Help and advice for former boarders

If you feel that the issues raised here have struck a chord, we recommend the following, based on the experiences of others.


  • Read around the issue
    How about reading what other former boarders have to say?
  • Then have a look at some of the reading or viewing in our Resources section, particularly the TV documentary, The Making of Them.
  • These may help you feel you are not alone.

  • Get a hold of two key books:
  • Nick Duffell’s The Making of Them (2000)
  • Joy Schaverien’s Boarding School Syndrome (2015)
  • Read them, feeling free to relate what they say to your own experiences. They are easy to read and contain revelations for former boarders.

  • Find a counsellor who has special training to work with former boarders/boarding school survivors
    If your counsellor is not familiar with the issues, refer them to this website.
  • Along with the two books we mention above, suggest your counsellor reads Trauma, Abandonment and Privilege
    A guide to therapeutic work with boarding school survivors (2016).
  • Boarding Recovery is a growing network of accredited psychotherapists and trained counsellors who specialise in working with former boarders.
  • Drop us a line if you are having problems locating a suitable counsellor. We maintain a list of counsellors around the world.

  • Consider joining a Boarding School Survivors workshop
    Boarding School Survivors hold workshops annually in London. Many former boarders have found these workshops affirming and liberating.

  • Think about supporting us
    Through this whole process, you might like to support Boarding Concern and receive our newsletters, which include stories and creative writings from other former boarders. You can also sign up to our Forum. We hold conferences where you can meet others with a similar experience to yourself.

What ever steps you take or emotions you experience, know that you are not alone and we are always available to give referrals and support. We hope that you meet others on your journey to growth and self-awareness. Above all we wish you well.