As I was apprehensive about starting counselling I didn’t know what to expect, but Tom made me feel at ease and welcome, I feel like I have grown as a person and tackled my issues in ways I couldn’t do my self without the help and guidance from Tom. The time I spent in the sessions was a calm and relaxing atmosphere knowing there was full confidentiality and I felt like I could open up and confide in Tom completely. 
I was fortunate enough to be allocated Tom as my volunteer counsellor, when I was referred to Pathways Family Centre in Barnsley, following a recent mental breakdown.
This was unfortunately the second breakdown that I have experienced and I was in an even  more dark, hopeless place than the first time.
Throughout the 23 weeks that I have known Tom, he has shown unending patience and understanding.  Having taken the brave step of trusting me with personal details of his own, he built up a trust and empathy with me which was no mean feat and which has been a huge support during my ongoing slow recovery.
I am very grateful to Tom for being there and, as he mentioned that he wishes to progress his career in mental health, I can only say that I wish him the best with all my thanks and remain convinced that he will succeed in his goals.
I was surprised how much it has helped just getting things off my chest that I have never told anyone before without judgement.
It’s crazy how much it has helped me with things. You’ve helped me build my confidence and made me realise it’s not always going to be bad.

I had never tried formal counselling before I saw Tom. At that time, things looked bleak: we had suffered two bereavements in quick succession; a bout of severe depression was not responding to medication; and after years of patient emotional support, my wife was considering a temporary separation. The first few sessions were really first aid: identifying negative feelings of isolation and lack of competence; where these came from; were they rational; and how to challenge them. I found Tom very empathetic, but non-judgemental but able get me to question my moods and to think more objectively.

As I recovered, we moved on to looking at close relationships and especially the need for me to develop more empathy; be more receptive to subtle hints from my wife; and not to assume that she would always be emotionally strong enough to carry me through periodic crises. In the final sessions, we looked to the future: voluntary work; how to avoid recurrences of depression; recognising warning signs; resilience; and discussing with my GP current research on stopping or continuing long term low dose anti-depressants.After seven very useful sessions with Tom, I was feeling much more positive. I have gone back to enjoying my hobbies; I have started work in two interesting voluntary posts; my wife has not left. While recognising that I still have some work to do on our relationship, we have become much closer.I found that Tom provided a safe environment to examine and question my mood swings; discuss and explore ideas, such as voluntary work and how to become more flexible. I would certainly go back to him if I needed counselling again and I would recommend him to anyone else who is in the situation I was in earlier this year.


Tom was very understanding throughout my time spent with him. I was stuck in such a dark place it was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. The welcoming and ability to help me accept my mental illness and get me into such a happier place I can not thank him enough. Talking really does help, I have known tom for a number of years and did not expect to meet him in a totally different mental state. He made things so easy to open up and explain my mind. I would highly recommend tom to anybody going through a hard time. Thank you for all your help tom.


Before speaking with you, I’d never spoken out about my problems or even thought about seeing anyone, but now after doing so I feel relieved and it has taken a lot of pressure off me. You’ve helped me build confidence within, and guided me forward into the next stages. I think is incredible how much just speaking to someone who understands can help.