Exploring Experiential Couples Therapy: The Power of Hakomi and PACT

The Transformative Potential of Experiential Couples Therapy

At California Integrative Therapy in Pasadena, we believe in the transformative potential of experiential couples therapy. Our approach to couples therapy combines the principles and practices of Hakomi therapy and PACT (Psycho-biological Approach to Couples Therapy), offering a unique and powerful way to support couples in accessing and transforming deeply held patterns and emotional blockages. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of body-based interventions in couples therapy, highlighting the principles and techniques of Hakomi and PACT, and demonstrating how they create a potent, deep, and transformative approach to couples therapy.

A couple stands foreheads touching in an intimate moment of connection fostered by Couples Therapy in Pasadena, CA.

Two Powerful Body-Based Interventions

In the realm of couples therapy, two powerful approaches that draw upon body-based interventions are Hakomi and PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy). These therapeutic modalities offer unique perspectives and techniques that can support couples in accessing and transforming deeply held patterns and emotional blockages, leading to profound healing and growth within their relationships.

What is Hakomi?

Hakomi, rooted in mindfulness and a body-centered approach to psychotherapy, provides a framework for exploring the mind-body connection and accessing the wisdom held within the body. Developed by Ron Kurtz in the 1970s, Hakomi integrates Eastern philosophy, neuroscience, and somatic psychology to create a holistic and transformative therapeutic experience. The approach recognizes that the body holds valuable information about a person’s thoughts, emotions, and relational dynamics, and by mindfully attending to the body’s subtle cues and sensations, profound insights and healing can occur.

What to Expect During Hakomi Sessions

During Hakomi sessions, couples are guided to bring mindful awareness to their bodily experiences, both individually and in relation to each other. The therapist supports couples in noticing and exploring sensations, emotions, and habitual patterns of relating that emerge in the present moment. Through gentle inquiries, couples can uncover and understand the underlying beliefs, fears, and unmet needs that influence their relationship dynamics. By exploring these patterns on a somatic level, couples can create a deeper level of self-awareness, empathy, and attunement, which forms the foundation for transformative change within the relationship.

The Somatic Nature of Hakomi Therapy:

Hakomi therapy forms the foundation of our experiential couples therapy approach. It is a mindfulness-based, body-centered approach to psychotherapy that emphasizes the mind-body connection. In Hakomi, therapists work with clients to access and explore the body’s sensations, movements, and gestures as a gateway to understanding and healing emotional experiences. By attuning to the body’s wisdom, couples can uncover unconscious patterns and beliefs that influence their interactions. Through gentle experiments and guided experiences, Hakomi facilitates deep self-awareness, emotional processing, and transformative insights.

Body-Based Interventions in Couples Therapy:

In the context of couples therapy, Hakomi offers powerful body-based interventions that support couples in understanding and transforming their dynamics. For example, a therapist might guide partners to tune into the physical sensations that arise when they engage in a conflictual interaction. By bringing awareness to these sensations, couples can gain insight into their underlying emotions and triggers. Through compassionate exploration, couples can develop greater empathy and understanding for each other’s experiences, paving the way for deeper connection and healing.

What is PACT?

PACT, on the other hand, is a psycho-biological approach to couples therapy that was originated by Dr. Stan Tatkin. PACT focuses on the neurobiology of secure attachment and the innate biological wiring of human beings for connection. It recognizes that the human brain and nervous system are designed for survival and are inherently fear-based. PACT highlights the importance of understanding how the brain’s organization can impact the dynamics and challenges that arise within a romantic relationship.

What Do You Explore During PACT?

In PACT therapy, couples are guided to explore and address the attachment styles, survival strategies, and neurobiological patterns that influence their interactions. The therapist helps couples understand the ways in which their individual nervous systems and attachment histories shape their behaviors and emotional responses in the relationship. By gaining insight into these underlying dynamics, couples can develop strategies to regulate their emotions, communicate effectively, and co-create a secure and thriving bond.

The Integration of Hakomi and PACT in Couples Therapy

The integration of Hakomi and PACT in couples therapy creates a potent and transformative approach that combines body-based interventions with a deep understanding of neurobiology and attachment dynamics. This integration allows couples to access and work through deeply held emotional blockages and patterns that may be rooted in past traumas or unmet needs. By exploring these patterns and experiences within a safe and supportive therapeutic space, couples can build greater self-awareness, emotional regulation, and intimacy.

Working Together to Create Thriving Partnerships

The somatic and mindfulness-based practices of Hakomi help couples develop embodied self-awareness, enabling them to recognize and regulate their emotions, cultivate attunement with their partner, and engage in more authentic and compassionate communication. PACT, on the other hand, provides couples with a roadmap for understanding and navigating the intricacies of their attachment styles and the neurobiology of their relationship. By focusing on creating safety, building secure attachments, and developing shared rituals, PACT supports couples in creating a secure and thriving partnership.

A Comprehensive Holistic Approach

Together, Hakomi and PACT offer a comprehensive and holistic approach to couples therapy that honors the mind-body connection and integrates deep self-exploration with an understanding of neurobiology and attachment. By combining body-based interventions, mindfulness practices, and an understanding of the brain’s organization, these modalities provide couples with the tools and insights needed to transform their relationship dynamics and create a deeper sense of connection, intimacy, and fulfillment

Integrate Hakomi and Pact into Your Couples Therapy in Pasadena, CA Today.

At California Integrative Therapy, our experiential couples therapy approach, combining Hakomi and PACT, offers a compassionate, supportive, and transformative space for couples to explore and heal. By incorporating body-based interventions and acknowledging the psycho-biological aspects of relationships, we empower couples to access their inner wisdom, navigate challenges, and create positive change. Through the integration of Hakomi and PACT, our therapists provide couples with a potent and deep approach to couples therapy, facilitating healing, growth, and the cultivation of secure and resilient partnerships.


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Other Services Offered by California Integrative Therapy

Couples therapy and marriage counseling aren’t the only services we offer at our California-based therapy office. Other services offered include depression treatmentindividual therapyanxiety treatment, trauma therapysomatic therapyaffair recovery, and group therapy. We provide services from our Sacramento, CA, and Pasadena, CA locations. We also serve all of California via online therapy. For answers to any of your questions, feel free to visit our FAQ page!

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