- PACT was developed by Stan Tatkin and it stands for the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy.
Before I began to study PACT, I didn’t work with couples. I worked only with individuals and in groups. Also, when I attended the PACT level I training, I had been divorced the year before, so I didn’t exactly feel like a relationship guru. I just knew I wanted to be an effective couple therapist understanding and experiencing how truly difficult relationships can be.
After my divorce (and during my marriage), secure-functioning principles were not at the forefront of my orientation in relationships. As I have learned from reflecting on my failed marriage, operating from an island-ish reflex of distancing and then blaming one’s partner for the problems is not a recipe for long-term relationship success. Applying secure-functioning principles requires faith and action. Fortunately, secure-functioning principles make sense both intellectually and intuitively. They resonate with our deepest needs to love and be loved. Secure functioning is not always easy and often requires difficult conversations, as well as difficult therapy sessions.
Having personally intuited the endless benefits of a secure-functioning relationship, PACT is one of the best things I can offer couples. I operate out of this secure-functioning therapeutic framework with faith. Within this framework, I am a secure-functioning artist/therapist, intervening with intuition instead of through a manual. I feel I have done some of the deepest work in my office during PACT sessions. For this reason, I am focusing more of my clinical practice and energy on working with couples.
Since applying PACT principles to my own new relationship, I can say I feel happier and freer— an irony for an island. In my clinical practice I have been energized by a model that makes sense and works.