The Unhoused Mind| Boarding School Syndrome| 24th October| WPF London
LONDON VENUE : Essex Church, 112 Palace Gardens Terrace, Notting Hill, W8 4RT
Psychic homelessness and the analytic frame
‘…the house a substitute for the womb – one’s first dwelling place, probably still longed for, where one was safe and felt so comfortable’.
(Freud, S. 1930 Civilisation and its Discontents)
Homelessness can be a concrete and a psychic state – descriptive of estrangement and a lack of containment – and both states are sometimes closely entwined in each other.
Professor Joy Schaverien
Boarding School Syndrome: Broken Attachments a Hidden Trauma
In her new book Prof Schaverien identifies a cluster of symptoms and behaviours, which she proposes be classified as ‘Boarding School Syndrome’. Children sent to boarding school at an early age suffer the sudden and irrevocable, loss of their primary attachments; for many this constitutes a significant trauma. Bullying and sexual abuse may follow, rendering new attachment figures unsafe. To adapt to the system, a defensive and protective encapsulation of the self may be acquired; the true identity of the person then remains hidden. This pattern may continue into adult life, distorting intimate relationships. In psychotherapy the transference dynamics may replay the hidden childhood trauma of repeated losses. This illustrated talk will explain how this calls for a particular psychotherapeutic approach.