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Relationship Help

Partners of Ex Boarders

The first step is often to begin to understand your partner's behaviour, and how you have both come to this point in your life. If this is the first time you have come across this kind of information, please find below a list of helpful books, articles and videos to view online.

Books and Articles

These are books and articles that may help with aspects of mental health that arise in people, particularly those who are in a relationship with an ex-Boarder. Most are available on Amazon.

The Gaslighting Effect by Dr Robin Stern

This book will help you to understand the emotional manipulation behind the behaviour of belittling what you do and say; so that you begin to believe you are misremembering, misunderstanding or misinterpreting your own and your partner’s behaviour.

The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk

The effects of trauma in childhood which has been unrecognised by parents and other carers can lead to difficulties in adulthood, from using substance abuse as a coping strategy to being out of touch with why you behave the way you do.

Invisible Chains by Lisa Aronson Fontes, Phd

How to help yourself when your partner changes from attentiveness to micromanaging your life, and how to take action to improve our leave your relationship.

Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft

Another interesting insight into personality types and why a partner might be engaging with others but negative and angry with you.

Healing Developmental Trauma by Laurence Heller, PHD and Aline LaPierre, PhD

An interesting insight into how the nervous system regulates feelings such as shame, low self-esteem and chronic self-judgement and ways of changing so you understand your behaviour.


Psychotherapy and Counselling can help you to find out about yourself, why you picked your partner and most importantly, what has made you stay in the relationship.

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Help for Boarding School Survivors

The Making of Them by Nick Duffell

Nick Duffell's book explains how a child sent from home at a young age begins to make sense of social cues and creates a way of behaving in order to keep themselves safe. The strategy they adopt that keeps them safe at school often becomes a barrier to a close relationship in adulthood.

Nick Duffell, who became aware of how Boarding School affected himself, has given a really good insight into understanding patterns and behaviours adopted by those at BS, and explains many characteristics of those affected in adulthood by their growing years spent in an institution.

Boarding School Syndrome by Joy Schaverien

Joy Schaverien termed the phrase Boarding School Syndrome and this book explains the pattern of behaviours exhibited by adults who have been sent away to school as children. Written with therapists in mind, it still reads easily for those who are not trained in the field, and gives a wealth of information about the particular problems boarding school syndrome may have. The book highlights a particular client, named by Schaverien as Theo, and follows him as he works through his school life and the abuse that took place there.

Trauma Abandonment and Privilege by Nick Duffell & Thurstine Bassett

Written with therapists in mind, it still reads easily for those who are not trained in the field, and gives a wealth of information with examples and case studies Also, well worth a read are the articles written by Simon Partridge.

Although I am not aware if Simon has written any books, his articles have appeared in many psychological journals and he is well known for his work – and also for discovering the term Residential School Syndrome which predates Schaverien's; terminology of Boarding School Syndrome.

Residential School Syndrome was named by Dr Charles Brasfield who wrote about indigenous children in Canada who were removed from their families and placed for adoption.

Wounded Leaders by Nick Duffell

A really good insight into why ex-Boarders are raised to be Lawyers, Barristers, Politicians and leaders. The book gives an insight into people who head up some of the greatest companies in the world, or high-flyers in the corporate and business world.


Britains Youngest Boarders

Cutting Edge follows four eight-year-old girls as they adjust to a new life away from their parents and their home.

The Making of Them

British TV documentary filmed in September 1993 about young boys starting boarding prep school. The earliest example of a TV documentary about "modern" boarding.

Helena Thomas is a qualified Psychotherapist, and has been seeing Ex Boarders and their Partners in therapy for many years. She also offers therapy on a one to one basis, or for couples who are experiencing difficult relationship issues

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