Seminar series focuses on keys to healthy dating

Christina Buswell

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Starting Wednesday the Violence Intervention and Prevention Center will host a series of four seminars every Wednesday from 2 to 3 p.m. in room 201 of Frazee Hall aimed at counseling individuals and couples on methods of healthy dating.

Each session lasts about an hour and fifteen minutes and includes an in-depth discussion about the signs of problematic relationships, what a healthy relationship consists of, what to look for in a partner, how to set boundaries and how to effectively communicate with a significant other.

“We see so many people struggling with dating … we thought this could be used as a prevention tool to not go down negative paths of jealousy and possessiveness in a relationship,” said Rhonda Henry, VIP Center director.

The Healthy Dating program works in conjunction with the Counseling Center located in Frazee Hall upstairs from the VIP Center. Henry said she was surprised at the diversity of the people attending the program. She said she expected the group would be mostly first-year female students, however, in her experience she has seen students of all ages, genders, sexualities and relationship experiences.

There is a heavy mix of males and females ranging from married to single, as well as members of the LGBTQ* community, according to Henry.

“I do see a lot of people within my community are a victim of interpersonal violence. Their sexuality is often times not voiced … these types of events are helpful for anyone experiencing violence within the relationship,” said Alex Baxter, a member of UK Gay/Straight Alliance.

The group remains small enough to have intimate conversation. Henry said the sessions are not organized as a support group, but rather a skill-building experience in which people of all communities are welcome to come and enjoy.

The Healthy Dating program allows the VIP Center to see what students on campus need in regard to counseling so the center can gear their program toward the areas where students struggle.

Henry said anyone could drop in for one session, or all sessions.