"There is actually nothing more difficult on the planet than another person." – Stan Tatkin
Stan Tatkin is a clinician, researcher, teacher, and developer of A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), which draws on cutting-edge research in neuroscience, attachment theory, and biology.
In his funny, eye-opening TED Talk, Relationships Are Hard, But Why?, Tatkin characterizes the two distinct brain systems at play in our automatic neurobiological reflexes: our ambassadors (smart, deliberate, slow, expensive) and our primitives (fast, automatic, cheap).
Our ambassadors make the hard decision about who to craft a relationship with and once they do, our primitives take over.
We begin to "think" we know our partner and after a period of time, we automate the process of connecting and relating with them. If we don't understand this automatic brain, we often get into trouble—not just in the form of fights, but by fighting in a way that threatens the safety of the relationship.
"People are complex," says Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT, clinician, teacher, and developer of the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT). "We don't come with manuals that explain and automate the process of getting along." Even if we did, we aren't...