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, which is often missed when a client mentions they attended a boarding school.
Professor Joy Schaverien PhD is a Jungian Analyst, 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.
The Power Threat Meaning Framework, published in January 2018 by the Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychological Society, is an ambitious attempt to outline a conceptual alternative to the diagnostic model of emotional and psychological distress. It explores the role of power and threat in people’s lives, and describes how we respond to and create meaning out of these experiences, thus enabling the creation of new and more hopeful narratives. It is attracting significant interest in the UK and beyond. Dr Lucy Johnstone is one of the lead authors, along with Professor Mary Boyle, and will outline its key principles”
Dr Lucy Johnstone is a consultant clinical psychologist, author of 'Users and abusers of psychiatry' (2nd edition Routledge 2000) and co-editor of 'Formulation in psychology and psychotherapy: making sense of people's problems' (Routledge, 2nd edition 2013) and ‘A straight-talking guide to psychiatric diagnosis’ (PCCS Books 2014), along with a number of other chapters and articles taking a critical perspective on mental health theory and practice. She is the former Programme Director of the Bristol Clinical Psychology Doctorate and was the lead author of 'Good practice guidelines on the use of psychological formulation' (Division of Clinical Psychology, 2011.) She has worked in Adult Mental Health settings for many years, most recently in a service in South Wales. She was lead author, along with Professor Mary Boyle, for the ‘Power Threat Meaning Framework’, a Division of Clinical Psychology-funded project to outline a conceptual alternative to psychiatric diagnosis, which was published in January 2018.
Lucy is an experienced conference speaker and lecturer, and currently works as an independent trainer. Her particular interest and expertise is in the use of psychological formulation, in both its individual and team versions, and in promoting trauma-informed practice.
More information to follow
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