82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesWorkshop Builds Skills for Talking to Teens About Sex

Workshop Builds Skills for Talking to Teens About Sex

Oct. 25, 2007 — People talked about the fears and tears of their adolescent years Thursday morning in the conference room of the Hibiscus Beach Hotel on St. Croix, part of a gathering that brought together school nurses and guidance counselors, people from the Women's Coalition, Health Department officials and Human Services counselors.
The walk down memory lane was part of a training workshop: "Building Skills with Adolescents: Talking About Sex and Sexuality," conducted by Cicatelli Associates, a non-profit educational institute based in New York.
Cicatelli instructors Lymaris Albors and Dianne Browne come down to the Virgin Islands several times a year for educational and training seminars relating to youth counseling, family planning and disease prevention.
The goal of Thursday's workshop was to give participants tools to overcome the many barriers to talking with adolescents about sex and sexuality. As is the mode in such seminars, Albors and Browne took turns asking the group questions and writing their answers on flip charts with colored markers, using the audience's input to guide and inform the discussion. Topics of discussion included identifying the barriers to talking to adolescents about sexuality; describing adolescent mental, physical and sexual development; the social culture of adolescents; and methods and forms of birth control.
The exercise in sharing individuals' own teenage fears and hopes served several functions, as the participants themselves listed. It helped put nurses and counselors into the mindset of adolescents by recalling what it was really like. It encouraged empathy and genuine feeling for how teenagers feel, rather than dismissing teen problems as minor or temporary. And it reminded participants of how much more difficult it is to talk about your own sexuality to a stranger than it is to ask the questions.
In the confidential environment of the seminar, people shared their early crushes, the TV shows they liked and the things they used to do. One woman recalled having a crush on Little Joe from the show "Bonanza."
"I would smile thinking back," said another participant. "But a part of me was also cringing. It was not a nice time."
Other stories, while charming and harmless, were perhaps too personal for publication.
"Now we have all the answers, but when we were teens, we were confused and imperfect," one participant said. "As much as anything, this helps us to be aware they have a right to be imperfect and we should be patient and tolerant."
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Oct. 25, 2007 -- People talked about the fears and tears of their adolescent years Thursday morning in the conference room of the Hibiscus Beach Hotel on St. Croix, part of a gathering that brought together school nurses and guidance counselors, people from the Women's Coalition, Health Department officials and Human Services counselors.
The walk down memory lane was part of a training workshop: "Building Skills with Adolescents: Talking About Sex and Sexuality," conducted by Cicatelli Associates, a non-profit educational institute based in New York.
Cicatelli instructors Lymaris Albors and Dianne Browne come down to the Virgin Islands several times a year for educational and training seminars relating to youth counseling, family planning and disease prevention.
The goal of Thursday's workshop was to give participants tools to overcome the many barriers to talking with adolescents about sex and sexuality. As is the mode in such seminars, Albors and Browne took turns asking the group questions and writing their answers on flip charts with colored markers, using the audience's input to guide and inform the discussion. Topics of discussion included identifying the barriers to talking to adolescents about sexuality; describing adolescent mental, physical and sexual development; the social culture of adolescents; and methods and forms of birth control.
The exercise in sharing individuals' own teenage fears and hopes served several functions, as the participants themselves listed. It helped put nurses and counselors into the mindset of adolescents by recalling what it was really like. It encouraged empathy and genuine feeling for how teenagers feel, rather than dismissing teen problems as minor or temporary. And it reminded participants of how much more difficult it is to talk about your own sexuality to a stranger than it is to ask the questions.
In the confidential environment of the seminar, people shared their early crushes, the TV shows they liked and the things they used to do. One woman recalled having a crush on Little Joe from the show "Bonanza."
"I would smile thinking back," said another participant. "But a part of me was also cringing. It was not a nice time."
Other stories, while charming and harmless, were perhaps too personal for publication.
"Now we have all the answers, but when we were teens, we were confused and imperfect," one participant said. "As much as anything, this helps us to be aware they have a right to be imperfect and we should be patient and tolerant."
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.