two-hour workshop, Relationships 101, Sunday at Colorado Mountain College.|Summit Daily/Reid Williams|
FRISCO – Ah, falling in love: Your pulse rate increases when you see – or even think of – that special someone. You feel happy, high, on top of the world. You stay up half the night and still feel energized the next morning. You can’t wait to meet again. But how do you know if it’s lasting love or a passing infatuation?
Psychotherapists Nancy Black and Amy Jackson will address this and other questions related to love relationships at their two-hour workshop Sunday.
Their goal is to help single people make better choices regarding dating and relationships.
“In the year-and-a-half I’ve been here, I’ve seen a lot of couples who have been struggling and singles who have been struggling, and therapy is not enough,” Black said. “They need education. I’d like to offer the community more education.”
The Relationships 101 workshop will teach people to look for danger signals in relationships, understand today’s dating culture, see how family history can affect intimacy patterns and talk about the importance of personal health in relationships.
“It’s just to help people start thinking about what they’re doing,” Black said. “Good relationships don’t just happen. There’s some work involved. It helps to know how to go about it.”
In the 1980s, the divorce rate in America peaked at 60 percent, leaving the majority of young adults today with the residual pain of having had experienced parental divorce. This can make people gun-shy about committed relationships, Black said.
Plus, it’s hard to know how to have a healthy relationship, since everyone has been affected by a dysfunctional culture – and, most likely, dysfunctional family, Black said.
Both Black and Jackson teach people to build their own identities and avoid looking for others to complete them.
The workshop will focus on interactive exercises designed to help people solve hypothetical problems.
“What we want to give people are new ways to deal with their problems,” Black said. “We’re going to try to make it fun – using movie clips and powerpoint presentations.”
Black and Jackson work at Peak to Peak Family Services, a private practice which includes psychotherapists Kate Glerup and Julie Thebeau.
Black helped open Peak to Peak two years ago, but she has been a therapist for 22 years. She earned her master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Colorado in Denver in 1980. She has been “happily” married for 25 years and enjoys helping couples increase intimacy and women deal with life adjustment issues and abuse recovery.
Jackson finished her master’s degree in social work at the University of Denver. She has worked with clients dealing with loss and grief and has trained in family, individual, high-risk youth and brief, solution-focused therapy. She’s 31 and single, so she brings the other end of experience to the workshop.
The two hope to continue the relationship classes for singles, possibly as a semester class at Colorado Mountain College. They also plan to start classes focusing on conflict resolution, negotiation, sharing feelings and other skills for married couples in October. And, they’re starting a six-week group to help people gain clarity about who they really are.
The Relationships 101 workshop runs from 7-9 p.m. Sunday at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge. It costs $10. To register, call (970) 262-1085.
Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or by e-mail at
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