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Partridge, S. (2007). Trauma at the Threshold: An Eight-Year-Old Goes to Boarding School. Att: New Dir. in Psychother. Relat. Psychoanal., 1(3):310-312.

(2007). Attachment: New Directions in Psychotherapy and Relational Psychoanalysis, 1(3):310-312

Trauma at the Threshold: An Eight-Year-Old Goes to Boarding School Related Papers

Simon Partridge

As a consequence of attending a boarding school survivors workshop at which he saw the documentary film The Making of Them, about being sent off to prep school (echoing James Robertson's seminal film A Two-Year-Old Goes to Hospital), the fifty-nine-year-old author retrieves the dreadful experience of being left at the age of eight. He discovers feelings left untouched by his Kleinian psychoanalyses. He vividly describes how, with the help of the group, he gets in touch with his raw, violent feelings at being abandoned at such a tender age. He manages to forgive his mother, realizing that she has acted out of Establishment imperatives rather than wilful neglect, finally recognizing that both children and parents are victims of the system. He ends on a note of deep sadness and loss, with a plea that this cruel, now unnecessary ‘sending away’ stops.

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