Many people have negative interpretations of couples counselling, but like most things in life – physical and mental health, the cars we drive, the homes we live in – relationships require maintenance and require hard work and dedication from both partners to be successful. While couples usually try to resolve these issues between themselves, and sometimes can, deeper, underlying issues are often to blame for long-term problems.
Couples counselling is a helpful, healthy choice, if both partners are willing to make an effort to resolve their problems. The Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) is a cutting-edge treatment option developed by psychologist Stan Tatkin that will totally change the way you perceive couples counselling.
What is PACT Couples Counselling?
PACT couples counselling was developed from the foundation of three areas:
Neuroscience: This is the study of the human brain, and within couples counselling, it is used to better understand how your partner’s brain works, as well as why they react and act the way they do in a relationship.
Attachment Theory: This segment of PACT aims to understand the biological need to bond with others. Relationships that are developed in your and your partner’s formative years are investigated to understand how they impact the relationship you have with each other today.
Biology and Regulation of Human Arousal: An in-depth look at managing your energy, alertness, and readiness to engage with your partner.
How is PACT Different from Regular Couples Counselling?
Using a PACT approach to couples counselling requires in-depth sessions that are usually longer than normal couples counselling sessions. The goal is to develop an understanding of what it’s like to be in each other’s care. The PACT framework implemented in couples therapy allows you to develop an understanding about your own thoughts and feelings, as well as learn how to understand and respond to your partner in a way that de-escalates tense situations rather than intensify them.
Successful PACT sessions will allow you to develop the skills that will enable you to better ‘read’ your partner – their feelings, actions, reactions – and to apply what you understand in real-time situations, breaking unhealthy habits or destructive behaviour. Often, your psychologist may create scenarios in your session that are similar to issues you and your partner have been experiencing to allow you to work on and develop these skills in a safe, neutral environment.
Does PACT Couples Counselling Work?
Much like anything else in our lives, the effectiveness of PACT couples counselling depends on the willingness of either partner to fully participate and work with their therapist and their partner to implement real change. Any type of couples counselling is most effective when both partners are present and willing to work on themselves and their relationship.
You are more likely to experience success from PACT couples counselling if you:
- Are a younger couple
- Are still in love with each other
- Are open to therapy and change
- Are willing to evaluate and work on your behaviour, actions, and flaws
If either partner is not truly committed to therapy, is considering separation or divorce, or is cheating on the other, any form of counselling is unlikely to bring significant change to your relationship.
Professional PACT-based Couples Counselling
The Psychology Company, based on the Sunshine Coast, has a professional team of psychologists that provide PACT couples counselling to local couples. Friendly, considerate, and with the right qualifications – as well as years of experience – their team has seen seemingly hopeless relationships change, revitalising the connection between both partners and helping them build a better, healthier future together.
Try PACT counselling with psychologists that care – contact The Psychology Company for more information!