Couple and Family Therapy examines the relational patterns in a family system over time and across generations.  It is a particular way of looking at problems that can arise at any stage of family life. 

Family therapy is a unique perspective in that health and illness are viewed in the context of relationships; it is the leverage in those relationships, rather than between therapist and client, that produces change. Even when working with an individual, a family therapist will focus on the important relationships in that person’s life, and how each family member is impacted by the well being of others. 

Dr. Hudak uses a “life cycle” perspective in her work. She explores what is currently going on in the family that is causing stress or producing symptomatology. 

Family systems work is guided by the premise that each family experiences normal developmental crises; these are predictable challenges as the life cycle of the family moves on, and requires adjustment to new situations. These can include birth, adolescence, leaving home, death, marriage, divorce, remarriage, and blending families. 

Each developmental crisis requires that relationships be renegotiated.  That is, the family must expand to accommodate new members, as in the case of marriage, or birth.  Or, as in the inevitable case of loss through death, the family will contract, and reorganize in the absence of that person.  The goal of clinical work is to assist the family to achieve forward momentum, and to integrate these life cycle challenges.

In addition to these normative changes, families face the sudden and unpredictable changes that occur through traumatic loss: the loss of a loved one to addiction, or another chronic illness.  Life altering experiences, such as the loss of a job, or a cancer diagnosis, are superimposed on a family and relational system that has a patterned response to the stress of change.  Understanding the dynamic family system provides opportunities to be responsive in numerous ways that consider and engage the people most impacted by these changes.                                        

Dr. Hudak employs the use of a genogram in all of her work.  A genogram is the visual of a family tree that includes important details in the history, such as dates of imigration, birth, death, and marriage, and other important transitions or crises.  She is both supportive and directive as she actively coaches clients toward change – in themselves and in their relationships. 

Dr Hudak is an expert in the art of difficult conversation, and engages families to move forward together in their life cycle, accommodating to the inevitable changes that will come their way.

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About Me

About Me

Dr. Hudak is dedicated to bringing research about the family into public discourses, weaving together the private stories that portray the often hidden cultural landscapes of our time. She is a popular speaker with both professional and lay audiences, addressing topics pertaining to relationships and the family life cycle.