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The Carl Whitaker Award is given by the Wisconsin Association for Marriage and Family Therapy to a member who has distinguished themselves by contributing to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy in creative or innovative ways.

The award is named after Carl Whitaker because he was a pioneer in the marriage and family therapy field. Through his experiential family therapy, he was personally engaged in helping families bring about change and flexibility in the family system.


Markie Twist

Congratulations to the 2018 award winner, Markie Twist, PhD, LMFT.

Markie Twist will receive the Carl Whitaker Award at the Wisconsin Association of Marriage and Family Therapy’s virtual fall conference.

Twist teaches in UW-Stout’s Master of Science in marriage and family therapy and is coordinator of the graduate certificate in sex therapy program. In 2016, Twist started “Sex Speak Sessions,” at which people can meet with sexuality-based educators for confidential, frank and nonjudgmental discussions.  In 2020, Sex Speak Sessions was awarded a UW-Stout Qubie for LGBTQIA+ Friendly Organization of the Year.

Twist is proud to be the Carl Whitaker Award recipient in 2020.

“During my Master’s in marriage and family therapy at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, I became truly fascinated by the experiential therapy work of Carl Whitaker. I appreciated his transparency, use of humor and ability to therapeutically join with everyday people. He referred to his practice as ‘therapy of the absurd,” Twist said.

“When I learned that I am to be honored with the 2020 Carl Whitaker Award by the WAMFT I was shocked. I am beyond moved to be recognized by this award, especially the graduate student part of me, who honestly is in disbelief of being likened to such a unique and talented therapist. The more seasoned clinician in me, however, can definitely see where my absurdness intersects with Whitaker’s, so it feels really fitting looking at it from where I currently am situated.”


Dale Hawley

Congratulations to the 2018 award winner, Dale Hawley, PhD, MMMT.

University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Dale Hawley recently received a statewide award recognizing his outstanding contributions to his profession at the annual Wisconsin Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Conference in Madison.

Hawley, director of the marriage and family therapy program and chair of the human development and family studies department at UW-Stout, garnered the Carl Whitaker Award.

“I was quite honored and surprised,” said Hawley, of Hudson. “It is kind of akin to a lifetime achievement award.”

Hawley attended Abilene Christian University for his undergraduate degree in Bible and history. His master’s degree is in family therapy from Abilene Christian and his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in family social science.

Hawley started out working in youth ministry in Milwaukee. He discovered that he wanted to work with families and decided to go into higher education.

Congratulations to the 2017 award winner, Linda Pellmann, LMFT.

Linda Pellmann, LMFT

Linda Pellmann, LMFT

Linda Pellmann has been a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 2001. She was called to become a counselor in 1996. During the prior 20 years while she raised her 3 children she volunteered extensively in their schools, the community and ther church. Linda is passionate about relationships and encouraging others so it made sense to her to become a counselor. She explored the 3 Master level degrees and knew that MFT systemic approach was best fit. She was introduced to AAMFT during her graduate program and made it her professional home when she moved to Wisconsin. She joined the WAMFT Board in 2001 and served as President 2008 -2010.

Here is a list of the past Carl Whitaker Award Recipients who have also made significant contributions to the Marriage and Family Therapy field and are highly regarded for all the various ways that they have made a difference in the lives of many:

2005 – Ann Marie Starr
2006 – Mark Hirschmann
2007 – Insoo Kim Berg & Steven DeShazer
2008 – Gary Yeast
2009 – Lee Raffel
2010 – Peter Fabian
2011 – Eve Lipchick
2012 – Linda Schwallie
2013 – Bruce Kuehl
2014 –
2015 – Lynn Gauger
2016 –
2017 – Linda Pellmann, LMFT
2018 – Dale Hawley, PhD, MMMT
2019 –
2020 – Markie Twist,


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