Northwest CASA is excited to have the opportunity to hold a new free monthly forum for teens and adolescents in D211. What’s the Tea? is an open forum held at the Schaumburg Library the 3rd Wednesday of every month from 7-8pm co-led by our Prevention Education Coordinator, Jessica Caccavallo.

Each week Jessica will take teens through topics related to relationships [platonic & romantic], sexuality, mental health, dating and sexual violence, just to name a few. All sessions are structured to have a topic at hand, a therapeutic skill or best practice to coincide with the topic, and the last bit of session is open to questions either asked in person or from their online anonymous google survey.

The first session held on 8/29/19 was about relationships and what those mean to each of us. Jessica invited participants to think about the different types of relationships the audience members have in their lives, what each of these relationships do for them or what they want from them; as well as how communication styles and means change based on who they’re talking to. For instance, one may text or online communicate with their best friends or team mates, but not with their grandparents. The group also discussed things about relationships that can stress someone out, which led into the conversation of what does a healthy relationship look like, or what do we feel needs to be in a healthy relationship?

If we think about the things that stress us out in a relationship or what we need from those we interact with, what we are really saying is we need to be communicating our personal boundaries and expectations of how to be treated in that dynamic. Boundaries help keep us safe from harm in the physical, emotional, and mental areas of our lives. Jessica took the group through 5 ways to assess for healthy boundaries in a relationship such as: 1. Sharing information, 2. Use of time, 3. Drama, 4. Force vs. Support, and 5. Being true to yourself.

After the topic discussions concluded, a handout was provided to all participants to peruse at their leisure and to really take time to think about what is it that that individual person wants to needs, and how can they stay true to themselves? The worksheets on Values Clarifications can help with that. There was also worksheets to assess how strongly does one need to ask or say no, to aid the participants in practicing boundaries and limit setting. And finally, there was a worksheet to help participants learn about communication styles both of themselves, and possibly trigger a “AH-HA” thought about someone in their life they may be communicating with [or having lack of communication with!] We have to know about ourselves, our styles, and our needs that we are bringing into a relationship to understand what a healthy and effective dynamic can and should look like for each person.

The next session will be 9/18/19 and the topic will be “Unhealthy ‘red flag’ Relationships” [platonic & romantic]. You can also learn skills for break ups & saying no. And as always we will read submitted questions that either come from the google doc or submitted during the forum.

Click here for access to the powerpoint from 8/28: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1CTzUfq3OZPPm9FLMH8adIXScCrH-Kh4Lh4-kAYZbf14/edit?usp=sharing

Click here for access to the handouts/skills from 8/28: https://drive.google.com/file/d/185F6uta0x0OmLclGipZyeHfjWl_rsqBM/view?usp=sharing

Click here to submit a question: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdjnetgJDj6QbvJ9vXjYCVSRHfOmKUCy_0VKqCkJ5oWcbq9SQ/viewform?usp=sf_link