Valentine’s Day. It’s here whether a person likes it or not, and no amount of grumbling can help anyone avoid it. With this day of romance (or lack thereof) many couples are surely wondering, “What is my partner thinking?” “How can we connect?” and “Should I have remembered her birthday?”
Well luckily for students, the answers may be closer than they think. Several UAA faculty members have done specific research into the field of couples psychology. Dr. Mark Johnson, psychology professor at UAA, has had extensive experience in dealing with couples throughout his years as a licensed psychologist. Dr. Johnson’s book, “Between Two People: Exercises Towards Intimacy,” presents several techniques to help counselors improve the relationships of their clients.
But Dr. Johnson isn’t the only way to learn more about couples psychology. Another source of information is the UAA Psychological Services Center (PSC) led by Director Patricia Sandberg, PhD. For those who are looking for help dealing with difficult relationships, the PSC may be a valuable resource.
A call to their information desk revealed the clinic does in fact offer couples counseling on an appointment-based system. The center reportedly offers a variety of mental health services including individual, group and couples counseling with all sessions being strictly confidential.
“If you’ve hit something, a rough spot in the relationship, counseling may be a good choice,” said freshman Corey Prewett. “It’s great that they [Psychological Services Center] offer it for people.”
Students have differing opinions concerning couples counseling, with some expressing their support while others have their reservations.
Gabe Rein, a full time student majoring in geospatial engineering, remains skeptical of the benefits of couples counseling.
“I think that counseling can be beneficial for some couples but I think it’s more important for the couples to solve their own problems. It’s more enriching to the relationship,” said Rein.
When asked if he would ever consider couples counseling, Gabe admitted that he “would feel uncomfortable sharing problems with a stranger.”
Kitty Mahoney, a theatre major, has a different perspective on the prospects of couples counseling.
“I think that [couples counseling] is very useful and productive,” Mahoney said. “My parents went through it and it really helped their relationship grow”
While many students would be apprehensive about trying couples counseling for themselves, most seem to agree that it has been useful for many couples. The key is letting students know that couples counseling is a common occurrence.
Between the information provided by psychology professors and the assistance offered by the Psychological Services Center, UAA has a vast number of resources available to students.