Tom Taylor, a former Positive Care Programme participant gave this presentation at Touchstone’s 2011 AGM.
I was in a horrible position a year ago, suffering from low self-esteem, long periods of sadness and depression. I found it so hard to get up some days after not sleeping properly the night before and used to dread the day ahead. I seemed to get every cold and virus that was going around and constantly worried about my health.
I’d been suffering these symptoms on and off for the past 10 years and in that time I had become dependant on anti-depressant drugs. I was looking for answers and a way out of the situation.
I’ve always had an interest in alternative therapies and had learned that meditation and yoga had helped my grandfather in various ways, but I’d never found time to properly allow myself to try it until PCP. After talking to a few people including my GP, I mentioned that I had an interest in this area and so after an internet search, I conveniently found PCP and set myself up for the experience.

PCP literally turned out to be the best thing I’ve ever done for myself at this time. As I said before, I’ve always had an interest in therapies but through PCP I experienced how I can control the way I feel, physically and emotionally. In my weekly visits to Burley Lodge I experienced yoga, tai chi, reflexology, Alexander technique, massage, meditation, healing, acupuncture and nutritional and anatomical information about the body. We had group discussions and seminars on looking after yourself, comforting yourself and changing negative thoughts into positive thinking. All of these therapies and classes were performed by the most warm, kind and lovely people, you could literally feel their good energy when walking into the room.
Anytime I do experience any of the old symptoms I can take a moment to myself with meditation or practice yoga, tai chi or general exercise, which seems to instantly relieve any temporary anxieties I may have and reminds me that looking after yourself makes you feel good, and that is so important. Now I wake up every morning wanting to work hard and to experience life to the fullest. I want to laugh and to make people laugh, I want to love and be loved, to help people and be good myself. I now know the creator of my future and having that self-empowerment makes you feel free and alive!