NIU Clinic to host couples enrichment fair Friday

By Sarah Contreras

NIU wants to save your relationship.

The Family Therapy Clinic of NIU will host Fall Back in Love, a couples’ enrichment fair, at 7 p.m. on Friday in the Wirtz Hall Light Court.

The event will be dedicated to enhancing romantic relationships through understanding and communication. Couples of all ages and types are welcome to attend the two-hour fair, which will be facilitated by second-year graduate students in the Marriage and Family Therapy program.

“We decided it would be something that we could provide for the community,” said assistant professor Julie Ramisch, who specializes in marriage and family therapy. “We can give back the things that we’ve been working on this semester. It’s a neat way to give back and be able to provide a free date night, more or less, to help couples regain that warm, fuzzy feeling.”

Couples can participate in activities at eight different booths, each booth featuring a different activity focused on a particular aspect of couple relationships. Subjects like intimacy, fair fighting, communication and parenting will be explored.

Couples who participate will be given tokens intended to remind them of what they’ve learned during each activity. In addition, two 20-minute breakout sessions will be held. During those sessions, couples interested in learning about the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman can take quizzes and explore their own individual ways of showing and receiving love.

The Family Therapy Clinic is an on-campus facility which provides services for the NIU community. The counseling staff is made up of the second-year students in the Marriage and Family Therapy program, though they are available for a wide range of mental health services like drug and alcohol addiction and eating disorders. Clinic tours will be offered during the fair for those interested in getting a behind-the-scenes look at what a training clinic is like.

While the word “therapy” may turn some students off, the event is targeted for any relationship.

“This isn’t just for couples who need help,” Ramisch said. “Who doesn’t need two hours of focus on their relationship?”

Free childcare, food and parking will be provided for attendees in addition to the activities. Fall Back in Love is free and open to the public.