Marla Prudom MBACP, Couples and Individual Counsellor and Supervisor
I trained as a counsellor twenty five years ago since that time I have developed and honed my counselling and supervisory skills in many different settings, latterly as a Head of counselling of a charity. Previously my work has included working in a children's hospice, hostels, bereavement services and mental health centres. I also ran a private practice in Brighton for many years.
Working with Couples
I am familiar with and experienced in couples work. The way in which I work with couples is to focus less on the two individuals and more on the relationship that has been developed between the two. I am interested in exploring how the relationship came into being which will also take into account the early attachment history of each person and its impact upon the couple, in other words what "emotional baggage" from the past is brought into the relationship. Together and over time we will look at how, and what each person has to do and be in order to get their needs met and what happens when needs are not met.
Couples come into counselling because for example, they have run into problems arising from infidelity, (cheating) growing apart for various reasons and the relationship is suffering. This may be expressed in all manner of ways usually through constant unresolved arguments, explosive anger, or punitive silences, withholding either sexually and/or emotionally, distress, anxiety and stress. The process of opening up, being vulnerable and honest towards one another can be hugely painful and threatening and people may fall back into familiar ways of protecting themselves by attacking, justifying, blaming, getting angry and emotional or simply cutting off and not engaging or making light of the existence of problems.
However, it is possible through a commitment and a willingness to engage with one another and through the process of talking and feeling that rifts and the pain in the couple relationship can be looked at openly and with honesty. Part of the work will also entail looking at the strengths and resilience of the couple. Often in the midst of conflict and distress it can be difficult to retain the sense of what drew you together, the unique memories that exists and is shared between a couple.
In the course of counselling it may be that a couple may decide to separate. As painful as it is it is possible to talk through and initiate the mourning process of working towards an ending that honours and respects the history of the couple.
Counselling provides a space where the origins of the difficulties can be talked about and processed and an understanding and resolution can be reached.
Working with individuals
The service I offer is weekly one to one counselling which is largely psychodynamic, (basically how the past influences the present). I aim to establish a relationship of trust and empathy with you, this will take time, we are after all two strangers meeting to talk about private matters of the heart. During the process of talking your patterns of relating to self and others will be illuminated. We will explore whether the ways in which you relate, and act particularly when under stress are relevant and helpful to you today. We will delve into where, why and how the origins of certain behaviours came into being. Together we will work through and process some of the fears, anxieties, anger and sad feelings that you have brought into counselling. Through counselling you can reach a better understanding of your motivations, explore options, and discover a more authentic and integrated way of being you.
Not everyone needs or wants long term counselling. Sometimes an unexpected situation can temporarily unsettle and derail an otherwise well functioning life. Short term counselling can provide a brief respite to think through what's happened and help you regain the stability that was missing.
My thoughts on Counselling.
Whilst I believe in the power of counselling it's not for everyone, there is no magic cure, quick fix or guarantees. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. It requires courage, commitment, time, energy, patience, and financial investment. However, for those who are not familiar with counselling and would like to discuss it further please call me and we can talk about it. For those who venture forth the results can be hugely rewarding, immeasurable and life affirming.
On a personal note I have undergone my own therapy over a long period. As an experience it was initially tough, bewildering and very anxiety making, principally because I fought the therapy and therapist. My head told me that I could benefit and gain from the process if only I would engage with it whilst my heart fought against being so vulnerable and exposed. Fortunately my therapist encouraged me to talk about my fears and anxieties and I turned a corner. Over the course of time I learned so much about myself, the knowledge was hard won. Today I am comfortable in my skin and my relationships are much more honest. I don't have all the answers to solving the dilemmas and adversity which come my way but I have learned to ask myself certain questions to help me think through and process emotions and that in turn helps me achieve a clearer perspective and balance in life. I don't always get it right but I am open to change which is what therapy is about.
Training, qualifications & experience
Diploma Attachment, Psychoanalysis and the Couple Relationship. Tavistock Centre for Couple Relations. London.
Certificate Graduate Certificate in Systemic Practice. (Families and Couples). Institute of Family Therapy. Birkbeck University. London
Certificate Certificate in Supervision Skills. Institute of Group Analysis. North London
Certificate Pre/post Adoption counselling. Post Adoption Centre. London
Certificate Introduction to Group Analysis. Brighton University
Diploma Counselling and Supervision. Sussex School of Counselling
Certificate Theory of Psychodynamic Counselling. Lincoln Institute. London
Areas of counselling I deal with
- Affairs and betrayals
- Anger management
- Child related issues
- Childhood bereavement
- Dependent personality disorder
- Emotional abuse
- Family issues
- Feeling sad
- Generalised anxiety disorder
- Low self-confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Postnatal depression
Other areas of counselling I deal with
I have worked for several years as a Bereavement counsellor and I have a particular interest in the area of loss of all kinds and in grief work, including issues of infertility and identity.
I have also worked extensively with issues of sexual abuse and rape.
Photos & videos
The first session and what to expect
If you are interested in making an appointment please contact me on my mobile number 07780707122 for a no obligation consultation. I apologise in advance if you get my answer machine please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible. We can then arrange an appointment for a time that is mutually convenient and I will endeavour to accommodate your schedule. I work Monday to Thursday with day time and some evening slots available.
When we meet we will discuss what brings you into counselling and I can explain how I work. There will also be some practical and ethical matters that I will need to bring to your attention, such as the parameters of what I can and can't offer, issues of confidentiality and my responsibilty to you as a counselling practitioner.
The initial consultation usually lasts up to an hour and the fee is £45 for an individual and £55 for a couple.
If we decide we wish to work together the fee is £45 and sessions last 50 minutes for an individual.
£55 an hour for couple work. All fees are payable at the end of each session and if you wish you can pay by on-line banking.
If you cancel at short notice (less than 24hours) I will always try and reschedule an appointment for the same week however, if it is not possible I will still charge my fee. When we make an appointment to meet I hold that space for you and you only and it is a demonstration of my commitment to the work I do with you.
If you decide you would like to proceed with counselling I would ask you to commit yourself to at least six sessions. This gives us time to get to know one another and the consistency of sessions allows for a more coherent presentation of the difficulties and issues you would like to work on.
If for one reason or another you decide not to go ahead with counselling and that is fine I would hope we would be able to talk about your reservations. If you wish I can also signpost you to another person or service more suitable to your requirements
Counselling takes place at the same time, same place each week. However, I can be flexible and will try and accommodate you if you work shifts or if your work takes you out of the area or country. I have a pleasant and private consultation room which I share with another psychotherapist. There is limited disabled access to the consultation room, please contact me if I can be of help. There is street parking and I can offer both day time and evening appointments Monday to Thursday.
Maps & Directions
Type of session
|Face to face counselling:||Yes|
Monday to Thursday, daytime and evening
Types of client
|Employee Assistance Programme|
Supervision & training
Experience as a supervisor.View supervision profile