Learn to create more fulfilling relationships with PACT

Hans Stahlschmidt, PhD; Core Faculty, Senior Instructor

Dr. Hans Stahlschmidt is an experienced therapist who works with couples and individuals in private practice in Berkeley, CA. He is interactive and direct and, from early on, establishes a secure frame that allows the couple to be vulnerable as well as rise to the challenges necessary for lasting change. He calls his office a “failure-friendly space.”

He believes that navigating a primary relationship is one of the most difficult human endeavors but also one of the most rewarding ones — a challenge that will make us grow. For Hans, it is a privilege to be invited into the most intimate aspects of the lives of his clients. He loves life stories and the way individuals discover how to cope, manage, and survive, often in unimaginably difficult situations. The challenge of couples work is to transform what has served well in the past into a healthier and more effective way to relate to oneself and to others.

Hans has studied, worked, and taught in Germany as well as in the United States. He holds a German psychology degree from the Freie Universität Berlin and practiced in Berlin as a licensed psychologist. He received his PhD from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA. While drawing upon a range of psychological approaches, he has made the PACT model his theoretical and practice-related home.

In his “former life,” Hans was a shiatsu teacher and body worker. He sees himself as well grounded in the practical world as a building contractor who has run a successful business for 25 years. His varied life experiences, including working in different professions and living on different continents, helps him establish authentic and meaningful relationships with clients from all walks of life. He loves hanging out with his two granddaughters and dancing tango. When he can find the time, Hans likes to write and paint and hop on his motorcycle for a ride through the Berkeley Hills and beyond.

Inga Gentile, LMFT (CA, USA), Licensed clinical psychologist (Norway); Core Faculty

Inga Gentile is a licensed marriage and family therapist as well as a licensed psychologist in Norway. She’s on the clinical staff at Viken Senter, a national psychiatric center in the northern part of the country. Her work there focuses on the intensive inpatient treatment of couples and families, many of whom have experienced developmental trauma. She believes strongly in supporting the building of robust relationships as a means of alleviating individual distress and encouraging individual and collective development.

A Chicago native, Inga earned her MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in Santa Barbara, CA, in 2005. Her subsequent training included treating individuals, couples, and families in hospital, community mental health clinics, and private practice settings, both stateside and abroad.

Inga has been studying with Stan Tatkin since 2004 and was fortunate to be part of the original Calabasas PACT study group. The dynamic interplay of attachment processes, developmental neuroscience, and arousal regulation that informs the PACT model has revolutionized her practice. Inga is additionally trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR™). Her interest in mindfulness practice and yoga also influences her work.

She’s currently spending a year working at the Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic at the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, Norway.

Rachel Holland, DClinPsych; Core Faculty

Dr. Rachel Holland is a chartered clinical psychologist with the British Psychological Society who specializes in psycho-oncology, the psychological care of cancer patients and their families.
Originally from England, she moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1995 to study psychology at Queen’s University. During clinical training, she did research on peri-traumatic dissociation during childbirth as a predictor of posttraumatic distress following birth. Rachel also completed an advanced practicum at the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD, in Boston, MA.

Rachel was a clinical psychologist in cancer care and gynecology at the Belfast City Hospital at the Department of Clinical Health Psychology. She was also a manager for Macmillan’s flagship Support and Information Centre for Northern Ireland, where she led a multidisciplinary team that offered a range of psychosocial supports for people affected by cancer.

Rachel has developed her meditation practice through Potala Kadampa Buddhist Centre in Belfast. She teaches meditation in clinical settings and gives people practical advice on how to solve daily problems by finding a reliable source of happiness.

In 2005, Rachel met Stan Tatkin at a trauma conference and was inspired by his approach to couple therapy. In 2011, she returned to England, where she worked at Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre in Cheltenham for a year, before taking up her current role as Macmillan principal clinical psychologist in Buckinghamshire. Rachel works for the National Health Service (NHS) and is based at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

She has developed a couple therapy service using PACT with cancer patients and their partners as part of the range of therapies offered by the Psycho-Oncology Service. Rachel has completed a postgraduate degree in advanced reflexive supervision and supervises cross-professionally, using a process framework that allows supervisees to explore the empathic connection between them and their clients. Rachel is engaged to her long-term partner, Stephen.

Patricia Hart, PhD; Faculty

As a PACT instructor, Dr. Patricia Hart brings to the PACT Institute more than 35 years of experience in individual and couples therapy. She also has a deeply held belief that fulfilling relationships are the central component of growth and healing. Her interest in the workings of the human mind, a call to attend to the suffering of others, and a belief in the healing power of a caring and empathic relationship led to her life’s work as a clinical psychologist. In her Berkeley office she helps couples develop the closer connection and greater security that will lead them to deeper intimacy and the capacity to more effectively address their challenges.

Patricia received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Columbia University and her doctorate from the University of Hawaii. She has worked in many settings providing individual, family, and couples therapy as well as training and consultation on divorce and remarriage. She has trained in multiple therapeutic approaches including psychoanalytic, emotion-focused, and trauma-informed psychotherapy as well as couples work based on both attachment and differentiation models, including Gottman and Schnarch’s Sexual Crucible. Since hearing Stan Tatkin present in 2009, PACT has become her primary focus of training and practice.

She teaches secure-functioning principles for the PACT Institute and models them with her husband, Hans Stahlschmidt, who is also a PACT instructor. The oldest of Patricia’s three daughters is a PACT therapist who brings her acting skills to PACT demos. Time with her husband and growing family, piano, dance, skiing, hiking, and swimming in the freshwaters of Cape Cod ponds are her great pleasures. 

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