top of page

Fri, Sep 21


Dakota Lodge

A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy

A two-day workshop with Dr. Stan Tatkin

Registration is Closed
See other events
A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy
A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy

Time & Location

Sep 21, 2018, 8:30 AM – Sep 22, 2018, 5:00 PM

Dakota Lodge, 1200 Stassen Ln, St Paul, MN 55118, USA


About the event

A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® is a capacity model of social-emotional complexity based on infant and adult developmental neuroscience, attachment, and arousal regulation. One of the central tenets of PACT is the matter of interpersonal threat and the ease with which threat, as a psychobiological trespasser, can quickly lead to the dissolution of primary attachment relationships. The therapeutic goal of PACT is secure functioning, agreements between partners based on justice, fairness, and sensitivity. Secure functioning, however, can only be achieved through an understanding of threat and all its manifestations in all human relationships. This workshop will focus on the neurobiology of threat including its earliest beginnings in the infant/caregiver relationship. Insecure family cultures are breeding grounds for relational trauma. Early experiences of unresolved trauma/loss can evolve into disorganized patterning and neuroplastic alterations that can greatly affect secure functioning in adult partnerships.

The PACT methodology is highly strategic, emphasizing rigorous investigative techniques to help partners gain clarity and understanding. The PACT therapist tracks microexpressions, micromovements, and other somatic reactions during therapeutically-managed interpersonal stress. Interventions often entail strategically staged moments intended to manipulate arousal and elicit implicit memory. PACT training enables clinicians to discover and analyze psychobiological cues, or “tells,” and other bottom-up (implicit) processes that reveal what top-down (explicit) approaches cannot.

The workshop combines lecture, experiential exercises, demonstrations, and videos. The presentation moves at a vigorous, entertaining clip and never fails to influence and inspire clinicians who love working with couples.

Educational Objectives

At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • To be able to list at least five characteristics of a secure-functioning relationship
  • To be able to apply at least three interventions for moving couples toward secure functioning
  • To be able to identify and describe signs and symptoms of relational trauma and disorganization in partners
  • To be able to implement at least three interview techniques for gaining information quickly
  • To be able to use at least three interventions for reducing threat between partners

Workshop content:

  • What is a secure functioning relationship and why it is vital to threat reduction.
  • How to read faces, bodies, and deception.
  • Various manifestations of unresolved trauma/loss and how to deal with it in couple therapy.
  • The role of the automatic brain, memory, perception, and communication in producing distress and threat in all relationships.
  • Understanding hardware and software deficits in social emotional functioning and its role in producing threat between partners.
  • How to use strategic methods for gaining truthful information quickly.
  • Why understanding arousal regulation is crucial to understanding threat and reducing it in couple therapy.

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, is a clinician, researcher, teacher, and developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT). He has a clinical practice in Calabasas, CA, where he has specialized for the last 20 years in working with couples and individuals who wish to be in relationships. He and his wife, Dr. Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin, developed the PACT Institute for the purpose of training other psychotherapists to use this method in their clinical practice.

In addition, Dr Tatkin teaches and supervises first- through third-year family medicine residents at Kaiser Permanente, Woodland Hills, CA, and is an assistant clinical professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine. He is on the board of directors of Lifespan Learning Institute and serves as a core member on Relationships First, a nonprofit organization founded by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt.

  • Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate, published by New Harbinger.
  • Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship, published by New Harbinger.
  • Your Brain on Love: The Neurobiology of Healthy Relationships, published by Sounds True.
  • Love and War in Intimate Relationships: Connection, Disconnection, and Mutual Regulation in Couple Therapy, with co-author Marion Solomon, available through W. W. Norton’s Interpersonal Neurobiology Series.
  • Relationship Rescue: Sounds True Audio, due for release in 2018
  • We Do: A pre-commitment handbook from Sounds True Books, due for release in 2018


  • Licensed Professionals

    Sale ended
  • Degree Conferred/Unlicensed

    Professionals with a degree, but not yet independently licensed (i.e. working towards licensure or not yet having a terminal licensure, i.e. LPC, LGSW or LAMFT) OR Professionals who are not in a licensure track position in the field

    Sale ended
  • Student, Military, Veterans

    Sale ended



Share this event

bottom of page