I see both heterosexual and same-sex couples looking for:
premarital counselling designed to establish healthy early relationship habits
assistance identifying and resolving relational conflict
help navigating family life issues (childbirth, parenting, retirement, etc.)
counselling for betrayals/affairs within the couple system
assistance connecting or reconnecting within an already secure functioning relationship
What is the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT)?
PACT was developed out of exciting, cutting-edge research in three areas:
The first is neuroscience, the study of the human brain. Understanding how the brain works provides a physiological basis for understanding how people act and react within relationships. The second is attachment theory, which explains the biological need to bond with others. Experiences in early relationships create a blueprint that informs the sense of safety and security you bring to adult relationships. Insecurities that have been carried through life can wreak havoc for a couple if these issues are not resolved. The third area is the biology of human arousal—meaning the moment-to-moment ability to manage one’s energy, alertness, and readiness to engage.
What does a couples session look like?
In the first session, we will spend most of our time assessing the couple system. This means learning all relevant information, including the details of your upbringing and other early experiences. As therapy progresses, sessions may become more interactive, giving partners the opportunities to voice concerns while also experimenting with new behaviors in session. In short, I help you figure out what the problems are and how to make them better. I help people examine, evaluate and evolve beyond their limitations, fears, and circumstances and develop secure healthy relationships. Couples sessions tend to take approximately 2 hours, though shorter sessions are possible, and sometimes recommended.
Your experience during a PACT session may differ somewhat from what you would experience in other forms of couple therapy. Key features of this approach include:
a focus on moment-to-moment shifts in your face, body, and voice. You will learn to pay close attention to these as a couple.
experiences similar to those troubling your relationship and help you work through them in real time during the session.
sessions that often exceed the 50-min hour. Longer times allow for the in-depth work of PACT. This approach tends to require fewer sessions than do other forms of couple therapy.
videotaping sessions (with your consent) to provide immediate feedback to you in the moment.