PACT is a specific couples therapy model that goes beyond traditional talk therapy and incorporates concepts from neuroscience, attachment theory and emotion regulation strategies to help couples better understand where they may be getting stuck in relationship. This in depth therapy approach goes beyond conflict resolution and works towards creating a deeper understanding of one another in relationship. Through the course of therapy, we focus on ways in which conflict may be a result of instinctive responses to threat and bonding patterns established in early attachment relationships with our primary caregeivers (ie. parents).
From a PACT perspective, bonding in relationship is conducive to survival meaning when we are connected in relationships we increase our chances for survival. Think about our early ancestors. As hunters and gatherers, if we were alone we were much more vulnerable to threat than if we were with our tribe. Our Central Nervous System is the part of our system that is responsible to help us survive a threat. It does this by acting very fast and instinctively to put us very quickly into a position to fight, flee or freeze in order to survive the threat. This system in very fast, is on the move before we're even aware of it and if there is true threat can be responsible for keeping us alive. In relationships, this system gets activated when we perceive threat relationally. Our system picks up on the eye roll, the hurtful word, the narrow eyes, the pursed lips and registers this as a threat. At this point, we very quickly move into instinct and respond in a way that may not be conducive to relationship health. Through the course of therapy, Couples bring awareness to these things, learn ways in which to regulate their central nervous systems relationally (integrative regulation) and thus supports couples in establishing a more connected, secure functioning relationship.
If you are interested in learning more about this approach, you can visit https://www.thepactinstitute.com/for-couples.