Book Review - Counselling for Toads by Robert de Board

Based on the characters and setting of Kenneth Grahame’s “The Wind in the Willows” we find Toad has fallen in a deep depression. We then follow Toad on his journey through counselling with Heron as his Counsellor.

Heron uses a variety of therapy models, such as Person Centred, Psychodynamic and Existential, to help Toad explore his childhood, his relationships and his way of being. Heron also makes great use of the Transactional Analysis’ ego states of Child, Parent and Adult to help Toad understand why he and others behave in the ways that they do. Providing Toad with some Psychoeducation, as he learns to analyse his own feelings and develop his emotional intelligence. 

Heron explains counselling beautifully and we accompany Toad as he explores his difficult childhood and how that is influencing him in the present, how he has trouble expressing his anger and the guilt that he feels and how he relates to his friends Rat, Mole and Badger.

When Toad reaches the end of his counselling Heron helps Toad review the progress he has made and the work that they have done. Toad then ventures back in to the world anew, ready for his next adventure.


This is a fantastic book. Well written and easy to understand and follow. The counselling process is very eloquently explained from beginning to end and as Toad learns to understand himself and the world around him I could feel his progress and felt genuine empathy with him when the work got hard.


Who is this book good for?

This is an ideal book for those thinking about trying counselling as it will give you some idea of what to expect and what it might be like for you. I can not recommend it enough, thoroughly informative and engaging.  


The Audible version is charmingly narrated by Charles Hunt, who succeeds in bring all the characters to life. 

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