PACT (a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy) Is a Revolutionary Way to Solve Relationship Problems
PACT is a quantum leap forward in helping couples diffuse conflict and achieve the relationship satisfaction they want. This form of therapy creates positive change and gives you practical tools immediately based on the latest findings of neuroscience.
PACT was founded by my mentor, Dr. Stan Tatkin, a marriage and family therapist and founder of the PACT Institute located in Los Angeles, CA. The PACT Institute provides rigorous clinical training in this method to psychotherapists around the world.
PACT is a highly effective form of couples therapy. It’s grounded in cutting-edge knowledge about attachment theory and brain science that shows us exactly how relationships work and what couples need in order to thrive. PACT helps you and your partner get out of pain and rediscover the love that first brought you together.
PACT Gets to the Root of the Problem
PACT is a particularly fast-acting approach to relationship therapy because it works with the deepest, most instinctual levels of the human experience. It gets underneath the surface layer of your relationship problems and targets the root issues, right from the very first couples counseling session.
PACT Addresses the Issues that Couples Face Everyday
Communication: Acquiring the specific skills you need to talk about even your most difficult issues
Affairs: Repairing infidelity and rebuilding trust
Money issues: Resolving differences in how you spend money
Pornography: Healing the hurt and establishing ground rules that work
Betrayal: Recovering from major lies, embezzlement of money, and other relationship traumas
Fighting: Developing the ability to “fight fair” without it ever getting scary or dangerous
Parenting: Learning how to parent as a team
Sex: Creating intimacy and making agreements about sexual choices that work for both of you
Workaholism: Learning how to balance work with relationship and family life
In-laws: Deciding on how you want your families of origin to be involved in your life as a couple
Blended families: Bringing your kids together and creating a new, harmonious tribe
How PACT Helps You As a Couple
1. PACT Helps You Get Out of Threat Mode
To be at your best in your intimate relationship, you need to feel safe and secure with each other. Not just physically safe, but emotionally safe as well. Studies show that when you feel threatened in your relationship, it sends your brain into a tailspin, making you feel anxious and distrustful.
But you may be wondering…
Why are relationships so hard?
You probably know that you have a higher and a lower part of your brain. The higher part allows you to think, plan and engage in a loving relationship with another person. The lower part is more primitive and functions automatically. Over the course of human evolution, this primitive brain developed in order to keep you safe from harm.
It turns out that if you feel threatened in your relationship, your primitive brain becomes dominant and starts driving all of your behavior. This part doesn’t respond to reason or logic. Its sole purpose is to defend you. If couples are threatening each other, their primitive brains wreak havoc and the capacity for a loving relationship goes offline. This is where you get into trouble.
For this reason, a primary focus of PACT is to help you as a couple identify the threats in your relationship, so you can learn how to take them off the table. Once your brains relax…
2. PACT Helps You Activate the Part of Your Brain That’s Wired for Love
In order to thrive in relationship, you need to be able to activate the higher part of your brain that allows you to engage in a loving, mutualistic relationship with another person. You’ll develop skills like giving each other the benefit of the doubt, putting yourselves in your partner’s shoes, empathizing, being creative, sensitive, and generating positive experiences. The truth is that many of us never learned how to do things because we didn’t see our parents do them. But these behaviors are critical for building a successful relationship. So part of what I help you do as a couple is identify the specific skills that you are missing in your relational repertoire and help you practice doing these things for each other. When you learn how to scratch the right itch, you’ll see the change in your partner’s face instantly.
3. PACT Gives You The Blueprint to Create a Great Relationship with Each Other
You are unique with your own unique history. Research shows that you form a relationship blueprint based on your earliest experiences with your parents when you are young. You carry this blueprints with you into your adult intimate relationships. If your early experiences with your parents didn’t go so well, you can bet that your blueprint will create major problems for you as an adult. In therapy, you and your partner will learn about both of your relationship blueprints and what you need to feel safe, secure and loved in your intimate relationship. This will help you stay out of conflict and experience a more consistently loving atmosphere.
What a PACT Couples Therapy Session Looks Like
The first PACT therapy session is always three hours in length. This allows for an in-depth assessment of all aspects of your relationship, and ensures that you leave the first session with renewed hope for you as a couple. By the end of the first couples counseling session, we will have a clear treatment plan to help you achieve your relationship goals. I will be able to share with you exactly how the couples therapy will help you solve your specific marriage problems and move forward.
PACT tends to require fewer sessions than do other forms of couples therapy.
Why should you settle for anything less than a wonderful relationship and amazing connection?
You might feel that you and your partner just don’t know how to talk about your relationship problems. Or you may be wondering if you are with the right person and considering divorce counseling.
I understand. There is no need to live in doubt. Take the simple step of acknowledging that the two of you need help to get out of the spiral of conflict and negativity.
You deserve to have a great relationship. With PACT, you can end the tension and look forward to the future, together.
I invite you to talk to me.
Gabrielle Usatynski received her PACT Training from Dr. Stan Tatkin and the The PACT Institute. She has received over 200 hours of training in this method and was one of Dr. Tatkin’s first students in Colorado. In 2015, the PACT Institute invited her to be one of only two individuals, out of thousands of trainees in the international program, to participate in the Pilot Certification Program of the PACT Institute.