Privileged abandonment - the clinical challenges of working with ex-boarders
Working with privileged abandonment
An introductory day with Nick Duffell and boarding school survivors team members on the clinical challenges of working with ex-boarders. Open to psychological therapists (including trainees) from all modalities and healthcare professionals.
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 10 am - 5.30 pm at Linklater Pavilion, Railway Lane, Lewes, BN7 2FG.
Any therapist’s daily practice includes early deprivation and family of origin work, so the client with attachment problems will be familiar. What is rarely understood is the sophistication of the ex-boarder's 'survival self' and the widespread devastation it brings to individuals, couples, and families over generations.
Despite frequent references in English popular literature to the agonies experienced by children at boarding schools, the long-term psychological effects of a boarding education have, until very recently, remained unnoticed by the medical and psychological professions. In Britain, boarding education carries high social status, is considered a privilege, and is rife with parental expectation, and yet can lead to unacknowledged, deeply buried and emotionally damaging consequences.
Ex-boarders are amongst the most difficult clients. This is due to both the social dimension of the syndrome and the strength of the secret internalised shame. The self in distress is frequently masked by a very competent, if brittle, socially rewarded exterior. For these reasons, even experienced analysts and therapists may unwittingly struggle to skilfully address the needs and tactics of this client group.
This one-day workshop will provide a mix of didactic teaching and practical learning, illustrated by video clips from the BBC film The Making of Them, with full handouts and CPD certificates for attendees. Participants will be shown how to;
- detect boarding issues underlying present problems
- understand the strategic survival personality
- break-through the silence, shame and denial
- loosen double-binds about privilege and envy
- identify and work with specific transference dynamics
- understand the institutionalised dimension of hierarchies, bullying and abuse
- learn to work with traumatic dissociation
- learn to work with acute projections of incompetence and vulnerability
- understand the ex-boarder's tactics for intimacy avoidance and how this affects loved ones and partners
About Sara Warner
Nick Duffell, has practised as a psychotherapist for over 30 years, has written several books about the impact of a boarding school education including, Trauma, Abandonment and Privilege: A guide to therapeutic work with boarding school survivors, with Thurstine Basset, 2016 and currently trains therapists in this specialist field.