Couples Therapy Psychologist – Dr. Susan Pazak

Is your relationship in jeopardy?  Has trust been broken, intimacy lost, or hopes shattered?  Are you feeling stuck, confused, and unsure where to turn?

You are not alone.

I’m Dr. Susan Pazak, and I provide therapy for couples from all over Orange County and across California via online therapy.  Your relationship deserves a chance to thrive, and I want to help make that happen. 

If you are interested and ready to get started, contact me today!  I would love to hear from you.  Read on to learn about couples therapy and how it can help. 

What is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy, also referred to as couples counseling, is all about boosting your bond while addressing common relational issues. 

You and your partner meet together in a safe, confidential space without fear of judgment or blame.  You get the chance to work through barriers to intimacy, enhance communication skills, and find solutions to your problems.  Couples therapy can help you whether your relationship is in crisis or you are just looking to build a deeper connection. 

Many couples seek therapy because something isn’t working:

  • The “spark” has gone out
  • Issues with (or lack of) intimacy
  • Difficulty solving problems together
  • Loss of satisfaction in the relationship

Sometimes, things go from bad to worse:

  • Attempting to control one another
  • Frequent fighting or arguing
  • Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
  • Cheating and infidelity
  • Lying or hiding things from one another

Every relationship has room to grow.  Therapy can give you and your partner a chance to work through your struggles

Couples therapy works to enhance three main areas of relationship: connection, commitment, and communication

Connection is the degree of intimacy and closeness in the relationship.  Although some couples have issues related to physical intimacy and dissatisfaction in the bedroom, nearly all couples need help with improving emotional intimacy.  The two of you can learn to open up to one another, risk vulnerability, and express your thoughts and feelings. 

Commitment is all about feelings of safety and trust.  You might be making decisions about making a formal commitment (e.g., marriage), or you might be struggling with staying committed.  Many couples come to therapy because commitment has come into question due to an affair or cheating.  Couples therapy offers a chance for you to rebuild broken trust, have difficult conversations, and restore feelings of safety. 

Communication is about being able to express, understand, and meet needs.  Most, if not all, relational issues are rooted in problems with communication.  One person feels ignored or disrespected; the other feels overwhelmed and ashamed.  One person tries to “fix” things and talk it out; the other tries to let it go.  No one feels understood or appreciated.  Couples therapists can help you learn to notice and break free from patterns as you build stronger systems of communication. 

As you make progress in couples therapy, you and your partner can:

  • Be vulnerable and open with one another
  • Break free from unhealthy patterns
  • Solve problems together
  • Learn to meet unmet needs
  • Enhance satisfaction and joy
  • Work through the pain of infidelity
  • Boost feelings of intimacy
  • Make difficult decisions (e.g., divorce, having kids, moving)

No matter how bad things might seem, no matter how long you have struggled, couples therapy can help. 

When is couples therapy not appropriate?

Sometimes, individual issues need to be addressed before or during the couples therapy process.  For example, if you or your partner struggle with trauma, depression, anxiety, or addiction, those issues may prevent progress from happening in couples therapy.  Additionally, if there is a risk of ongoing or future abuse, or if one partner is forced into attending, couples therapy cannot proceed until those issues are dealt with. 

To learn whether you and your partner might be a good fit for couples therapy, please feel free to contact me.  I’d be happy to help!

What does therapy look like with Dr. Pazak?

Let’s work together!

All therapy sessions are completely confidential and tailored to your goals as a couple.   We would typically meet in the safety and comfort of my office here in Laguna Niguel; however, due to the state of the pandemic, our meetings are held online for your safety and convenience at this time. 

As a couples therapist, my job is to work myself out of a job.  I strive to help you and your partner see rapid results by utilizing techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the most evidence-based approach to therapy available.  My approach helps you learn to change your beliefs, attitudes, and actions to bring you closer together as a couple.  I also often provide “homework” activities for you and your partner to do between sessions to augment your progress. 

You deserve a relationship that feels safe and satisfying.  You deserve to feel connected and close to one another.  You deserve a bright, meaningful future together. 

Together, we can make it happen.

Let’s work together!

Are you interested in getting started?  Let’s connect!  I would love to hear from you. 

I work with adults and couples locally (Laguna Niguel, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar, Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Coto De Caza, Dove Canyon, RSM, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Beach, Dana Point) as well as online for people all across California.  I also offer life coaching services for people all across the United States. 




30131 Town Center Drive, Suite 280 Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

Call 949-363-0700