PACT: Psychobiological Approach To Couples Therapy

Last Update on October 29, 2020 : Published on October 29, 2020
Psychobiological Approach To Couples Therapy

PACT or Psychobiological Approach To Couples Therapy is an approach that takes into account neuroscience and attachment theory to better the relationship between the couples. This outlook was developed by Stan Tatkin and this approach try to help couples observe their response to situations as they happen and understand how to improve each others’ attachment needs.

Stan Tatkin, the founder of the PACT Institute, created this approach to help couples focus on their emotions and their response to those emotions. This method is comparable to those of other therapy approaches that focus on the attachment style of the couple.

PACT Focuses On Such Specific Areas:

1. Arousal and affect management:

The human body and mind are receptive to many moods and emotions – of both people on an individual level. These emotions are stress, anger, affection among others.

2. Attachment theory:

Humans are creatures that build and foster attachments to those they care about and love. This theory assists in explaining how attachment works in couples.

3. Developmental neuroscience:

Our brain changes and develops with time in reaction to environmental and biological factors. This helps explain the change these factors have on a relationship.

PACT takes out arguing and focuses on what is happening to your emotions – neurologically. This model of couple therapy counts on each partner’s neuro and psycho capabilities such as physical awareness, awareness of mind, facial expressions, speech, and actions to effectively deal with stress.

How PACT Works:

PACT focuses on little things you say or do in a session.

  • A PACT therapist will recreate an experience or situation similar to that which causes the arguments in a relationship.
  • The therapist will then ask the couple to focus on the speech, facial expressions, and body expressions to discern the triggers.
  • PACT sessions do not require as many sessions as the traditional couple therapy sessions but a PACT session may take as long as 3-6 hours.
  • The therapist may record the session to provide instant feedback to the couple seeking therapy.

Also Read: Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Depression

How PACT Helps:

pact helps

PACT wasn’t developed to help issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, or PTSD but it helps direct the ways in which such issues can affect a relationship. PACT doesn’t target specific relationship issues rather it focuses on the attachment style and neurological issues that affect the relationship.

This module of therapy addresses the emotional reactions to situations and the behavior and actions they trigger. This therapy helps a couple observe and understand the emotional and behavioral patterns.

PACT teaches couples how to better address arguments and conflicts in the long-term.

PACT is a relatively new approach to therapy and is recommended for couples who are seeking professional help with their relationship.

Also Read: Why & How To Build A Healthy Therapeutic Relationship?

Final Words

Navigating through relationships is not easy and it requires a lot of time and effort to keep the relationship afloat. A relationship is about balancing your emotions as well as those of your partner’s.

With the help of PACT (psychobiological approach to couples therapy), a couple can stay connected with each other’s emotions, improve reactions to said emotions, and understand the triggers that bring out those emotions.

PACT can help couples work together to ensure a happy and less stressful future. If you or your partner are struggling with issues, consult a therapist.

Also Read: How Often Should you Talk to Your Therapist?

Love each other, trust each other but first – understand each other.

“Love is a two-way street constantly under construction.”- Carroll Bryant

About The Author

Swarnakshi Sharma
Swarnakshi Sharma

Swarnakshi is a content writer at Calm sage, who believes in a healthier lifestyle for mind and body. A fighter and survivor of depression, she strives to reach and help spread awareness on ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues. A spiritual person at heart, she believes in destiny and the power of Self. She is an avid reader and writer and likes to spend her free time baking and learning about world cultures.


  1. James

    Can you recommend some good PACT thereapist?

    1. Swarnakshi Sharma
      Swarnakshi Sharma

      Hello James, thank you for visiting Calmsage. There is the PACT Institute founded by Dr. Stan Tatkin where you can find trained PACT therapists. But there are other therapists as well who use this approach to help couples. Please consult with your mental healthcare provider to know more about the therapists in your area. I hope this answered your question. Keep visiting us for more!

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