Simon Partridge & Annie Power

Boarding School Syndrome: The disguised trauma of the privileged

Simon Partridge, writer, with Annie Power, psychotherapist

Saturday 26 January 2013
10.30 to 12.30 – coffee from 10.00am
St Botolph’s Church Hall, Bishopsgate, London EC2

This meeting is open to qualified or trainee clinicians – BACP, BPC and UKCP registered – only

£10 at the door, for ICC members and non-members

Simon will open with a brief extract from the Channel 4 prep school documentary “Leaving Home at 8” (Feb 2010 – also available at He will then outline a brief history of the elaboration of boarding school syndrome, from the late 1980s until today. This will be followed by some personal recollections of what it felt like not to have his boarding school trauma recognised in therapy. He will end with a few policy recommendations pertinent to therapy and education.

Annie will reflect on the experience of early boarding from an attachment theory perspective, thinking particularly about how the impact of early separation may depend on a child’s attachment style. Her thesis is that while a secure attachment normally provides resilience, in this unusual situation it may provide little protection. Children who arrive at prep school with a somewhat avoidant style may be better prepared for what will follow; the boarding system is both the product of, and the incubator for, an avoidant/dismissing style. This will be illustrated by some clinical vignettes.

Simon Partridge is an ex-analysand and a freelance writer who has covered several fields: community broadcasting; devolved politics; the British-Irish conflict; ethno-cultural mingling across our Isles; and, more recently, the mental and bodily consequences of the upper class/boarding school nexus, inter-generational war trauma and early life trauma. He is involved with the Boarding Concern – – the boarding school survivors’ self-help and lobby network. Email:

Annie Power trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Bowlby Centre; she has an MA in supervision from WPF/Roehampton and trained in couple work with Relate. She has taught on various psychotherapy and supervision courses and currently works at Regent’s College. Having previously worked in the NHS and voluntary agencies, she now has a private practice in central London.

For further information please contact
Luisa Powell,, 020 3417 5280

Accredited for CPD – certificates available

The church of St Botolph Without Bishopsgate is between Liverpool Street Station and London Wall. From Liverpool Street Station take the Bishopsgate exit and turn right. St Botolph’s is on the right, about three minutes walk.The Church Hall is in the garden behind the church.