The Gender and Equity Office lays the foundation for new and inclusive therapy sessions.

The Wits Gender and Equity Office (GEO) has announced that it will be facilitating new relationship-centred support groups targeted at the Wits community in September 2021.  

GEO education campaigns officer, Thenjiwe Mswane, says this follows a series of complaints made to the university regarding the lack of varied student support. 

In collaboration with the Counselling Careers and Development Unit (CCDU), Wits GEO will be introducing five new support groups, including groups for complainants, survivors, men, and even a group to foster healthy relationships through couples therapy. 

The sessions are expected to take place both online and in person. Mswane says that the alarming nature of intimate partner violence has encouraged the GEO to move away from solely investigating reported cases of violence and harassment within the student community, and instead be more proactive through advocacy and intervention. 

“There needs to be a different way that people understand love and loving,” Mswane says. 

Fiona Mahlori, senior social worker and facilitator of the couples therapy, says that the relationship-focused support groups are intended to equip students with accommodating and navigating all types of romantic and sexual relationships in university.  

“Healthy relationships provide [a] strong base of support and drive us to do better as individuals,” adds Mahlori. 

Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, third-year BA Law student Gerald Masuku (23) and his partner Otsile Mantsho (22), who is completing her third year in Architecture, say that they are looking forward to attending couples therapy. Mantsho says that after a year and 11 months of dating, she believes that it will improve their relationship. 

Mahlori says that couples therapy will guide students in rebuilding their romantic relationships because of the overall impact they have on one’s wellbeing.  

The GEO will be hosting its first general relationship discussion, via Ulwazi, on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 13:15. 



FEATURED IMAGE: Wits student couple Gerald Masuku and Otsile Mantsho. Photo: Provided.