Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Welcome to the CCAF!

The Center for Couples and Adult Families (CCAF) is the primary home of family oriented work within the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Pennsylvania. 

At CCAF, we recognize the importance of family relationships over the course of the life cycle.  Family members can affect each other in profound ways. These primary relationships can be a source of intense conflict as well as deep healing.

Families come in many different forms -- single parent, two parents of any gender, remarried families, families of three and four generations, and families of choice.  At CCAF, we welcome all families who see themselves as a connected group of people.

Few problems are solely individual or relational; the individual and the family affect each other, and together they compose the family system.  We see the family system as embedded in the larger contexts of extended family and culture.

Friendships and work relationships are also vital to an individual’s emotional health.  We recognize the importance of the wide web of relational experiences that impact well-being. 

 At CCAF, we treat individuals, couples, groups and families from this relational perspective.  In addition, we offer an online library of community resources, books and vital links to services for professionals and family members.  

When psychiatric illness strikes, couple or family therapy can often promote recovery and decrease family stress. We recognize the value of family education, and utilize the cutting-edge resources within the Department of Psychiatry at Penn to provide all aspects of care for families impacted by psychiatric illness.

Families can, and should be, one of our greatest sources of strength and comfort.


Matters of the Heart


As a family therapy clinician and teacher, I am constantly talking about the importance of relationships.  I’m thus thrilled when those outside of my specialty acknowledge that as well – especially when it comes from my colleagues and collaborators in the medical community. In “Why Your Cardiologist should ask about your Love Life,” Dr. Sandeep Jauhar […]

Dr Hudak featured in Wall Street Journal article, “Here’s When Family Therapy Can Help”


I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to speak with award winning author, Elizabeth Bernstein, who writes the Bonds column for the Wall Street Journal. She and I spoke, literally, for hours, about families and family therapy; she really captured the value of this approach to treatment. Here’s the link to the full article. […]

Grow your Family’s Relationship Superpowers


I’m so pleased to share this recently published book by my friend and colleague, Dr. Saliha Bava, and her partner, Mark Greene. Although we might agree in theory that parenting is indeed a relational endeavor, our language belies this perspective. For example, we describe the child as “oppositional defiant” as though she existed in a relational […]

Happy Valentines Day


Family historian,  Stephanie Coontz, is admittedly one of my favorites. Former President of The Council on Contemporary Families, Dr. Coontz brings a much needed perspective to our cultural discourses about marriage and family life.  Her capacity to mine enormous bodies of data and expose trends about the current state of relationships is remarkable – and very much […]

Observing Traditional Holidays in Updated Ways, New Expressions


For nontraditional families, including same-sex couples, single parents, and people raising their grandkids, the ways in which holidays like Father’s Day are celebrated continue to evolve. Jacqueline Hudak, PhD, clinical director of the Penn Center for Couples and Adult Families, explains how these family dynamics grow and change. Communications placement WHYY NewsWorks