ACAT National Conference | Key Note Speech | 13th September 2019
Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of ‘Privileged’ Children – Joy Schaverien
Key note Speech
Friday 13th September 2019 12.00 – 13.00
Location: One Birdcage Walk, London
In her book Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the “Privileged” Child Joy Schaverien identified a cluster of symptoms and behaviours, which she classified as ‘Boarding School Syndrome’. The premise is that children sent to boarding school at an early age suffer the sudden and irrevocable, loss of their primary attachments and this constitutes a significant trauma. The children are also unsafe because, in some schools, they are at the mercy of bullies and sexual predators.
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. Based on additional clinical material the talk will draw attention to the ways in which this syndrome may present in psychotherapy. It will give a sense of the depth of trauma, which is often missed when a client mentions they attended a boarding school.Visit the Website