#164 Surviving Boarding School: The trauma at the core of the British & Commonwealth Pysche – Nick Duffell


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This week, I on a personal journey and deep dive into Boarding School Syndrome with one of the world's leading experts, Nick Duffell.

Whether you, or a loved one, attended boarding school or not, there is a lot to take on board and consider in this conversation.


Because to understand boarding school survivorship is to understand:

  • one of the core fundamental elements of the British psyche that also spreads across what was the Empire and is now a Commonwealth
  • a very clean example of early developmental trauma and the defence mechanism of splitting to create a survival self-survival personality away from what Nick refers to as our inner indigenous or natural self.

In this conversation we cover:

  • Reconciling the concept of linking ‘trauma’ with the privilege of a private education
  • The mechanics and dynamics of boarding schools school syndrome and how that's plays out in creating a Strategic Survivor Personality
  • How that plays out as the ex-boarder then goes out into the world.
  • The inevitable collapse of the Strategic Survivor Personality that has been created by a very young child
  • The process of normalisation that perpetuates this cycle

From this, we then go further into the wider implications on the British psyche, and leadership and culture and how that spread across the world.

As said above, there is a lot to learn from this conversation; even more if you yourself were a boarder and there’s aspects of how you ‘do life’ that you still struggle to truly understand.

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