Boarding School Counselling

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Counselling & Psychotherapy

with adults who went to Boarding School

or have family members who went to Boarding School 

Since training in The Boarding School Experience in 2011/12 with Nick Duffell (author of The Making of Them, Arrow Press 2000, and co-author of Trauma, Abandonment & Privilege, Routledge 2016), I have been working with former boarders and partners of former boarders. A core part of my overall training has been my personal therapy – see drawing above and photograph below: my ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures.

I am a member of Boarding Recovery’s group of therapists – www.boardingrecovery.com.

This particular form of education is still predominantly regarded as ‘privileged’ due to educational opportunities and cost. What has largely been ignored until recently is both the impact of being separated from family, friends, pets and home, and the impact of survival, however vital at the time, in an institution – whether at a young age or during early teen years: the cost of hiding vulnerability behind a persona that ‘works’ in the highly competitive, achievement-driven environment.

The effects of adapting to the core requirements of Boarding School can linger long into adulthood.

  • Are relationships hard for you to sustain? Do you both long for and resist intimacy?
  • Are emotions difficult to express?
  • Do you dread goodbyes – prolong, rush or avoid them altogether?
  • Do you hoard food, money, belongings?
  • Are you a ‘workaholic’?
  • Are you ‘institutionalised’ – afraid of life beyond comfort-zone?

As an ex-boarder, you may judge yourself a failure for needing help, resist or scorn ‘making a fuss’. As a human being, however, you may discover sharing with another person how it really was, and identifying the means by which you managed, can make all the difference.

My work is informed by professional study and practice, by personal experience of boarding and by my own therapeutic process.

If you would like to make an initial appointment, or simply ask questions, please email me: jane.barclay@jbcounselling.co.uk or telephone: 01392 969380 / 07812983803.

For additional information, literature and links to documentaries, please visit the website of Boarding Concern at www.boardingconcern.com.

Session fees: £65

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WORKSHOPS

The Boarding School Experience

1 day workshops for Counsellors and Psychotherapists to raise awareness:

– to understand what it means to board at school:

  • in terms of disrupted attachment
  • in relation to hierarchy of needs
  • in terms of adaptation to institutional living
  • in terms of trauma, survival and recovery
  • to explore ways the therapist can facilitate re-integration of the boarding-school child

Next date to be arranged.