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It is always useful to review an article’s bibliography and references to get a deeper understanding of the psychoanalytic concepts and theoretical framework in it.

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Partridge, S. (2012). Boarding School Syndrome. Brit. J. Psychother., 28(3):388.
   

(2012). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 28(3):388

Boarding School Syndrome

Simon Partridge

Dear Editor

It is good to see Elizabeth Standish continuing the debate on boarding school syndrome (BJP 28(2): 268), sparked off by Joy Schaverien (2011). I am however not convinced that she has been ‘misunderstood’. She says she has ‘no doubts about the detrimental effect of early parental deprivation’. But then why does she continue to make excuses for therapists who can't see this. Why does the responsibility rest with the patient or client to say how ‘awful’ it is? In my case I certainly gave clues that I hadn't been through a pleasant process, but I received the distinct impression that this was not germane to the psychoanalytic business. Then like a good boarding school boy I shut up.

As I raised in my original response (BJP 28(1): 129-31), there is a question about the efficacy of dyadic therapy as a modality for treating boarding school syndrome. This syndrome is the result of familial pressures reinforced by the practices and assumptions of boarding school and ultimately sanctioned by the wider culture of the upper-class elite. We are dealing here with the psychological consequences of the actions and assumptions of a series of interlocking groups in the face of which a child is virtually powerless. An individual therapist who can help a patient out of the emotional disablement engendered by such ‘relationships’ may leave the patient concerned with continuing problems vis-à-vis his/her family and the wider supporting culture.

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