PACT Couple Therapy
The basis of this style of therapy is rooted in the interconnection between neurobiology, attachment, and arousal/affect in the nervous system.
As a Level I PACT Therapist, I support couples in working through the underlying issues deeply rooted in relationships. The same fight that keeps coming up about family, sex, money, the house, or work is rarely actually about the logistics of the issues. If it were actually about logistics it would have been solved already. So often these difficulties stem from old patterns that keep coming forward in present day intimate relationships.
Does it feel as though you keep coming up against the same walls over and over again?
Is it clear that there is a deeper dynamic happening in the relationship, but you just aren't sure what to do about it?
Perhaps it is time to explore this with your partner in a couple's session. Together we can create a container to explore the underlying issues, often related to the neurobiology of attachment, to help you move forward to a secure functioning relationship as a couple. By addressing these deeper, attachment-based needs we can lift the stress of the same argument recurring as we are actually getting at the distress underling the problem.
I can help you and your partner find the "user manual" for one another so that you can met more deeply and can support your partner more effectively...to find a solution where you both feel better. When we look at the process for how you connect with each other, rather than the content of the disagreement, true shifts can happen rapidly. This practice allows for a deepening further into a loving, emotionally safe, securely attached relationship.
Childhood trauma, abuse of all forms, and neglect can lead to great difficulties as you age.
This can show up on the extremes as being very down and distant from the people you love, to feeling like you may be abandoned or harmed by those closest to you.
In less extreme cases, people struggle with feelings of overwhelm, loss, difficulties in relationships, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, and just not feeling as connected to their partner as they could be. PACT is a tool that allows us to consciously co-create deeper healing within the relationship.
What Is PACT?
PACT Therapy was designed by Dr. Stan Tatkin, a neuropsychologist and attachment therapist. His best-selling books Wired for Love, Wired for Dating, and Your Brain on Love talk about how we relate to one another on a deeper level, motivated by love rather than distress. We each develop a style of attachment from a very young age, and this style impacts how we related to ourselves, the world around us, and most importantly, our partners. There is no style that is necessarily good or bad, yet conflict can arise when we are trying to meet our own needs and each others needs in a way that is "pro-self" rather than "pro-relationship." Please view Stan's video introduction to PACT therapy to learn more.
What happens in a PACT Session?
In a PACT therapy session, my role is to support both members of the couple by paying very close attention to how they are responding to one another. Often when we are in distress we can give off cues to our needs of needing comfort, space, and understanding, but if our partner is also in distress they can miss these opportunities for support. I aid in helping both partners see what is happening for one another so that they can choose to support one another and reinforce the loving couple-bubble so they can then focus on the external stressors that partners often fight about - work, sex, money, kids, time, and mess.
How is PACT Therapy different that other couple's therapy?
- The PACT model is unique in that it allows us to drop deep into the areas of the brain where early mis-attunements, trauma, and thought distortions about the self and others are stored. By accessing these areas as they are showing up in your relationship today we can allow the pattern to shift, to do something different, and move toward secure-functioning. In doing this, the feelings of threat and distress can decrease, working to resolve patterns that existed long before your partner came into your life.
- Session lengths can vary from couple to couple, and is something we can decide on together. Due to the nature of this work, and the areas of the brain being accessed in this style, time seems to move much more rapidly than what it may feel like in the moment. Clients often report that a 50 minute session flies by as they drop beneath the story line of their arguments and get to connect more meaningfully with one another.
- It isn't uncommon to connect in session for 50 minute to 2 hour sessions. We can also delve into deeper intensives lasting 3-6 hours. The added length of time allows us to drop deeper beneath the surface to engage and resolve deeply entrenched patterns. Due to the efficiency of working in this way, the number of sessions is often decreased because the underlying issues are being resolved quite rapidly.
Who is PACT for?
PACT Therapy works well for couples all along the spectrum of connection - from new couples starting out, pre-marital and honeymoon year counseling, to couples who have been together for many years. The goal of PACT is to help people (re)engage in loving secure-functioning relationships with one another.
Connect to schedule a free 30 minute phone consultation.