This course helps ex-boarders reflect on how they have been impacted by going to boarding school, so they can make changes in their present behaviour and create more nourishing, healthier relationships with themselves and others.

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What will you get if you join the Course for Ex-boarders?

  • 12 module course to be spread over 24 weeks.

  • 12 videos to watch in your own time with accompanying workbook to assist reflection and journaling.

  • Fortnightly live Q+A  / group discussion  with Amelia and others on the course.

  • Access to a safe and supportive private community for additional support, connection and friendship with others doing the course.

  • 1:1 Session with Amelia prior to joining the course.

  • Option for further paid 1:1 session with Amelia if you wish.

This course comprises 12 modules plus three bonus modules in which you will start to explore some of the ways your Boarding School experience may have impacted you, and how you can start to heal and make changes so that you find ways to feel more content within.

Awareness (Then)

  • Arrival & First Day At School
  • Homesickness and Grief
  • Survival Personality Formation
  • Puberty , adolescence and sexual development 

Acceptance (Now)

  • Emotional Regulation
  • Taking Care of Yourself
  • Parenting, Siblings and Family Life
  • Intimacy & Romantic Relationships 

Integration and Change (Future)

  • Working with Parts
  • Values and Boundaries
  • Work, purpose and direction
  • Identity and Adulting.


  • Women's Experience
  • Men's Experience

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you think Boarding School may have impacted you but you are not sure how, and have not found the space or people you feel safe enough to be able to explore your thoughts and feelings about this. ​

This is a mixed-gender course as I believe we have much to learn and experience from one another and to counter some of the negative impacts of growing up in single-sexed institutions. ​I have included a separate module for men and women as I do recognise there are certain experiences unique to their experience.

See if any of these below resonate:

  • You find it hard to ask for help and can often push yourself to exhaustion before allowing yourself to rest.
  • You find it hard to express your feelings and feel shame for showing your vulnerability and appearing weak.
  • You feel you have to be grateful for your Boarding School experience and shouldn’t complain.
  • You feel a disconnection from your siblings and parents and have a superficial relationship in comparison to others.
  • You have low-self esteem masked by an outwardly confident exterior.  
  • You find it hard to express your wants and needs and might not even know what they are.
  • You struggle to assert boundaries.
  • You keep one foot out of intimate relationships and don't allow yourself to fully love your partner or be loved.
  • Your fear of abandonment can cause you to stay in unhealthy relationships.
  • You can fit in everywhere but feel you belong nowhere.
  • You struggle to parent your own children as you have no blueprint on how to do it.
  • You find it hard to trust others and often feel safer being by yourself.
  • You struggle in groups whether socially or at work.
  • You have a deep feeling of loneliness that no amount of company can take away.
  • You find it hard to settle in one place and often wonder if the grass is greener. 
  • You feel parts of you are unlovable and broken.
  • You feel scared and carry anxiety but can’t work out why.
  • You feel lost and without direction and can’t work out what to do.

If you read this and feel this may help you to understand yourself better, benefit your relationships, and improve your self-esteem then please get in touch.

What will be covered?

Awareness (Then): The first stage of this course is building your awareness of how your schooling may have shaped you. Once we can recognise where these beliefs about ourselves or patterns of behaviour came from, we can consciously try and do it differently.
  • Arrival & First Day At School: You will begin by exploring your own personal experience of the lead-up and experience of your first day at school. We will look at the ways young children manage that transition from home life to school life and that threshold moment as they transition from one to another. You will have the opportunity to reflect on what that was like for you and understand how you adapted to this change.
  • Homesickness and Grief: Were you homesick at all? How did you manage your feelings? How were others treated who showed their sadness? We contact the loss that you may have felt or not felt when you went away to school and how it came out. We explore the impact of the continual packing and unpacking of your trunk and how that can create two separate selves. A home self and a school self and how that can setup a feeling of homelessness that can continue into adulthood.
  • Survival Personality Formation: In this module, we go deeper into exploring how you developed your own strategy to cope with growing up in an institution. What character adaptations you had to make and what helped you manage when you had no regular parental support. I explain the Survivor Personality typologies defined by Nick Duffel, as well adding my own and we look at ways these ways of being may help or hinder you now. 
  • Puberty, Adolescence and Sexual Development: Here we explore the impact of going through puberty and adolescence in a boarding school, where you may have had no privacy and the only role modules for relationships may have been other pupils. We explore how this impacted your own sexual development and how your own gender identity may have been influenced by the norms and values imparted by your school. We look at the impact of food and body image on your growing self and whether you missed the necessary developmental stage of teenage rebellion.
Acceptance (Now): In these modules, we move towards a place of acceptance. After we have explored and learn how boarding school may have shaped you, it is time to try and move into a place of noticing how it affects your present life and accepting your experience. This can be a time when you can feel lots of emotions.
  • Emotional Regulation: We will look at the different emotions, how they show up, how we feel about them and how we can regulate ourselves if we get overwhelmed. You will learn about Trauma and Complex PTSD and how that gets trapped in your body and how you support yourself. We will look at ways to work with shame and how to lift this paralysing emotion.
  • Taking Care of Ourselves: In this module, we explore your own ways of looking after yourself. What is it like to take care of yourself and how do you do it. How do you manage when you are ill? Do you take pride in being independent and not needing anyone? How do you start to be compassionate to yourself when you had to grow up alone and do this for yourself? You will learn ways to change these patterns and how to implement more self-care so that you are less likely to suffer from burnout or depression.
  • Parenting, Siblings and Family Life: We begin by exploring the impact that sending a child to boarding school may have on sibling relationships. We will look at how your own relationship with our parents may have been affected and explore different ways you may be able to talk to your parents about your schooling should you wish to. We look at the difficulties that may arise within your own present-day family when parenting your own children if you have them and ways that may help you with. We look at Transgenerational trauma and you may discover how Boarding School has played a role in your whole family system and what you can now do to change that.
  • Intimacy & Romantic Relationships: We look at how your present-day relationships may have been impacted by your school upbringing. We will look at attachment theory, how you identify and how this shows up for you in your relationships. We look at the impact of hiding your emotions and vulnerability, why you may find criticism incredibly hard, and how you may carry an abandonment wound that can cause you to act out in relationships that cause you difficulties. You will learn ways to express yourself and improve your relationships.
Integration and Change (Future): In this stage we look at how to implement the changes that we may want to make and what will help you to do that. We look at ways to quieten that critical voice you may have in your head, how to implement boundaries, and how to continue to find ways to love which will nourish and nurture you as the adult you are now.
  • Working with Parts: I will show you how to recognise the different parts that show up for you at different times and how you can support yourselves as an adult and turn compassionately to the parts of you that you have shut out, disconnected from, and split off when you went to school.
  • Self-Esteem and Boundaries: Children growing up in boarding schools have little privacy and boundaries are often crossed. Here you will learn what boundaries are important to you, why they matter and how to assert them in relationships to support yourself. We will also look at ways you can improve your self-esteem.
  • Values, Purpose and Direction: Boarding School inflicts certain values on children and pushes them into certain careers or belief systems about who they should be and how they should live their life. This is your opportunity to look within and work out your own personal values and what matters to you. Are you in the career you want to be in? Do you feel you have autonomy to make your own choices or do you still feel captive by the constraints imposed on you from elsewhere.
  • Identity and Coming Home: In this final module, we will reflect on all your learning and connect with who you are now. Your likes, dislikes, passions. What brings you joy and nourishment. We will look at the benefits of conscious adulting. We will reflect on your ending at your school, how you do endings today and find ways to do it differently if you wish to.
  • Women's Experience
  • Men's Experience

How might it benefit me?

  • You will increase your awareness of some of the common themes that ex-boarders struggle with as adults and realise that you are not alone.
  • You will have a space to be seen, heard, and witnessed, and your story be told.
  • You will understand how being sent away to school can impact and shape a child's development.
  • You will learn ways to regulate your emotions better and find ways to express your feelings.
  • You will learn better ways to care for yourself and allow yourself to receive care and help from others.
  • You will develop a greater understanding of your own sexual development and how this impacts you now.
  •  You will understand how early abandonment can impact you in your present relationships and how to heal that part of you.
  • You will learn ways to express your needs and wants and desires and know that they matter.
  • You will be supported should you wish to talk to members of your family about your experience. 
  • You will develop connections and be supported by others in the group as we explore this together.
  • You will not feel alone. 

If you read this and feel this may help you to understand yourself better, benefit your relationships, and start to heal your own wounds, join our waitlist below to be notified when doors open or get in touch by clicking 'Book a Call' button below.

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“I have read a lot  of books about BSS, CPTSD, trauma etc so I am aware of the issues and I am part of another BS Facebook group so know there is a commonality in the issues but listening to your video was the first time I have actually HEARD someone describe it so well and encapsulate it and as I said, it could have been me you were describing - so much of what you said was me - even down to the language you used - I have actually described myself in a relationship as always having one foot out of the bed, and describing that deep, profound loneliness , the hollowness and the never fitting in.  Just this week I was trying to describe to someone how it was too dangerous to allow myself to ever completely trust anyone. They were shocked and just didn’t get it.  Just hearing it articulated and understanding that it’s not me that is broken - I am a result of what I went through, just helps make sense of it. So thank you again for taking the time to make the video and for sharing it.”

"I joined the course because I wanted to explore and heal more of the trauma of boarding school and to get more free from the impact of that experience on my life. And to be supported by a professional who has personal experience of this too and can therefore truly understand how devastating boarding school is. I enjoyed learning at my own rate, taking my time, having the space and the opportunity to pause and reflect when it felt like a lot to be processing. The greatest learning was truly understanding for the first time why my boarding school experiences had been so excruciatingly painful and validation of those feelings. I am now able to hold myself with more tender compassion and be with the feelings that arise, without feeling so overwhelmed by it and knowing that I am not alone. Completing this course has benefitted me as I feel that some of the pain has lessened and I am able to be more compassionate with myself and others who have also had this experience in their lives. It has given me the courage to go back to my boarding school to visit, which was a very empowering experience, to have the courage to be interviewed on a podcast about my experiences. I highly recommend working with Amelia, I will be doing more courses with her again in the future."

“To feedback, our sessions have had such a profound impact on my sense of self. The validation I have received and the insight to my own thoughts have allowed me to realise I am deserving of self-love and I am capable to follow a course that aligns with my own goals. Ultimately this had led to a fundamental belief that I am capable of finding and achieving happiness, a belief which seemed like an illusion not so long ago. For me the first step towards this happiness is acceptance; acceptance of the past experiences that have led me to who I am today, and then realising and acknowledging that I have changed and continue to change; knowing that I am now a different person (because of our sessions) is a sense of healing I never thought I would achieve, and I now feel excited for the future because I am now developing a different relationship with myself. This is quite difficult to articulate, because this is a totally new emotional sensational that I am learning to harness.”

“I can’t put into words how wonderful Amelia was to me, and how helpful she was in a very dark time in my life. I would recommend her to anyone. She changed my life, thank you Amelia”.

About Amelia

Amelia is an experienced Therapist and Tutor who has worked for many charities and organisations over the past 12 years including the NHS and Brighton University. She has specialist psychotherapy training with ex-boarders, which she undertook with Nick Duffel. She provides individual therapy, courses and workshops for ex-boarders and Therapists.

As an ex-boarder herself, she is passionate about enabling others to see beyond the “privilege" and recognise some of the impact that having early attachments broken can have on young children. She supports ex-boarders in developing their own awareness of how their schooling may have shaped them. By telling their stories, expressing their feelings and releasing any shame, they start to learn to trust themselves and others so they can step fully into healthy relationships and ways of being.

Outside of work, you’ll find her at the waters edge. in her hometown of Brighton, as she is a passionate sea swimmer. However, she prioritises parenting her three teenage daughters and relishes seeing them grow up in a city they call home.