Join Waitlist for Boarding School Course For Ex-Boarders
Boarding School Awareness and Recovery Course
The Boarding School Awareness and Recovery Course is an online collective course to support people in developing awareness and recognition of the impact their Boarding School experience may have had on their development as children and their subsequent behaviour as adults. Many children receive messages from parents and society that it is a huge privilege for them to go to Boarding School. This can result in dismissing their own painful experiences and not acknowledging the impact that growing up in an institution without love can have on them.
This course comprises 12 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.
Arrival & first day at school.
Homesickness and Grief
Survival Personality Formation.
Puberty, Adolescence and sexual development
Taking Care of Yourself
Intimacy & romantic relationships.
Parents, Siblings and family life.
Working with Parts
Self-Esteem and Boundaries
Values, purpose and direction
Identity and Coming home.
Third Culture Kids.
Who is this Course for?
This course is for you if you have a feeling that 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.
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.
You feel you have to be grateful for your Boarding School experience.
You feel a disconnection from your siblings and parents and have a superficial relationship.
You have low-self esteem masked by an outwardly confident exterior.
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 have a deep feeling of loneliness that no amount of company can take away.
You feel like you are searching for somewhere you can call home.
You feel parts of you are unlovable.
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 and 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 the other. 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 set up 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 as 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 models 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.
In these modules, we move towards a place of acceptance. After we have explored and learnt 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
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 to support yourself. We will look at ways to work with shame and how to lift this paralyzing emotion.
Taking Care of Ourselves: In this module, we explore your own ways of looking after yourself. What it is like to take care of yourself and how 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 your 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 this. 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 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.
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 live 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 other ways that 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, loves, 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.
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 learn that it is safe to trust others, develop connections and be part of a group.
You will learn ways to reduce that critical voice in your head.
You will learn ways to assert your boundaries, and express your needs. your needs.
If you read this and feel this may help you to understand yourself better, benefit your relationships, and start to heal your own wounds, then please get in touch.
Feedback from two previous Boarding School Awareness Course members.
“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. "
Anne, New Zealand.
What did you find beneficial about doing the group Course?
The connections made through hearing other people articulate similar experiences / feelings helped with the sense of loneliness that I often feel / knowing it's not just me and not in my own head. Hearing other people struggle with similar things allowed me to feel more compassion for myself, I think, because I felt compassion for them.
Without other people in the group I might have felt a bit more cynical ('of course the therapist is telling me this is a natural response to BS... it's their job to try to validate my emotions, but actually am I just making it all up / making it out to be worse than it was) Hearing other people talk about their struggles with stuff provided another perspective / lens through which I better understand it all. This is relevant whether their experiences were the same as mine or not (e.g. gender differences / some from a forces background which I am not, etc) Hearing the breadth of different experiences - with BS as the common denominator which brought us all together - enriched the experience.
It added to my sense of accountability I think - showing up for the group and not just for myself.
I found the workbooks super helpful as a compliment to the group thing... I used to 'save' the hour after the group to do the workbooks on my own... so I was able to balance the group dynamic with some time just working through my stuff (mentioning this in case prospective clients of yours might worry that the group dynamic 'dilutes' their time to work on themselves...)
I would also add you into the mix as a group member... whilst you were very much a facilitator, therapist & expert in this area, your personal experience (and the way that you share it, in a relevant / appropriate / warm way) fostered a strong group dynamic which was crucial to it all working.
Finally - I actually think there was something really comforting about the group thing. On my own it would have felt super exposing and intense. Having others there means the light isn't shone on you the whole time and that actually makes it more manageable to delve into deeply traumatic memories, cos you're sometimes able to kind of dip in and out... rather than it being super intense, 1:1.
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.
A 12-module course including fortnightly live Zoom sessions, workbooks and a Community group for support and connection.
Individual 1:1 session with Amelia at the start of the course.
"You’ve been a wonderful therapeutic guide and source of insight & inspiration through this course and I’m so very grateful for you and for the group."
"Thank you so much Amelia. You’ve been awesome I Loved meeting everyone on the course. Thank you everyone for being so open and honest. It has really helped more than I can say."
"Your course has been hugely inspirational for so many reasons and I will carry it in my heart forever.".
Terms and Conditions
The following terms and conditions apply to those joining the Boarding School Awareness Course.
Please ensure you read them carefully and understand them in full.
Payment & Refunds
Fees are payable in full and in advance, for the course, prior to it starting (unless agreed otherwise).
If you would prefer a payment plan, please contact me and we can arrange that. Your full payment is non-refundable for the entire duration of the course regardless of whether or not the services provided are used by you
Cancellation or Postponement
If for any reason I need to cancel or postpone one of the live online events, I will rearrange dates with advance notice provided and recordings will be made available for those unable to attend the live events.
Liability & Disclaimer
The Boarding School Awareness Course and workbooks are made available as a resource to support your own wellbeing. I cannot guarantee any particular outcomes/results from using this online service.
All participants will be required to conduct themselves in a respectful and inclusive manner when communicating with others on the course. Participants are required to maintain confidentiality before, during and after, including not sharing details about other participants to third parties. If any member is deemed to be disruptive,inappropriate or abusive in anyway during the live sessions or in the private online community, they will be excluded from the group and no refund provided.
All material is for your personal use only and is not to be shared with others or used/reproduced or adapted in any way in whole or in part for your own workshop/event/coaching/therapy. You commit to keeping your course details including any passwords and Zoom links, confidential and for your use only.
Online Video Access
All live online sessions will be recorded and made available to members for viewing purposes for a short while after the course has ended, after which they will be deleted. They are not available for download.
Acceptance of Terms & Conditions
By registering and paying for The Boarding School Awareness Course, you are confirming you have read and agree to the terms and conditions as set out above.