By Marilyn Velazquez
Chrystal Keaton, a Brookhaven College counselor, led a SkillsShop on healthy and unhealthy relationships. “So Don’t Act Like It’s a Bad Thing to Fall in Love” was held Oct. 25 in S064.
Keaton began the SkillsShop with an introduction video featuring a couple in different scenarios depicting good and bad relationships.
“It’s unfortunate, but it seems like everybody has either been in an [abusive] relationship or has seen it,” Keaton said.
One of the scenarios showed good and bad examples of communication. The girlfriend showed bad communication when she ignored her boyfriend after he asked what was wrong. The good example of communication was when he asked her what was wrong and she shared her feelings.
Keaton talked about 10 key factors to achieve good relationships, including positivity, communication, friendship, support and trust. She also said about 50 percent of the problems students go into the Counseling Center with relate to relationship issues with a significant other.
Keaton said there are ways to identify an abusive relationship. She said some abusive situations include intimidation toward a partner, isolation from peers or family members or blaming the victim for problems.
Some reasons people become violent in a relationship are the abuser’s upbringing or feeling inferior in a relationship, Keaton said.
Eric Reyes, a student, took notes during the course of the SkillsShop. He said he first heard about the SkillsShop through his Learning Framework class. He said one thing he learned from the presentation were the phases in the cycle of an abusive relationship.
Keaton said the abusive relationship cycle has four phases, including tension building, incident or explosion, reconciliation and calm.
Reyes said he would like to use the notes he took to help someone if he ever saw signs of an unhealthy relationship.
Gezel Del, a student, said she thought the SkillsShop was very informative. She said she understood some of the key concepts because her friends have problems similar to that ones shown in the presentation.
Keaton also talked about the repercussions of being in a hostile relationship. She said the one thing no one should do when helping a friend leave an abusive relationship is approach the abuser. She said listening and consoling the victim goes further than confronting the aggressor.
Reyes said he thinks social media gives some high expectations for relationships based on what is seen with celebrity couples. He said these high expectations make some significant others lash out because they do not get the same benefits they see online.
Keaton said her goal for students is to have an appreciation and understanding for healthy relationships and to recognize what unhealthy relationships look like.