Intensive Marriage Counselling in Western Cape, South Africa

“A science-based Marriage Retreat that helps couples achieve genuine emotional closeness and sexual connection.”

Tehilla Luttig, Marriage Counsellor, Hermanus, SA

Renew your love and resolve your most painful relationship challenges.

A single weekend can teach you essential skills that can change around your relationship. If you are looking for a couples therapy retreat in South Africa, look no further.

The Tools We Use Predict Divorce With Over 90% Accuracy!

These findings span 40+ years of research with over 3,000 couples.  They've taught us remarkable a predictable pattern of marital decline.  We'll motivate you to take action, focus on what's wrong, and show you how to change it FAST. It's personally tailored to just you two.  It makes a huge difference to the way you love.


Need "One Last Shot" Couples Therapy?

Have you made plans to leave, consulted an attorney, or even filed for divorce? If you keep hoping that maybe “one last shot” of couples therapy with someone who knows what they've doing might make a difference, you're right.  

It really could.

If you're asking yourself: "Could we work again with the right therapist?" the answer is a resounding "YES!"

We see it all the time.  We work with hostile couples, ones that keep separate bedrooms, have moved out, or have stopped talking to one another.

Marriages with little babies or grown children. Even newlyweds, engaged couples or those with no intention of ever getting married. Sometimes our clients are approaching retirement, but can't take it anymore... If nothing changes, they aren't prepared to stay unhappy like this 'until death do us part.'

There're a lot of myths out there about troubled marriage:

A BIG ONE is About Divorce

“The severity of your problems don't predict divorce.  
No matter how bad it is, you can be happily marriage again, according to the research. ”

The marital endurance ethic plays a big role. These are couples who stubbornly outlast their problems. Five years later,  many sources of conflict and distress have eased.

One couples I saw had been to over 4 counselors in the past 18 years, and none of them had helped.

Family and friends told them they just weren't "suited for each other."  (...of course HIS friends sided with him, and HER friends sided with her...) 

But everyone agreed:  "You two should divorce!" (...except their kids...)

The wife's goal for the marriage retreat was to learn to stand up to a man who she described as "a big bully." The husband, on the other hand, was really shaken to the core when he arrived. Like many powerful and successful men he had no idea why she wanted a divorce, except that they couldn't stop fighting. He had his complains about her, but his biggest goal was to just fix it. He wanted his wife to come home and he wanted to stop the endless battles.

In their State of the Union Assessment they told me their early love story. It was full of trials and tribulation, like most of our couples. But it also was full of passion! These two were survivors, personally, and as a couple. Horrors of ex's, financial setbacks, kids' problems, you name it...and through it all, they had stayed together...until now.  

They Didn't Know How They Made It Worse...So They Couldn't Figure Out How to Make It Better

Their previous therapists would listen and try to give them advice.  But no one had taught them how to act differently or why:  

"Here's what you are doing, and if you keep doing it, the science says that it will be hard to exit this divorce highway. Let's work on how to change things around..."

  • "You, Sir, have to change your worldview. You are the boss at your job, but you have to change your approach at home."  No one told him he was being emotionally abusive. He honestly didn't realize it! As I said, he loved his wife and he wanted to keep his family intact.
  • "You, Madam, have to keep your cool. When you flood, you stop thinking clearly and lose not only your clarity, but your nerve." She realized she "gave up" when he started to raise his voice. He scared her, and that dynamic had to stop. She was no longer going to just acquiesce to what he said, but she also wasn't sure how to stand up to him in a calm, even way.

You may not have TIME for more traditional weekly sessions. Every day brings you farther and farther apart. I stop a couple's fast-moving train to greater misery or divorce...”

What is an Intensive Couples Therapy Retreat?

Retreats offer a unique "science-based" opportunity to get away and really enhance your bond.

Couples retreat therapy is weekend marriage counseling using a therapeutic approach to help couples that takes place over 3 days. A marriage retreat is designed to slow you down, allow you to enjoy a change of scene, and reconnect with yourself and your spouse. You may feel like both of you are too distant, with too much baggage and damage done to save your marriage. But before paying an attorney to split up your family forever, you owe it to yourselves and your family to try and save your marriage one more time.

Take one more step and contact us now. You have everything to gain and so much to lose. 

This intensive approach allows our marriage counselors get to the root of the problem.

Learn more about our science-based methods for therapeutically helping couples:  Gottman Method & Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.  Science-based couples therapy is 70-90% effective.

You'll get a detailed look at exactly what we'll be doing and why. We're unique in our use of an extensive science-based assessment for each couple prior to meeting you. We call it: "The BIG BIG Book of Intimate Relationships" and it's essential in helping us to stop your divorce. You can read more about it here.

There is nothing like it.

We use it to determine how we can best assist you. We use videotaping as part of our assessment as well. This enables us to scientifically understand what's gone wrong in your pattern of communication and overall relationship dynamics.  

'Divorce-Busting' isn't for the weak-at-heart, and it's costly.

But my couples find it so much more affordable than divorce or living in a painful marriage.

After divorce, everything gets a lot more complicated:

  • Two households, two mortgages
  • Split childcare, different sets of rules
  • Children running between families

And people tend to make the same mistakes in future relationships if they can't figure out what they've doing wrong, and just blame their spouse. In my Couples Retreats in Hermanus, South Africa you can figure out what you've done wrong and fix it, even if you'll go on to divorce. Privately, just myself and one couple.

Couples enter treatment on the verge of divorce,  (some have even filed for divorce or moved out...) and leave with a new sense of commitment, connection, and resolve.

The Solution:

It's more than a year later, and The Bully and the Bride who were "doomed to divorce" are happy together again.  She moved back in, and is delighted to be there. Their family and friends don't talk badly about their spouse anymore, because they don't allow it! They're a team.

And they still do have fights.  A fair number of them.  

Both know how to fight without escalating it.  She sets limits.  He accepts influence.  They work collaboratively because they know what they are doing and why when they disagree. And now it doesn't get out of control.


Meet Couples Therapist Tehilla Luttig

“My heart is spurred on by a burning passion to help others, and I feel so ‘at home’ in helping couples revive their relationships..”

Tehillah Luttig


Health Professions Counsel of South Africa (HPCSA)
Psychological Society of South Africa (PYSSA)
Board of Health Care Funders (BHF)
Association of Registered Counsellors of South Africa (ARCSA)
Founding Executive Committee Member of ARCSA
  -Professional Development and Ethics Committee
  -Communications Committee

Cape Town to Hermanus: 1 hour 30 minutes

From Johannesburg/Pretoria/Durban:  2 hours


License: South Africa: PRC0016837 & PR #0538396


Postgraduate (Honors) Degree: B. Social Sciences (Psychology); University of Cape Town (2007)

BA Social Sciences (Psychology); University of South Africa (2006)

Completion of Defusing Depression by the Institute of Brain Working Recursive Therapy

Completion of Working with Men taught by Terry Real, LICSW

Professional Life Coach Certification & Guide (accredited) by Transformation Academy

Completion of: Mastering the Essentials: Your Couples Therapy Training Bundle with Dr Peter Pearson

Tehilla kan julle sessies in Engels of Afrikaans aanbied.

LOCATION: Beautiful Hermanus, Western Cape, South Africa

Travel down from Johannesburg, Pretoria or Durban. Drive over from Cape Town. Take a luxury train from Pretoria to Cape Town. Take the exotic trek from Europe or the USA. However you make it, come to South Africa's beautiful Hermanus in Western Cape and watch the Southern Right Whale (before Mid-December!) and enjoy our Blue Flag beaches.


Full of quaint boutiques, markets and galleries, the town is a scenic 90 minute drive from Cape Town. Hermanus is surrounded by geographic beauty – the Atlantic Ocean, endless beaches and undulating mountains.

Hermanus is hands-down the best place to view whales on the planet. Its wild beauty, artisanal foods and its proximity to wine route. The town was originally called Hermanuspietersfontein, but the name was shortened because it was too long for the postal service.

Vineyards on the slopes of the mountain; Hermanus, South Africa

About Me

I was born and raised in South Africa.

South Africa is my home. I’m proud to be a child of hers. It is a land rich with culture and flavour.

I am the second eldest of four children (I have three brothers). I was born in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga near the Kruger National Park. My family has always been adventure-driven, and growing up near the Kruger National Park meant lots of camping and safaris. I learned from a young age to track lions and other amazing animals and identify some of our fantastic bird and plant varieties.

My parents were pastors at one of the only multi-racial churches in South Africa in the 1980’s and have been in ministry for many years. They've also run various businesses.

Being a family is hard work. Each member has a unique and powerful influence on how the family operates. I see the family like a gearbox and each member a cog: when one stops working, no matter how small he/she is – it creates friction and harder work for the other members.

Also, when one does all the work and doesn’t allow the others to find their groove, it speeds up the inevitable process of wear and tear.

But when everyone does their part, the family becomes a unique and powerful mechanism, working smoothly together in a propelling way! And everyone relaxes and starts to enjoy themselves.

I’ve travelled Europe, South America and Africa (thirteen countries) thirstily drinking in the different experiences and appreciating the different cultures. I’ve seen destruction and hate but most importantly I’ve seen grace and love.

Being married and a mother of two divine toddlers I am acutely aware of the stressors affecting relationships and how important the right tools are for families. Becoming a parent has certainly deepened my compassion and empathy even more! It has shown me how hard it is to ‘practice what I preach’ but how incredibly useful these teachable tools are, and also the difference it makes when your partner is your ‘team-mate’ or your ‘enemy’.

My Waitingroom

My Office:

My office is a beautiful, recently renovated stylish office block with a well lit reception room at the end of town (so away from the buzz of people). 

While you cannot see the sea from there, it is about a 2 minutes drive from our blue flag beach, Grotto beach. It’s got miles of white sandy beaches to walk on (passing a beautiful lagoon) and there is also a nice little restaurant for lunch. My office is about 7 minutes drive out of town, so close enough to enjoy various other restaurants if wanted.

I love my office space as it’s welcoming, out of town centre, has private parking, a nice reception area, and it’s modern without fuss.

Clinical Background:

My heart is spurred on by a burning passion to help others, and I feel so ‘at home’ in helping couples revive their relationships.

I am a qualified and experienced private practice counselor, specialising in couples and family counseling. I believe that in today's world not only are children confused and without boundaries; but their parents are exposed, and put into situations of uncertainty as they often cannot raise the child(ren) as they themselves were raised.

Media, violence, divorce, and medication puts additional pressure, ambiguity, and insecurity on the families.

I've had varied training. I spent over a thousand supervision hours in an affluent society of a city and then amongst the poorest of the poor near Hermanus. I was able to experience two extremely different worlds. But I saw that abuse, emotional neglect, and withholding of love tasted the same among rich and poor, and did the same damage.

Differences in recovery didn’t come from title, status or income but from resilience, expectations and the way you spoke to yourself about things (survivor or victim mentality).

What struck me the most was how ‘easy’ it was to connect with even the most broken human being, through acknowledgment, softness, love, and respect. Most of this was achieved without speaking a word.

In my couples work, I found that once the parents' relationship settled/strengthened, the children's moods and behavior automatically improved too. I also love how, giving relationships the tools to make them stronger, creates a safe harbor against the strong storms of life. Life can be so hard, and there are so many unexpected challenges along the way. A haven to go home to can make such a difference.

Having safety and support at home (a refuge) is what we all need and deserve. I now specialise in couples counselling. I also help divorced parents work on their relationship (‘your ex is not your child's ex'), and their self-esteem (as divorce generally affects one's self-perception), to help them parent better together.

Clinical Methods and Theories:

Grace is such an amazing discovery! To be convinced of another’s inherent value regardless of what’s happened. I often see partners expecting grace, but not ready to give it back so easily. Relationships thrive on grace.

My couples counseling approach is based primarily on the principles of the Gottman Institute training, which I incorporate with my clinical foundations of Gestalt therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and various elements of psychodynamic, developmental and humanistic approaches. I also use theories from Dr. Sue Johnson: (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy), Terrance Real, Esther Perel, Transactional Analysis, Attachment Theory, Narrative Psychology and Brain-Working Recursive Therapy. Brene Brown’s insights into shame and vulnerability is also at the essence of a lot of my sessions. My extensive work with children and Play Therapy has also given me a creative edge to couples counselling, giving me ideas to bring a little lightness and fun into our sessions. The latest training I completed has had great results in helping couples dealing with non-medical related infertility problems!!

BWRT is a new but incredible model of psychotherapy focusing on Neuroplasticity and has been incredibly successful at creating fast change with many dire mental challenges and trauma. BWRT is used to help quickly and permanently deflate previous hurts and trauma that usually bring such a sting in most couple’s relationships.

The way I choose my methods, as well as formulate and shape my approach is based on who I am as an individual and as a therapist. My life experiences, both personal and professional have a profound impact on how I counsel. I continue to learn daily too, not just from my past – but because every couple and their individual situation has something I can learn from. And, as families are dynamic and constantly changing / growing - my family teaches me an enormous amount too. All my experiences feed my approach, empathy, and passion for couples counselling!

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