Marriage & Family Therapy graduate student wins international award

A Purdue University Calumet marriage and family therapy graduate student received the 2010 Best Abstract Award from the International Family Therapy Association (IFTA) for her presentation about the ethical issues of working therapeutically with a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

Kristy Soloski, from Parma, OH, received the award for her project titled, “Ethical Issues Regarding Perpetrator

Kristy Soloski

Kristy Soloski

Involvement in the Systemic Treatment of Incest.” The project focuses on factors that a therapist should examine to determine incest survivors’ readiness to involve their perpetrator in the therapeutic setting.

Soloski began her project in a professional issues class, in which students were assigned to submit a publishable paper on an ethical matter.

“I chose this issue because I think it is one of the hardest ethical decisions for a therapist to make,” Soloski said, adding that she hopes to publish her paper in a professional marriage and family therapy journal.

Her abstract was among 70 submitted for consideration. She will receive her award and present a professional poster of her project at the IFTA World Congress this spring in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“Kristy’s presentation is on a topic that is extremely important to clinicians working with incest survivors,” Joseph Wetchler, professor and coordinator of Purdue Calumet’s marriage and family therapy master’s degree program, said. “She has produced a presentation that is clinically sound and academically rigorous. She is definitely deserving of this honor.”

After completing her master’s degree program, Soloski plans to pursue a doctorate in marriage and family therapy. She also hopes to teach collegiate courses in the field and work as a marriage and family therapist.

Purdue Calumet’s marriage and family therapy master’s degree program attracts students nationally and internationally. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The program emphasizes theory, research and practice, so that students learn how to apply principles, methods and therapeutic techniques in an effort to resolve emotional conflicts of individuals, family groups, couples and organizations.