Students who attended Patty Gail Patten’s lecture on Healthy Relationships were given a quiz to determine if they are in a relationship with their Mr. or Ms. Right. Audience members were asked to rank the importance of spiritual, sexual, intellectual, and emotional chemistry in a relationship.
The students were then asked to reflect on their relationship, or potential relationship, and told to grade their partner on a scale from 1 to 10.
Patten explained that if their partner received lower than 5 points in any of the four categories, they should reconsider their relationship because they were probably engaged in an unhealthy relationship with Mr. or Ms. Wrong.
The lecture focused on identifying codependency in one’s self and recognizing one’s potential for failed or damaging relationships led students to reflect on their own lives Oct. 23 in the college union.
Patten defined codependency in a relationship as when a person is controlled by another who suffers from an addiction.
The speaker was very relaxed with several students asking questions and commenting on the information provided throughout the lecture.
Hers was the second seminar in OCCC’s three-part Healthy Relationships Series. The Healthy Relationship Series was presented by Student Support Services and the Office of Student Life to observe Relationship Violence Awareness Week.
Patten has been working in the field of counseling and relationships for 25 years and has hosted countless workshops, seminars and training. She holds a master’s degree and is a licensed professional counselor.
Patten explained to students that codependency can affect one’s romantic and personal life. Patten handed out short quizzes to the audience so they could self-reflect and identify on their own whether they exhibit codependent tendencies.
Many affirmed that they were codependent although the quiz was confidential and no one was required to discuss the results.
Student Jared Jahnel said he benefited from the presentation.
“The lecture was interesting and I learned a lot about identifying codependency,” Jahnel said.
He explained that even if one is not codependent, it may be a good idea to be aware of codependent-type behavior in a partner.
Patten explained that healthy relationships start with being happy alone and not finding a partner to fill a void or fulfill unmet childhood needs.
Without intervention, Patten indicated that codependency would be a lifelong cycle and a longtime struggle.
Relationship counseling, one-on-one counseling, and group therapy are some effective methods to ensuring that codependency is not a life sentence. Patten’s lecture stressed the topic of recognition. Patten even went so far as to provide a handout presented in the format of “If you do this you might be codependent” as a detection tool.
The first step in ridding oneself of codependent tendencies is recognizing that there is a problem and then taking steps to avoid engaging in unhealthy relationships.
For more information on codependency, contact Student Support Services Center at 405-682-7520.