PACT (Couples Therapy)

Couples often get caught in cycles of fighting that activate our primitive behaviors of fight, flight and freeze. Couples therapy helps to identify how we are triggered (and how we are triggering each other) in relationships, and how we can relieve some of these reactive states in each other.

Couples often report that their experiences with PACT differ from other therapy experiences because PACT can be fun. Each person is able to learn about themselves and their partner in a way that is not possible with normal talk therapy. PACT allows couples to learn to soothe each other, even in the midst of an argument. This is a powerfully transformative type of therapy for many couples.

PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy) is a therapeutic modality that utilizes developmental neuroscience, arousal regulation, and attachment theory to inform that therapeutic process. It is an evidence-based modality that strives for secure attachment within couples.

PACT is a therapeutic modality that requires extensive post-graduate training to become a certified PACT clinician.

What does a PACT session look like?

Your experience during a PACT session may differ somewhat from what you would experience in other forms of couple therapy. Key features of this approach include

  • Your therapist will focus on moment-to-moment shifts in your face, body, and voice, and ask you to pay close attention to these as a couple.
  • Your therapist will create experiences similar to those troubling your relationship and help you work through them in real time during the session.
  • PACT tends to require fewer sessions than do other forms of couple therapy.
  • PACT sessions often exceed the 50-min hour and may last as long as 3–6 hours. Longer times allow for the in-depth work of PACT.
  • Your therapist may videotape sessions to provide immediate feedback to you.

Watch an overview of PACT couples therapy

PACT Sizzle from Stan Tatkin on Vimeo.

PACT Counseling Session Re-enactments with Actors from Stan Tatkin on Vimeo.

PACT Resources
See videos of PACT Therapy