PACT Therapy With Susan

I specialize in an approach to couple’s therapy called PACT.

I believe that PACT is the best way to access those “coupleship moments” that reveal both what’s broken between you and how to begin the repairs.

There’s a lot to discuss in a PACT session, but we don’t rely on words alone.

Tracking everything from body language to tone of voice, I help you see the bigger picture of what is going on between you two. The goal is to help you build your attentiveness, attunement, and sensitivity - both to your partner’s feelings and physical sensations, and to your own.

What is PACT?

The following is adapted from

PACT stands for Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy and it has been developed by Stan Tatkin, PsyD.  Its goal is to integrate mind-body functioning and give couples the tools to create a safe, “secure-functioning” relationships.

PACT has been developed thanks to exciting, cutting-edge research in three areas:

  • Neuroscience: the study of the human brain. When we understand how the brain works, we gain a physiological basis for understanding how people act and react within relationships. In a nutshell, some areas of the brain are wired to reduce threat and danger and seek security, while others are geared to establish mutuality and loving connection.

  • Attachment theory: the biological need to bond with others. Experiences in early relationships create a blueprint that informs the sense of safety and security we bring to adult relationships. Unresolved insecurities from the past can damage a couple’s ability to connect.

  • Human arousal: the moment-to-moment ability to manage our energy, alertness, and readiness to engage.

While the science behind PACT is fascinating and the key to its effectiveness, you don’t need to focus on how it works to enjoy its benefits. As your therapist, I apply these PACT principles to helping you see and resolve the challenges in your relationship.

What will your PACT session look like?

PACT is different from other approaches to couple’s therapy. I believe that its strength comes from its uniqueness.

  • As your therapist, I focus on the moment-to-moment shifts in your face, body, and voice, and will ask you to pay close attention to these as a couple.

  • It’s my task to create experiences similar to those that are already troubling your relationship. I help you work through them in real time during the session.

  • It usually requires fewer sessions to achieve the result you’re looking for: returning to a state of “coupleship” in which you can find the shared meaning, the shared experiences, and the shared values that hold you two together.

  • Inital PACT sessions can last a lot longer than the standard 50-minute therapeutic hour. Generally, I book 90 minute sessions, after our intake session of 120-minutes.