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.


The Importance of POWER in Relationship


Being a systemic therapist requires ongoing analysis of the ways in which power dynamics organize and shape the life-long relational dances in couples and families.  Experiences of privilege and marginalization in the cultural landscape are critical to the daily lived experience of our clients, and impact their relationships in profound ways. In working with our […]

A Little #MeToo for Men


Several heterosexual couples in my clinical practice have struggled of late with issues related to the #MeToo movement.  Memories can surface for the female partner that engender feelings of rage, tremendous pain, and fear. Trainees ask how best to help navigate these important, but potentially difficult conversations between the couple.  The work of unpacking the dominant norms of […]

Some thoughts on holidays and stress


I was asked to speak about how to help families cope with what can be a stressful time: the holiday season. Here’s a link to the article in Metro Kids

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. […]