Learn to create more fulfilling relationships with PACT

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT; Cofounder

Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT is a teacher, clinician, researcher, and developer of the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy® (PACT).

Beloved by colleagues and clients alike, Stan is an expert on human behavior and couple relationships. He speaks and teaches around the world on secure-functioning relationships – how to understand them, create them, and support them.

Stan has written dozens of academic articles and six bestselling books – now translated into Spanish, Chinese, Turkish, and Romanian. 

More than 1.7 million people have tuned in to Stan’s TEDx talk.

A Therapist’s Therapist. Stan and his wife, Tracey Boldemann-Tatkin, PhD, created the PACT Institute in 2010 to train mental health professionals to successfully integrate a psychobiological approach in their clinical practices.

Through the PACT Institute, Stan has trained thousands of therapists around the world. 

They appreciate his depth of understanding – of both the scientific research and the human condition – and how he integrates that wisdom to form the foundation of the comprehensive principles and methodologies he teaches. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists CA honored Stan with the Educator of the Year award in 2014.

Go-To Source for Couples. Stan helps couples create healthy attachments and secure-functioning relationships based on fairness, justice, and sensitivity. In addition to Stan’s robust clinical practice in Calabasas, California, Stan and Tracey lead couples through Wired For Love Couple Retreats -- both online and in person across the United States and Europe. 

Scholar, Advancing Psychotherapy. Stan was 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 founding member on Relationships First, a nonprofit organization founded by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt. 

A former president of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, Ventura County chapter, Stan is a veteran member of Allan N. Schore’s study group. He’s trained in the Adult Attachment, Facial Action Coding System, and Strange Situation. He was also trained in Self and Object Relations for working with personality disorders through the Masterson Institute. Stan is an experienced facilitator in Vipassana, having trained with Shinzen Young, PhD, in Vipassana meditation. He also trained with David Reynolds, PhD, in two Japanese forms of psychotherapy, Morita and Naikan.

Read more about therapy with Stan

Eda Arduman, MA Clinical Psychology, Level 1 Instructor

Eda Arduman is an American-Turkish psychotherapist with more than 30 years of experience in contemporary psychoanalysis and couple relationships. Her work is guided by a multicultural lens as she also specializes in working with complicated and multicultural couples.

Eda has a Bachelor and Master in Clinical Psychology from the Bosphorus University in Istanbul. Along with a full-time private practice, she taught and worked as a clinical supervisor at Istanbul Bilgi University, 2010-2022. She also worked as a clinical supervisor to psychotherapists for the city of Istanbul, 2014-2020.

Eda is a Certified PACT Therapist. She conducts PACT trainings and workshops throughout Europe and explains how PACT applies to organizations and families. She has been published in international and Turkish journals and books.

In addition, Eda trained under the auspices of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) for 10 years and completed all requirements. She is a certified faculty member of Somatic Experiencing International. She also trained in Gestalt therapy at the Gestalt İnternational Study Center on Cape Cod and the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Foundation Program in İsrael.

Eda is one of the founding members of the Turkish Couples and Family Therapies Association as well as a member of the Turkish Psychological Association. She has presented at national and international conferences.

Her life and work is inspired by the arts, cinema, literature, history, contemporary politics, philosophy, and yoga. She lives between Istanbul and Lisbon with her husband of 30 years and thrives on intimate connection and links. Eda has two adult children in addition to two stepdaughters, two stepsons-in-law, and two step-granddaughters, with whom she loves to travel.

See Eda's PACT Therapist Directory Listing

Joy A. Dryer, PhD, Outcome Research Study

Joy A. Dryer, has always worn four professional hats over her last 40+ years in practice: 1) clinician, psychologist, psychoanalyst, 2) adjunct associate professor, educator, supervisor; 3) divorce mediator and coach, and 4) writer, academic and popular blogs.

CLINICIAN. Joy spent three years in a developmental psychology PhD program before transferring to and graduating from a clinical psychology PhD program. “I loved hearing people’s stories (the writer in me), and helping them fit their emotional puzzle pieces together to live happier lives.” Joy wanted to go deeper, so she later entered psychoanalytic training. After graduating as an adult psychoanalyst, she completed other trainings, including family and couple work and later a two-year organizational psychology training. A decade later, PACT training braided together all previous layers of clinical work, integrating her individual, couple, family, group, and organizational experiences.

EDUCATOR. Across her entire career, Joy has believed in an existential psychology principle called rippling, i.e., giving back by mentoring colleagues early in their careers. She taught for a decade as an adjunct associate professor at Brooklyn College and in New York University’s graduate master’s program. Today she continues to supervise graduate PhD students 1:1 and teaches a group supervision class with the China America Psychoanalytic Alliance (CAPA).

MEDIATOR. Among her varied trainings, Joy discovered the divorce world as she worked with couples who decided to separate. For the past 20 years, Dr. Joy has been a team member with attorneys and financial experts in a collaborative divorce practice in New York’s Hudson Valley.

WRITER. Joy has been writing since she won her first poetry award in college. “I’ve found writing to be both hard and useful in clarifying what I am feeling.” After interning at a NBC-TV’s Midwest affiliate, where Tom Brokaw anchored his “Nightly News” broadcasts, she directed her writing skills into broadcast journalism. She won the RCA-NBC Fellowship to Columbia’s Journalism School in New York City (Class of 1970). Throughout her twenties, she worked as a journalist until deciding to become a psychologist.

Joy writes a monthly blog for Psychology Today, and is currently working on a book for the general public that espoused secure-functioning PACT principles with couples in or out of relationship, including those in an uncoupling (separating or divorcing) process. For even more fun, Joy is collecting poems written during Covid for a book with the working title The World As Is: Covid conversations with clouds, criminals, and critters.

See Joy's PACT Therapist Directory Listing

Patricia Hart, PhD; Faculty, PACT Certified

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. 

See Patricia's PACT Therapist Directory Listing

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.

See Rachel's PACT Therapist Directory Listing

Allison Howe, LMHC, Instructor

For Allison Howe, each couple's relationship identity is unique, which keeps the role of a couple therapist so interesting. She sees the relationship as the journey, PACT as the roadmap, and the therapy as a holistic medicine to help with the pain. The journey has bumps along the way but it can be more fulfilling if we learn to travel well together. She enjoys helping couples understand their partner's personal navigation system along with their shared relationship GPS. She uses the PACT lens to help couples revise the stories they tell about each other with secure functioning as the redemptive narrative.

Early in her career, Allison worked for Citicorp and GE in training and development but eventually shifted her focus to counseling. After receiving dual master’s degrees in counseling psychology and education from Columbia University's Teachers College, she worked in community mental health and for hospital-based employee assistance programs. She opened her own practice in Saratoga Springs, New York, in 2009.

Allison attended PACT Level 1 training in 2011, and was inspired to focus exclusively on couples soon after. While she received training in EFT and familiarized herself with other approaches, Allison considers PACT her primary therapeutic lens. In the last decade, she developed her PACT fluency by assisting with PACT trainings and retreats and through collaboration and conversations with senior core faculty, for which she’s very grateful.

Two favorite ways Allison unwinds are cooking for family and friends (especially her son and daughter) and riding a tandem bicycle with her husband. Allison recently moved from New York to northern Virginia, so now she has new roads to explore.

See Allison's PACT Therapist Directory Listing

Krista Jordan, Ph.D., ABPP, Outcome Research Study

Dr. Krista Jordan is an early practitioner of the PACT model. She began studying with PACT founder Stan Tatkin in 2008, and was in continuous attendance at trainings through 2019. Dr. Jordan was originally trained both as an outcomes researcher and a psychodynamic psychotherapist. From this dual lens she saw how PACT could become evidence-based and was excited to help create the current outcomes study project. She has a passion for treating couples, especially those with disorganization from difficult childhoods. Her approach involves spontaneity, humor, challenge, and support. Her clients often remark about her own vulnerability and humanity and the warm and safe space which she is able to create.

Dr. Jordan believes that secure functioning is the birthright of every person and sees the therapeutic journey as a path to restore what nature intended. She often incorporates evolutionary psychology and anthropology into her approaches, noting that nature has much to teach us. She believes that the fundamental capacities for connection, love, trust, and care reside in all of us but have often been buried under pain and disappointment. Her work guides couples through healing emotional wounds, both from childhood as well as those created in the relationship so that the natural abilities for connection and care can be restored.

Dr. Jordan holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She is also board certified in Clinical Psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. She has held appointments as adjunct faculty at Texas State University for both teaching and research and provides her own post-doctoral residency to Ph.D. and Psy.D. graduates through her private practice in Austin, Texas. Dr. Jordan has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of social psychology and health psychology. She enjoys writing about couples and relationships for a variety of news outlets, including Newsweek, Women’s Health, and Psych Central.

In her free time Dr. Jordan enjoys being outdoors with her husband and children as well as their menagerie of pets. She is an avid cook and lover of all art forms, including dance, poetry, visual arts, and music.

See Krista's PACT Therapist Directory Listing

Beth O’Brien, PhD, Licensed Psychologist; Instructor

Beth O’Brien, PhD, is a licensed psychologist in private practice, a published author and researcher, consultant, and faculty instructor for PACT Level 1 training.

Beth has been a clinician specializing in couple therapy for the past 25 years. Her couples embrace PACT as they see how it benefits their relationship. One of her couples described the PACT approach as “fast acting and long lasting.” 

Beth also specializes in trauma therapy. She is trained in EMDR and helps couples identify and address trauma triggers in their relationship. Having taught yoga for two decades, Beth brings a mindfulness-based approach to her work with couples.

Beth is very enthusiastic about couple work. Helping couples learn to collaborate, team up, and support the we in their relationship is particularly meaningful (and fun) for her.

In 2020-21, Spirituality & Health magazine asked Beth to be a monthly contributor. She published articles pertaining to attachment styles, managing conflict and betrayal, and creating building blocks for secure functioning. Currently she is coauthoring a theoretical article with Stan on working with pseudosecure couples.

As a consultant, Beth leads psycho-education groups for couple therapists who want to strengthen their PACT foundation via discussion of case studies. She provides case consultation to individual therapists as well.

Beth finds it rewarding to participate in the growth and development of up-and-coming PACT therapists. Both consultation and instructing PACT Level 1 students is a platform for becoming acquainted with the PACT community and helping clinicians become more skillful and learn to appreciate their strengths.

Beth received her doctoral degree in counseling psychology from the highly ranked University of Maryland, which became the first counseling psychology program in the country.  She completed her full-time doctoral internship at the counseling center at George Washington University. She is a long-time member of APA.

Spending time outdoors in Colorado holds special delight for Beth. When she takes off her clinical hat, you can find her biking, skiing, hiking, and riding horses with family and friends on blue sky days.

See Beth's PACT Therapist Directory Listing

Julie Rappaport, MA, LPC; Instructor

Julie Rappaport loves turning “We need therapy” into “We got this!” With a Bachelors in Psychology and Pre-Med (1993), a Masters Degree in Transpersonal Psychology (2001), and a bajillion trainings and certifications which are ongoing, she combines her slightly woo-woo side with her love of science and facts, always with a dash of humor mixed in.

Julie has specialized in couple therapy since 2014, and she is on a mission to help couples thrive while shaping the next generation of PACT therapists. When she’s not in her office or teaching, she’s crushing it in Crossfit as well as cheering on her kids at their endless activities.

See Julie's PACT Therapist Directory Listing

Hans Stahlschmidt, PhD; Core Faculty, Senior Instructor, PACT Certified

Part of PACT brain trust – collaborating with Dr. Stan Tatkin in developing of curriculum and trainings. 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.

See Hans' PACT Therapist Directory Listing
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