Helplines, therapy and advice

Chris Watkins

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood supports people recovering from emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Free support line on 0808 801 0331

BSS-S Boarding School Survivors Support

New organisation with a wealth of experience.

“Set up to…

  • help boarding school survivors understand and recover from their boarding experience.
  • provide information for those considering boarding for their children and current boarders.
  • press for change.

We do so through an annual conference, newsletters, information, and responding personally to any and every enquiry. Explore our growing website for advice and resources and to contact us“.

Boarding Concern
“Boarding Concern challenges the practice of educating children in residential institutions, based on the growing evidence of harm from boarding.” It also offers a support service for ex-boarders, and can help people find therapeutic professionals and counselling.  Boarding Concern also has a great database of written and broadcast material on these issues.

British Association of Counselling Professionals

Reliable source of therapeutic help.

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Complex childhood trauma may lead to severe mental health issues in adulthood, which often affects the families of adult survivors. Advice and help on the excellent US site, and a phone line.

A new and effective website that helps find the therapist or counsellor best suited to someone’s needs. It is run by a friend and I have written for it, unpaid.

Dr  Joy Schaverien
Psychoanalyst and therapist who specialises in “boarding school syndrome” – her book on the subject is excellent.
Her website contains links to her writing on the subject and that of others

Nick Duffell

A respected psychotherapist who has been writing on boarding school issues and running much-acclaimed courses for “survivors” for 20 years with Boarding School Survivors.
Selected recent books on boarding schools, crimes and abuses, and psychological issues


Ian Mucklejohn

Had: The Tragedy of Crookham Court School (Karnac, 2016)
An extraordinary insider’s account of the school whose systemic abuse of children got the laws on child protection in Britain changed. Mucklejohn was a teacher at Crookham Court.

Mark Stibbe

Home at Last: Freedom from Boarding School Pain (Malcolm Down)

Mark argues that there are many thousands of wounded leaders just like him, men and women who suffer throughout their lives with homesick souls. This often leads to them being driven to succeed in their work while failing to engage emotionally at home. Coming Home at Last tells a poignant story and offers a unique model of healing. It provides psychological insights, yes, but it also delivers the blueprint for a spiritual homecoming.

Joy Schaverien

Boarding School Syndrome The Psychological Trauma of the ‘Privileged’ Child
(Routledge, 2015) Highly readable academic book from a noted psychoanalyst.

Nick Duffell and Thurstine Basset

Trauma, Abandonment and Privilege (Routledge, 2016)
Fascinating guidebook for survivors and for psychotherapists.

Nick Duffell

The Making of Them  (Lone Arrow Press, 2010)
The original book by the first psychotherapist to address the damage done by boarding schools.

Wounded Leaders: the Psychohistory of British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion, London (Lone Arrow Press, 2014) The father of boarding school survivor psychotherapy addresses the troubles of the British ruling classes.