important emotional needs. But after marriage, those needs often go unmet, and when they do, couples fall out of love for each other.  

Sometimes spouses are simply lazy about the way they try to meet each other’s needs.  

More often, though, it’s IGNORANCE.  After marriage, new emotional needs are created that come very unexpectedly. Most spouses are not only ignorant of their importance, but also unprepared to meet them.

If our needs stayed the same before and after marriage, the problem would be easy to fix -- go back to what you were doing before marriage. But emotional needs change throughout life. I am a registered Counselling Psychologist for 15 years. I offer Pre-Marital counselling to couples who intend to get married. This can be done either individually or in a group. Counselling will be in the form of information, DVD's, listening to CD's, group discussions and working as a couple on some exercises. Practical and fun!  The goal is to strengthen your relationship and prepare you constructively for the possible challenges you might face in your future together.  Counselling will help you to see where your partner stands on different topics and what her/his priorities are in life.  Some of these will include children, religion, finances and family issues.

The counselling covers topics like:

  • Intra-personal aspects.  What makes us behave the way we do?  How do we see and value ourselves and others?
  • Barriers to effective communication.  How to manage an argument.  How to listen effectively
  • What makes marriages succeed? What makes marriages fail?
  • How to stay in love.
  • How to recreate the feeling of love if lost!  A successful marriage involves falling in love many times!
  • Role of the husband and wife
  • Instincts and Habits
  • the Love Bank
  • learning to care for each other
  • Men's most important emotional needs
  • Women's most important emotional needs,
  • Love Busters
  • Undivided attention,
  • Radical honesty
  • Recreational enjoyment
  • the role of family,
  • finances,
  • intimacy,
  • values, etc.


Please contact me to enquire about the fees.  Standard medical aid fees are charged and in most cases I can claim directly from your Medical Aid.

Weekend seminars in the rest of South Africa

I will be hosting a 3-day weekend seminar on Marriage preparation on the following dates.  Please contact me for more details or if you are interested in booking for it. Bookings will be limited to a maximum of 7 couples per seminar.


All workshops are held in the Pretoria area only.

  • 29-31 January 2016 
  • 11-13 March 2016 
  • 27-29 May 2016 
  • 19-21 August 2016 
  • 4-6 November 2016

Only 7 couples allowed per seminar – Book well in advance


  • 26-28 Feb
  • 15-17 Jul
  • 9-11 Sept
  • 18-20 Nov


  • Pretoria: Dereks Lane 469, Lynnwood

Kindly visit our website for more information.



Cornelia Swart Psychologist
Cornelia Swart Psychologist
Cornelia Swart Psychologist
Cornelia Swart Psychologist

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What I liked best about the seminar was that it offered great reading material, action exercises (couple exercises) and very professional facilitation. It also provided practical suggestions and well researched tools and statistics. The facilitation included great use of alternative delivery methods – i.e. audio, visual material, DVD’s and use of humor. The environment was pleasant and meals were great. I feel that the upfront preparation contributes to more meaningful engagement during the course. There was stimulating participation by all attendees due to pre-preparation. I would highly recommend this course – especially for young couples. I rate it as super because it was relevant, practical, useful and dynamic. The workshop helped us to identify areas requiring attention and the tools with which to work with to address and resolve issues.

I am better prepared for marriage being more aware of the issues that commonly cause problems in marriages and being open to talk about it.

It is a fantastic course.

I attended the workshop in August 2014, and I would say the workshop meant a lot for our relationship. It gave me the ability to “reteach” bad behaviors, I learned new tools to change.

The facilitator was friendly, open and caring.

I attended the workshop in August 2014, and I would say the following about the workshop:

What did you like best about the programme?

I liked the energy and the mood of the group.  Also, the exercises:  doing the exercises forced us to connect; I actually learned new things about my partner.  The questions made me think hard about the relationship status, problems we went through and the plans for the future.

In what way do you feel more prepared for marriage?

There is still more work to be done on our relationship.  I am glad we went through the workshop before setting up the final date of our wedding.  We will be reflecting on the improvement areas and resolve them (ALL OF THEM) before we set up the final date.

My partner and I attended the workshop in August 2014, and what I liked best about the programme was the professional guidelines provided to handle with a specific scenario – faced with/to be dealt with.  (Making/doing this in a very easy way/open way).

We were put in a position which enabled me and my partner to have an open discussion about our feelings regarding various topics.

I feel more prepared for our marriage because I understand all the criteria of a relationship/partnership taking to prepare yourself completely for that very important discussion before marriage.

We attended the workshop in August 2014.  What I liked the best about the programme was that we got to discuss specific topics, which we would not normally discuss (while still dating), which got us to talk and share about things and learn more about each other (earlier).  We had time during the workshop to discuss things on our own, so that we felt we could discuss “privately”, therefor more openly.  I feel that I got tools to help me be a better girlfriend/wife.

I feel more prepared for my marriage in that I have a few more skills to apply to make our relationship work. 

I rate this workshop highly because it was relaxed and we learnt a lot of skills (not taught at school!) needed for a good relationship.

I am grateful that we attended!

The course was amazing. I feel the programme covered all the topics that I hoped would be addressed. It was well structured and taught with some useful techniques we can use on a daily basis. I also think Cornelia was a great instructor, highly professional and efficient.

What did the workshop mean for your relationship?

It started a thinking process for us and also brought us together. It has improved the connection between us and the level of intimacy. I feel that we are better equipped to enter our marriage and married life. The workshop gives you the tools to start your marriage. It was in depth, well structured and has been an amazing journey for us.

In what way do you feel more prepared for marriage?

I learned some good conflict resolution techniques. I know what questions to start asking and feel that we know what questions we should ask and address before we get married.

I liked that it was in a small group and that it quickly became a safe environment to share. The group discussions also proved valuable as you start to understand that other couples also experience issues. The practical work stood out for me.

What did the workshop mean for your relationship?

It certainly got us talking! I suppose the topics discussed during the workshop are tough discussions to have at home however this has definitely helped us break the ice in terms of talking about all the important aspects of the relationship. It also gives us confidence in knowing what we need to do to get ourselves ready and prepared for marriage as well as what is required to successfully sustain the marriage.

In what way do you feel more prepared for marriage?

We now have the tools to prepare for the biggest adventure of our lives. Obviously, the work only starts now but I certainly feel like I know what I need to prepare for.

I really enjoyed the pre-marital counselling process. I encourage everyone in a relationship to attend especially those who intend or marrying or are in long term relationships.

You may post the feedback to your website. Before the pre-marital counselling I was very afraid of things suddenly going wrong in my marriage and lacking the skills to fix it. I went looking for tools to assist me with my relationship. I came out feeling empowered and capable of having a happily ever after. I loved the concept of the Love Bank and the process of meeting your spouse’s most important emotional need and love language. Through the process of learning more about each other’s family history and expectations for the future I felt more secure in my relationship. Practicing some of the practical tools such as the Imago dialogue and spending at least 15 hours a week with my fiancé really rejuvenated our relationship. I am really looking forward to living a fulfilling life, filled with exciting and wonderful events with him by my side.

I knew from the start that I wanted to do pre-marital counselling but not just average counselling, I wanted my fiance and I to have the best tools to take on our upcoming marriage. Having parents that divorced and not wanting to follow in their footsteps this was not a matter I was going to take lightly. My fiance was not keen at first, and neither of us are on full medical aid so we had to pay cash. I told my fiance I will pay the full amount but if he finds it his worthwhile he will refund me half. I had no doubt after doing my research on Dr Swart that the money would be well spent AND refunded from my fiance! I cannot compare our relationship now and a few short weeks before. Of course we knew there was something special between us and we made each other very happy hence why we are getting married, but like every couple we have little 'niggles' which lead into huge arguments for no reason. Dylan and I communicate very easily and openly about everything (so we thought) but the questions that got asked during homework exercises and in the sessions lead to topics that needed to be discussed which one might not have considered before, but play an integral part in the dynamics of our relationship.

Looking back we definitly didn't have the tools to deal with everyday issues and knowing how to truly fulfill each other. Amongst many other things Dylan learnt how important it is to make positive deposits for me on a daily basis, how important helping out with dishes once in a while actually is for me, I learnt that I wasn't "always right",  I needed to learn not to be to rigid and I realized how lucky I was to get married to Dylan as he was so enthusiastic, putting words said during sessions into action, even though initially he was not very keen on this whole pre-marital counselling exercise. Past experiences were linked with present behaviours which allowed us to understand why we may react the way we do in certain scenarios. Things which could very well cause a lot of conflict and hurt in the future were addressed, made aware to us and are now being worked on. We realized what a huge step being married actually is and how much work we have cut out for ourselves but at the same time we are confident as we have the basic "know how" to nurture our relationship. We are in actual fact so positive with regards to how our relationship has evolved we want to return every 2-3 years for a refresher to keep the wheel turning and just becoming better and better for each other as our married life continues!
There is no manual out there to a successful marriage, it is not an exact science as we are all such complex beings with so many different environmental factors that come into play. When two people unite together in marriage with different familial backgrounds, different views, different personalities, different past experiences, different inert behaviours it can be quite a challenge to find common ground. With Dr Swart you find solutions that works for you as a couple, you understand why your partner reacts and behaves like they do and you learn the value and meaning of a true partnership!
Thank you, Dr Swart!
Dylan and I will definitly see you again in the future!

Ek is baie dankbaar oor al die goeie “tools” wat ons ontvang het deur die sessies. Veral die sessies oor emosionele behoeftes en konflik was baie hulpvol.  Niks sou my keuse van trou verander het nie, maar na die kursus voel ek sterker daaroor as ooit.  Baie dankie vir al die hulp.  Ek reken jy sal nooit mekaar regtig 100% ken en vertrou as jy nie bereid is om hierdie kursus te voltooi nie.  Dit is op die man af en besprreek al die belangrikste kwessies.

Ek dink regtig dat die voorhuwelikse kursus ongelooflik waardevol en belangrik is om te doen.  Dit fokus op alle belangrike aspekte van ‘n verhouding. Nie net het dit gehelp date k en Pierre mekaar beter verstaan nie, maar ook om myself beter te kan verstaan in terme van my eie emosionele behoeftes, ens.  Die sessie oor emosionele behoeftes was veral insiggewend en baie waardevol.  Ek hou daarvan dat die sessie ook nie weggeskram het van moeilike onderwerpe nie maar eerder in diepte daarop gefokus het en ons die tools gegee het om dit aan te spreek, bv. godsdiens, familie-kwessies, konflikhantering, ens.  Ek en Pierre het ongelooflik baie geleer en die sessies het werklik gehelp om ons verhouding nog ryker te maak.  Baie baie dankie.

Baie dankie vir die klasse sover, dit maak regtig ‘n groot verskil vir ons altwee. Weet eintlik regtig nie hoe ‘n mens kans sien om te trou as jy nog nie deur so ‘n kursus is nie!

Cornelia bied ‘n baie veilige omgewing waar ek gemaklik en veilig voel om volkome eerlik te kan wees met myself enmy maat.  Ek kon vir die eerste keer struikelblokke met my maat addresseer wat ek nog nooit die moed gehad het om te doen nie.

Ek sal enige iemand aanraai om haar huweliksvoorbereiding proses te volg.  Sy is wonderlik gewees vir ons.

Cornelia, met enige struikelblok of “bump in the road”sale k weer aa nou deur kom klop.

Baie dankie vir die wonderlike begin wat jy vir my en my man gegee het.

Thank you so much Cornelia for everything that you have taught us and for the experience that you have shared.

I would highly recommend that every couple go through this program before they get married. I wish I had half the knowledge about identifying needs and fulfilling them correctly as I now do, thank you so much for this.

I will most certainly be sharing what you have taught me with everyone that I know, so please do expect a few calls from mates.

Oh, and the fact that my medical aid picked up the tab was an added bonus.

Best of luck with everything going forward.

Wow! What a thought provoking, sensitive, empowering, enduring and educational session we had! In our view my wife and I think all couples planning to get married should afford themselves the opportunity with a professional equipping them as individuals to get to know each other before getting into a matrimonial union.
In a nutshell: Marriage is a house. Its ability to withstand the ever changing weathers depends on how it was built. Ultimately the properly built house lasts.  One needs to plan with common objectives from the onset. Foundation is key which is the knowledge and meeting of each other’s emotional needs and sharing and maintaining love. Bricks and reinforcement: as a couple you need to have a policy on how you agree on issues, undivided attention and honesty. Unforeseen and unplanned winds and tornados will be conflicts and disagreements of the two individuals. The roof is the systematic conflict management and act of listening and communicating, avoiding unnecessary disturbance in a marriage. So one should make it a point that their house can stand the test of time.
We as a couple are still well, good, healthy, loving, blessed and in love. The love banks are still in a positive. We are still having constructive conversations, fulfillment of our sexuality and committed to the course of love.  We are still committed in implementing the acquired knowledge. Nevertheless we are in love and the is still burning. We know each other better now. Thank you for your session.
I must confess that you have molded us to be this phenomenal couple with character and integrity in our marriage. A lot of my friends are saying we sound so empowered. Thank you once more.

We obtained lots of tools that will probably only be practiced and well entrenched after years. But we have all we need to guide us to ensure a happy and balanced family. Nothing was left out. Everything was covered to ensure that we have a healthy and balanced relationship and family. We were impressed with the speed and vast amount of material covered. The scheduling of sessions was very accommodating.

The sessions were quite interesting, probing and generally emotional.  I think that the content was quite appropriate and useful.  Learned quite a lot about myself and my partner.  I would recommend this for all couples, married or not.

I felt that our sessions were very useful for us in that we learnt a lot about each other ghrough the discussions and homework sessions.  The material is very practical and easy to put inot use on an everyday basis.  It also helps that there are printouts to refer to whenever necessary.  I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and felt that I had learnt something important after each sessions.  Thank you very much for your time.  I will keep re-learning and practicing what I’ve learnt here.

We enjoyed the counseling sessions, it was a great eye opener. I found the questionnaires that you gave us very insightful and the discussions also helped me understand Sebaka a lot.

The other thing that I found very reassuring was the fact that the discussion were based on your professional experience and that you are also married and know exactly what you were talking about. It was definitely worth our while and the money.

You engaged us a lot and did not just dictate to us what and how we need to do things.


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