Free “Setting Boundaries” relationship empowerment workshop Aug. 6

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RED BANK – A proactive group of young interns will teach adolescents “not to rely on social media to learn about life.”

The New Jersey Center for the Healing Arts (NJCHA) will hold a free relationship empowerment workshop “Setting Boundaries” for adolescents ages 14 through 18 on Aug. 6 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The counseling center is located at 248 Broad St. in Red Bank.

Relationship empowerment is a workshop dedicated to providing culturally appropriate tips for managing romantic relationships during and after high school, according to the counseling center.

On Aug. 2, NJCHA intern Chelsea Triano, 20, said she and other interns have spearhead and initiative to teach young women about what she described as normal and healthy dating protocol in the age of social media.

“There is a different type of relationship with the emerging reliance on technology and social media,” Triano said. “Before, if you wanted to check in on someone, you would go to someone’s house. Now, (with the use of technology) we can check someone’s Instagram story (for example) and know where they are. Or you can even check their location on Snapchat.”

Triano said constant access to information about an individual could create “broken boundaries” that often lead to “unnecessary suspicions.” She said participants will learn to address these issues.

Triano said participants will learn to recognize their own self-worth and the importance of independence in platonic or romantic relationships.

“(Individuals) have their own separate lives. (For example), you are able to like someone’s (social media) post and have that not be a threat to a relationship,” Triano said. “Participants (will learn it is OK to) send someone a message on social media and not receive a response immediately. Strong relationships need loyalty and boundary lines … We are so used to getting instant satisfaction, but that’s not how the real world works.”

The program’s topics of discussion include the following: what healthy boundaries look like in a relationship when individuals are in constant contact; breakups via technology; is it healthy for my partner to look through my phone everyday?; What if my partner gets mad when other people comment on my selfies?; and online dating.

“I want to give credit to our amazing undergraduate interns,” said Carol Veizer, director of NJCHA. “… So many people that we are trying to help, (the interns) understand this age group and the cultural issues of the time … The community determines a lot of what we do …We don’t want (adolescents) to rely on social media to learn about life.”

To register for the free event, call 732-747-2944