Skip to content

Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma(s) of ‘Privileged’ Children

A one-day training workshop

Speaker: Joy Schaverien
Date: 12 June 2020, Friday
Location: London
Times: 10:00am to 4:00pm
CPD hours: 5

Ticket price per delegate: £135

Buy more than one ticket to receive our ‘bring a friend’ 5% discount on your entire order.


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, leading to a significant trauma. Multiple contributing factors may add to this trauma – sudden exposure to life in apparent captivity, abrupt severance of familial relationships and transition through adolescence in unfamiliar settings. Moreover, the children may also be unsafe because, in some schools, they might be at the mercy of bullies and sexual predators.



NScience | Mental Health Seminars

Print or Share this page​

Share on print
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Full Course Information

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. Also, in psychotherapy, we notice that the transference dynamics may replay the hidden childhood trauma of repeated losses.

The aim of this practical and intellectually stimulating seminar is to consider how, as therapists, we can work with the explicit and implicit manifestations of this Boarding School Syndrome. Our discussions will be based on Dr Schaverien’s book and we will focus on the ways in which this syndrome may present in psychotherapy.

Specifically, we will consider:

  • Anatomy of the trauma identified as the ABC-D (Abandonment, Bereavement, Captivity and Dissociation) of the Boarding School Syndrome
  • The specific trauma associated with broken attachments caused by this particular form of early separation
  • The conflict between the apparent privilege and the reality of emotional losses
  • The nature of sexual abuse encountered by some children will be considered. This includes peer on peer experiments, adult perpetrators and physical harm endured by some individuals. The discussion will include the lasting impact of this on the adults we meet in the consulting room.

About the speaker

Professor Joy Schaverien PhD is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology (London) with a private analytic and supervisory practice in the East Midlands (UK). She is Visiting Professor for the Northern Programme for Art Psychotherapy and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. She has published extensively on topics related to art and analytical psychology and her recent books include: TheDying Patient in Psychotherapy(a single case study of an erotic transference, countertransference, which is soon to be republished by Routledge)and Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the ‘Privileged” Child,(June 2015) which was a Routledge and Amazon bestseller.

NScience | Mental Health Seminars
NScience | Mental Health Seminars
NScience | Mental Health Seminars

Course Location & Directions

Broadway House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NQ

What Our Customers Say