UK government commissioning research to help schools identify which mental health approaches worked best.

We wonder if this “research” will examine Boarding School Syndrome or the Strategic Survival Personality?

Both of these issues are well established, with Nick Duffell identifying the latter back in the 1990s and Professor Joy Schaverien identifying the former more recently. And the mental health issues of boarders and former boarders so often raised in the media?

Don’t hold your breath!

BBC News


Conference: Boarding School: Surviving the Syndrome 09.09.2017


Boarding School: Surviving the Syndrome

Broken Attachment and Childhood Trauma

University of Brighton

Saturday, 9 September 2017 (9.30am to 5pm)

Conference for psychotherapists, counsellors, mental health workers, boarding school survivors and other interested people.

Conference overall aims are to:

  • Present key aspects of what has been published about the psychological and other effects of boarding.
  • Explore helpful therapeutic approaches for clients who are former boarders.
  • Consider current research and a possible agenda for future research
  • Enable networking amongst those interested in this important topic

Chair: Pam Howard, School of Applied Social Science, University of Brighton.

Speakers: Nick Duffell, Joy Schaverien, Alex Renton, Thurstine Basset, Anni Townend, Olya Khaleelee.

Group Discussion Facilitators: Marcus Gottlieb, Leslie Lund, Nicola Miller, Simon Partridge, Boarding Concern Directors.

For more details, contact Laura Williams:

Boarding schools and social workers’ hostility?

Maybe social workers are not caught up in the fetish of boarding? Maybe they do not want to send vulnerable children away from foster care and into loveless institutions, riddled with a history of abusing children?

And it has nothing to do with any fantasy of that perennial bogey “leftwing ideology”. Just practical, common sense that children are generally best raised in families than sent away to develop Boarding School Syndrome and or to become “Wounded Leaders“…

The Times (letters) (subscription)

Boarding School Survivors offers a Post-Graduate Diploma in Specialist Psychotherapy with former boarders this year

Boarding School Survivors runs another The Un-making of Them, their
Post-Graduate Diploma in Specialist Psychotherapy with former boarders, starting 20 May 2017.

You can find full details about the dates, costs and venue on their website at Boarding School Survivors. They ask for a deposit of £200 to reserve a place.

Please email Lyn Jones, their Administrator, so she can hold you a place pending acceptance.

Full house at our 2016 Conference

We welcomed 75 attendees to our 2016 Conference in London last Saturday. The fullest we have been. To date…

And this despite there being a separate Boarding School Survivors course for women in London. And another survivors event elsewhere in England.

Professor Joy Schaverien was our keynote speaker, addressing the topic of: The Creation of Boarding School Syndrome: Girls and Boys; How does the trauma differ? See this flyer for more details.

Some images of the day:

Measuring Our Leaders’ Judgement

After two weeks of unprecedented political turmoil and fallout following the EU Referendum, recent work on the capacity of our society to produce leaders with faulty judgement through the British boarding school system (‘Wounded Leaders’ as Nick Duffell calls them) has never been more relevant.

The psychodynamics of political life are in full swing with the shock result of the EU Referendum, the resignation of the Prime Minister and the savaging of the Leader of the Opposition by his own Shadow Cabinet; this, followed by betrayal and backstabbing, leading to the resignation of a key and popular Brexiteer and the mobilisation of a new female head of the Conservative party. No longer is a week in politics a long time, now each day brings more shock revelations.

The Huffington Post

Boarding Schools Are a National Security Threat

Britain and the United States rely on elite, private academies to mold their future leaders. Instead of cultivating statesmen, they’re producing brutish, entitled, insecure bullies.

Aide from their tousled hair, foul mouths, and inflated flamboyance, one might think there’s little in common between the blue-blooded English intellectual Boris Johnson and the outer-borough-born erstwhile casino magnate Donald J. Trump. But there’s one commonality in their upbringings that helps explain the common distortions in their personalities and politics — their attendance of private boarding schools.

Nick Duffell writing in Foreign Policy