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What is PACT Therapy?

Combining neuroscience, attachment and arousal regulation to help couples create solid and vital relationships

Powerful and dynamic, the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), developed by Dr. Stan Tatkin, draws on well-founded research to help couples understand that relationship interactions are reciprocal and each partner is responsible for fostering positive, enduring relationships. PACT has a reputation for effectively treating the most challenging issues many couples face. This hard work often pays off quickly; PACT often requires fewer sessions as compared to other forms of therapy to achieve results. 




PACT is a fusion of attachment theory, developmental neuroscience, and arousal regulation.

Family At Church

Attachment theory

How people are wired from infancy to form and experience relationships and how that impacts our attachments in adulthood. Understanding our attachment type and what that means in our relationship allows us to understand and respond to each other with more care.

Playing with Baby

Developmental neuroscience

How each of our brains operates and changes over time in response to both environmental and biological inputs informs relationship behavior from infancy to adulthood. Understanding our partner’s brain helps us work with what is changeable and unchangeable and how to adapt to each other’s strengths and challenges. 

Image by Antonino Visalli

Arousal regulation

How the nervous system responds to and manages challenging situations through “fight or flight” reactions. Seeing relationship responses through this lens helps us see how our interactions when upset in our relationship are a component of our physiology and not a personal or intentional action.



Using the science and research underpinning PACT, Carolyn works with couples to become experts on each other, through experiential activities and playful conversations. This work is highly embodied, meaning that you feel the changes in your body as you work together during a couples counseling session, couple's intensive, workshop or retreat, and leave with a new felt sense of how to take care of one another.


In this approach, you will learn how to prioritize each other toward creating a reciprocal system of care that is based on fairness and mutuality. She coaches you on developing the healthiest processes of communication so that you can easily take the work home to continue building connection together.


Carolyn's approach is dynamic and collaborative, growing and adapting to the needs of your relationship. She views and works with the relationship as the client, and only sees the couple together so that the focus remains on the unique needs of your relationship, rather than distracted by your individual needs and viewpoints. In doing so, this approach is suitable for all types of couples and open to serving whatever needs and issues your relationship is facing. 


Carolyn has worked with a diverse range of couples, from many backgrounds and experiences, and is committed to learning to be aware of and sensitive to experiences you have faced with any experiences of oppression and to create safety for you in our care.


  • We focus on moment-to-moment shifts in your face, body, and voice, and help you pay close attention to these as a couple.

  • We help you work through your relationships in real-time during the session and support you in developing better responses in slow motion

  • We offer videotapes sessions to provide immediate feedback to you and help you learn what these dynamics look like.

  •  If you and your partner commit to the hard work PACT therapy, you can experience dramatic change in a short time.

Carolyn sharp

Watch Dr. Tatkin's TEDx video

Relationships are hard

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