Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure
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'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.
of me.’ He paused for a while, again deep in thought. ‘Perhaps that is why I developed a tendency to show off. They never seemed pleased or impressed with what I did, so I indulged in extravagant and stupid behaviour to try and gain their attention. Is that likely, Heron?’ Heron looked intensely at Toad and realised that, at that moment, Toad’s voice and appearance exactly complemented his words. For he looked and sounded, and clearly felt, like a very sad child. This sadness affected the Heron
loud tweed jackets, ample plus-fours and the whole set off with a pink Leander Club bow-tie. So what did it signify about Toad’s emotional state that he was unwashed and ungroomed and wearing a sweater stiff with food droppings? And if Mole dared admit it, Toad, who always used a good cologne, was a bit smelly. Later that night after their supper, Rat and Mole were sitting in front of a glowing fire, toasting their toes and sipping mugs of hot toddy. Mole had, of course, told Rat all about Toad
your childhood. But I don’t know your story from beginning to end. Do you want to tell it to me?’ ‘Yes I do,’ said Toad, ‘very much indeed. I would like to tell you my complete story. I’ve never told it to anyone before. It’s not that it is so amazing. In fact, it’s rather commonplace, I suppose. I just want the opportunity to tell someone everything that has ever happened to me. Just once. So that you can understand.’ ‘Very well,’ said Heron. ‘Let’s do that at our meeting next week. You shall be
all, I may have taken up one of these so-called “positions” when I was three or four but now that I am…’ he paused, ‘now that I am older, it seems quite irrelevant’ Interestingly, Toad never gave his precise age and Heron never knew it. ‘My dear Toad,’ said the Heron patiently, ‘the whole point is that these are life positions. Once we decide on these attitudes as children, we hold on to them for the rest of our lives. They become the very fabric of our being. From then on, we construct a world
stupid.’ ‘I’m sorry about that,’ said Heron, ‘but that was the game.’ ‘Was it really?’ enquired Toad, still in a huff. ‘I hope you realise that I didn’t enjoy it. What was this so-called game called?’ ‘It is called “Guess the Word in My Head”. Teachers have played this with their pupils for years and of course they are bound to win. It ensures that the student feels stupid, as you 58 Counselling for Toads did just then, and it ensures that the master triumphs over ignorant pupils and feel