Counselling for Toads
A Psychological Adventure
Routledge – 1997 – 160 pages
'Toad', the famous character in Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows is in a very depressed state and his good friends Rat, Mole and Badger, are 'worried that he might do something silly'…
First they nursed him. Then they encouraged him. Then they told him to pull himself together… Finally, Badger could stand it no longer. That admirable animal, though long on exhortation, was short on patience.
'Now look here Toad, this can go on no longer', he said sternly. 'There is only one thing left. You must have counselling!'
Robert de Board's engaging account of Toad's experience of counselling will capture the imagination of the growing readership of people who are interested in counselling and the counselling process. Written as a real continuation of life on the River Bank, Toad and his friends come to life all over again.
Heron, the counsellor, uses the language and ideas of transactional analysis as his counselling method. Through the dialogues which make up the ten sessions, or chapters of the book, Toad learns how to analyse his own feelings and develop his emotional intelligence. He meets his 'rebellious child' and his 'adult' along the way, and by the end of the book, as debonair as ever he was, is setting out on a completely new adventure. As readers learn about Toad, so they can learn about themselves and be encouraged to take the path of psychological growth and development.
Best-selling author, Robert de Board says: 'Toad's experiences are based on my own experiences of counselling people over a period of twenty years. Counselling for Toads is really an amalgamation of the many counselling sessions I have held and contains a distillation of the truths I have learnt from practice.'
Appropriate for anyone approaching counselling for the first time, whether as a student or as a client, or for the professional counsellor looking for something to recommend to the hesitant, Counselling for Toads will appeal to both children and adults of all ages.
"Not only an instructive handbook for those in any way contemplating counselling… it is warmly funny and respectful of the spirit of Grahame's novel. If he had written his own sequel he might have ended it like this one." - Jan Mark, Times Educational Supplement
"For anyone wishing to know something about transactional analysis this is a clear and very readable introduction." - The Friend
"This engaging pastiche of Kenneth Grahame's riverbank classic… manages to be not only instructive and, at times, extremely amusing, but also to remain remarkably faithful to the cheery, bucolic spirit of the original… extremely enjoyable." - Paul Sussman, in the Independent on Sunday
"An imaginative attempt to explain the counselling process… the idea of counselling is all around, but this demystified it wittily." - Openmind
"A delightful book which… offers a gentle introduction to transactional analysis and much more." - Relate News
"A clever intertwining of the tale of Toad and the intricate thought processes behind the science of counselling… a classic journey of discovery, triumph and pain." - Book of the Day, Glasgow Herald
"Counselling for Toads is a joy. Not just because it is an extremely clever Kenneth Grahame pastiche, but because it actually explains counselling as a method of dealing with psychological distress with admirable clarity. You'll want to read The Wind in the Willows again after this version of the story - and you'll read it with new eyes." - Claire Rayner
Mole Finds Toad in a Poorly State. With Friends Like These… Toad's First Meeting with his Counsellor. Why Toad Feels so Depressed. The Next Meeting. Toad Explores his Childhood. Toad Meets the Rebellious Child. A Surprise Visit from Mr Badger. After Badger's Visit. Lunch at Rat's House. Toad Meets the Adult. The True History of Theophilus Toad. The Continuous Creation of Toad's Familiar World. Playing Games or Winner Loses All. The Final Session. Farewells and New Beginnings.