The UTM Sexual Education and Peer Counselling Centre held the “Healthy Relationships” workshop last Thursday in the Davis Building to give students a better understanding of what constitutes a healthy relationship and how to overcome relationship roadblocks.
James Boutilier, the external education coordinator at SEC, and Gina Cellucci, the peer counselling volunteer at SEC, led the workshop, which focussed on a type of relationship they defined as “consensual, monogamous, and romantic”.
“I designed this workshop with the goal of giving people the tools to have healthy relationships,” said Boutilier in an interview.
Participants worked in groups and generated ideas about the differences between good and bad relationships, brainstormed some common relationship roadblocks, and role-played various relationship scenarios. These scenarios included relationship problems stemming from financial differences, infidelity, neglect, and pressure to have sex or to not use contraception.
The groups then presented how they would resolve the issues: by opening communication, listening patiently, establishing trust, and setting boundaries.
The workshop also emphasized the importance of having a healthy relationship with oneself, the lack of which can be the root of problems in interpersonal relationships.
“You cannot be lonely if you love the person you’re alone with,” said Cellucci. She encouraged people to respect themselves, follow their instincts, and understand their emotions in order to foster healthy relationships with others.
SEC held a raffle for participants at the end of the workshop and gave two free tickets to Sex Pub as prizes.
SEC takes a non-judgmental, objective approach to educating and counselling people about issues of human sexuality, and is welcoming to all backgrounds and sexualities, according to their website.