Online tickets are no longer available for this event. Tickets will be available on the door for £22.
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public event

start date


end date



11:00 - 13:00


online in advance £ 20.00


Investcorp Auditorium
St. Anthony's College
62 Woodstock Rd
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 6JF
United Kingdom

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boarding school syndrome: the psychological trauma of ‘privileged’ children


This is the first of an annual series of bpf Wessex events in which analytic consideration is given to themes of social importance.

In her book 'Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the “Privileged” Child' Joy Schaverien identified a cluster of symptoms and behaviours, which she classified as ‘Boarding School Syndrome’. The premise is that children sent to boarding school at an early age suffer the sudden and irrevocable loss of their primary attachments and this constitutes a significant trauma. The children are also unsafe because, in some schools, they are at the mercy of bullies and sexual predators.

To adapt to the system, a defensive and protective encapsulation of the self may be acquired; the true identity of the person then remains hidden. This pattern may continue into adult life, distorting intimate relationships. In psychotherapy the transference dynamics may replay the hidden childhood trauma of repeated losses. Based on additional clinical material the talk will draw attention to the ways in which this syndrome may present in psychotherapy. It will give a sense of the depth of trauma, including sexual abuse, which is often missed when a patient mentions they attended a boarding school.


Registration, tea and coffee start at 10.30 am. Tickets are also available on the door at £22.

about the speaker

Professor Joy Schaverien, PhD , is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology (London) with a private analytic and supervisory practice in the East Midlands. She is Visiting Professor for the Northern Programme for Art Psychotherapy and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. She has published extensively on topics related to art and analytical psychology and her recent books include: 'The Dying Patient in Psychotherapy' (a single case study of an erotic transference/countertransference, which is soon to be republished by Routledge) and 'Boarding School Syndrome: The Psychological Trauma of the ‘Privileged’ Child' (June 2015), which was a Routledge and Amazon bestseller.


how to get there

By train: 22 -30 minutes’ walk or bus from Oxford Station.

By car: the nearest Park and Ride to St Antony's is Peartree OX2 8JD, from where you can take the 300 bus to just outside the College entrance.

accessibility:  The venue has full wheelchair accessibility 

disclaimer: The bpf will not be held responsible for travel/hotel expenses made or incurred in the unlikely event of this course either being cancelled or postponed.

See our cancellation & refund policy

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online in advance £ 20.00