Michael Pavlak Ph.D
About ME
For Couples

Northcoast Mental Health Associates
3690 Orange Place, Suite 430
Beachwood, OH 44122



On Couples Therapy

At times, couples may need help in adjusting to change in their lives, coping with a stressor that has occurred, or may need to learn how to communicate more openly and effectively, negotiate more effectively, clarify important expectations, increase fun and intimacy, or enhance commitment. Through couples/marital counseling couples who are living together, preparing to marry, or who are married can work through issues that are hurting the relationship and learn the skills and principles associated with successful and loving relationships.

My approach to marriage therapy is based on a systems approach and on a skills based/ educational approach; that is, helping couples learn and practice specific skills and principles that will improve their relationship. To that end, sessions are solution focused, we work on attainable goals, and the skills learned are very practical.

Some common goals that are discussed in couples/marital therapy include being able to:

  • talk to each other without escalation, invalidation or withdrawing
  • listen to the other attentively
  • develop teamwork and end the “me versus you” environment
  • take the other person at face value and not “mind read”
  • clarify important expectations
  • enhance or recapture commitment in the relationship
  • negotiate problems and conflicts effectively
  • end negative interpretations of the other’s behavior
  • practice forgiveness
  • increase time for each other, increase fun, and increase intimacy