IU Southeast Counseling Center hosts relationship GPS

Kaylynn Williams, Staff Writer

On Thursday, March 12 at 3 p.m., the IU Southeast Counseling Center hosted their third meeting in the University Center regarding student relationship health and social skill building techniques.

IU Southeast intern, Danielle Alexander, said that the sessions are “trying to get people to determine what they want out of a relationship and how to acquire that.” 

I’m not sure the scientific value of it but it gives you an idea of what type of person would better match you,

— Karen Richey

Alexander, a doctoral student at the University of Louisville, assists in the production and success of these group meetings.

Karen Richey, counselor care manager at IU Southeast said, “This idea of sessions based on dating and relationships was the Dean of Student Life, Seuth Chaleunphonh’s idea.”

Richey suggests that the idea may have come about due to caseload on campus and said relationship advice is a common reason students seek counseling on campus, as do many people.

In an effort to aid the student social environment, this relationship group came into session in February of this year with plans to meet once a week for an hour each session. Although the snow has made it difficult to comply, with two cancellations due to weather, the sessions continue, picking up from where they left in the previous session and continue to benefit those in attendance.

“Each week builds on the next,” Alexander said.

In this week’s meeting, the group discussed important topics including the best methods of introduction, types of relationships and the values one should contain in a relationship. The session began with a quick questionnaire that would match each participant with the description of their ideal match. It was more for fun.

“I’m not sure the scientific value of it but it gives you an idea of what type of person would better match you,” Richey said.

Richey reminded the group of the S.P.I.C.E.S in a relationship, which are the list of values one could have in relationships. These include: social, physical, intellectual, creative, emotion and spiritual.

Richey described and analyzed a number of reasonable places to find a person’s “match” with the group. After a place was in mind, the group discussed the best method of introductions.

Alexander said, “this is target time,” when trying to find someone who interests you. A jar of “date questions” was presented to the group to engage and entertain everyone as well as to inform them of some great conversation starters.

The purpose of the questions in the jar are to help when you’re in that situation that you just don’t know how to get the conversation rolling, the questions were some ideas to keep in mind for future reference.

The group spent much time in self-reflection in determining what each of them would and would not tolerate and which differences they did not admire. Differences are not always a negative part of a relationship however, Richey said, “Differences are an appealing piece of it.”

The session emphasized how important it is to stay true to oneself. Richey explained how often people get lost in the other person in the relationship and lose a sense of self. They adapt to whatever the person they are with does or likes.

A person’s values are important to stay true to in order to find someone you will truly be happy with. The session ended with a sense of confidence that filled the room and a positive outlook on social life.

If you are interested in a group session that would benefit any issue, contact Karen Richey at kerichie@ius.edu.