Dr. Smoliak is an Associate Professor in the Couple and Family Therapy area. She is a Clinical/Counselling Psychologist and Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor with the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Her research program falls under the umbrella of critical psychology in that it focuses on critical, contextual, and participant-centered accounts of human action and experience. By studying individuals as socially and culturally situated, Dr. Smoliak complements and broadens individually-focused explanations of subjectivity, more conventional within psychology.
Her research program addresses three areas: psychotherapy practice and pedagogy, social construction of mental illness, and gender and sexualities. Within each of these areas Dr. Smoliak explores the link between subjectivity and politics, paying particular attention to issues of social justice and oppression (e.g., sexism, classism, racism). To this end, she applies critical ideas (e.g., discursive psychology, social constructionism, postmodernism, feminism) and qualitative research methods (e.g., discourse analysis, grounded theory, narrative analysis, phenomenology).