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The Boarding School Therapist

Supporting those who wish to explore and understand the impact Boarding School may have had on their childhood development and subsequent behaviour as adults.

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What is Boarding School Syndrome?

It is now widely recognized that there are a collection of learned behaviors and emotional states that may follow growing up in boarding school which can lead to distress.  Joy Schaverien has labeled this "Boarding School Syndrome."

The symptoms can include:​

  • Depression, workaholism, burnout, low self-care. An inability to relax.

  • Relationship difficulties, Parenting difficulties, fear of intimacy. Sexual problems.

  • Emotional numbness, hypervigilance, shame, and guilt. Fear of groups.

  • Low-self esteem masked by an outwardly confident exterior.

  • Trauma, Grief, Isolation, Loneliness,


What To Expect From Therapy

Together we will be able to explore and make sense of your experience and feelings. Ex-boarders often feel their schooling was a privilege and therefore they may have never allowed any negative feelings about their schooling to surface. They may have developed a suit of protective armor from a young age, to protect their vulnerability and survive. As an adult, this may prevent closer intimacy and connection.

It takes a lot of courage to open up and let someone else see how exhausting it is having to constantly hold it all together all the time. Especially when you have had to manage on your own from such a young age. We can explore what you genuinely want and need from yourself and relationships and learn nourishing ways to support yourself.