Specially trained psychotherapists and counsellors are now available in some areas to help prepare for, follow up and integrate the work of healing begun in these workshops. For more information or to find out about a referral please contact us.

This page has details of our

BSS Workshop Facilitation Team

Founder and Main Trainer: Nick Duffell founded BSS in 1990. Born in 1949, he boarded in Europe and in the UK. After Oxford, with a degree in Sanskrit, he taught at a boarding school in India before becoming a carpenter. Retraining as a psychotherapist, he worked as a family therapist and organisational consultant. Nick has wide experience as a trainer and facilitator, writes and broadcasts on psychological issues and has two grown-up sons. His book The Making of Them received wide critical acclaim and was followed by Wounded Leaders and Trauma Abandonment and Privilege.

In 1996 Nick co-founded the Centre for Gender Psychology and co-authored the acclaimed book Sex, Love and The Dangers of Intimacy with Helena Løvendal, available here. His political work is featured in The Simpol Solution: A New Way to Think about Solving the World’s Biggest Problems, available here. He has been an Honorary Research Assistant at UCL and is a trustee at the Philadelphia Association.

Course Coordinator: Lyn Jones is a Complementary Therapist and former psychiatric nurse. Although not a boarder herself, her mother boarded during the war and her father boarded from the age of 7. She has been working for BSS for some time, initially distributing books and then taking on the responsibility for the administration.

Main Facilitator and Men’s Team Leader: Darrel Hunneybell is an accredited psychotherapist and supervisor with 20 years’ experience, including 20 years working in the NHS and local government. He has counselled excluded adolescent boys in residential schools, runs his own private practice and works with men’s groups. Darrel is interested in the impact of abandonment and institutionalisation inherent in the boarding school experience. Darrel brings to the team a ‘normal’ schooling along with his experience, commitment, and heart.

Main Facilitator and Women’s Team Leader: Ruth Tudor had a rural upbringing in a Welsh-speaking community in Snowdonia from which she was severed at the age of eleven by being sent to boarding school. She studied at Cambridge University and had ‘successful’ careers in education and policy-making at a national and international level, whilst struggling to sustain intimate long-term relationships, to experience real joy, troubled by a visceral sense of longing for something lost. Within the wider context of therapy, she found the BSS work enormously helpful in the struggle to accept her own vulnerability and her need for others. Ruth is an accredited Psychotherapist working from her farm in south-east Wales, where she is inspired and sustained by her contact with the natural world, including her horses and sheep, as well as by other humans.

Facilitator: Marcus Gottlieb boarded from 12 to 17, went on to Oxford University but didn’t get a degree there, after which, amid much confusion and very little sense of agency over his own life, came a decade of ‘treading water’ in the legal profession. Only in his mid-30s, when the survival mechanisms really began to break down, could he start becoming his own person. Now he is a psychotherapist, UKCP registered, BACP accredited, humanistic, integrative, formative and somatic. His approach is informed by the Alexander Technique in which he trained for many years. He sees individuals and couples, and is also an accredited Pesso-Boyden Psychomotor therapist and a clinical supervisor. Since 2005, he has been learning from Nick Duffell, Helena Løvendal and Joy Schaverien about working with ex-boarders. Marcus volunteers as a group facilitator on ‘Heal For Life’ residential workshops, and with Mavar as a therapist supporting Charedi or former Charedi young adults looking to explore new paths beyond ultra-orthodoxy.

Facilitator: Ingo Vauk is a psychotherapist working with individuals, couples and men’s groups in his practice in Erlangen, Germany. He spent his early childhood in Rangoon in the 1960s, where his family was part of an international ex-pat community consisting mainly of British, before moving to Kabul, where he went to school until the age of ten. Though Ingo was not sent to boarding school, his mother had been in the 1940s, and from the age of 10 his brother was. With boarding normalised in his family system, Ingo witnessed it from the perspective of a younger sibling and retains an outside, as it were ’naive’ position. Ingo trained in Gestalt and Body Therapies, as well as Process and Embodiment focussed Therapy (PEP), and Creative CoupleWork. He is part of a team who facilitate Sexual Grounding Therapy group workshops in Hungary, Germany, France and Russia. After living in London for nearly 20 years, Ingo returned to Germany with his family in 2005, where they enjoy being closer to their families of origin.

Faciltator: Sharon Kirby lives and works in South Devon. As an accredited psychotherapist, she has worked in a range of settings for over 25 years, including the NHS, community counselling services, higher education and private practice. She attended a state primary and comprehensive secondary school and then worked primarily in the health and social care sector whilst studying social sciences and psychology at the Open University. In the past, Sharon’s awareness of the boarding school experience probably reflected that of wider society – a dismissal of it as privileged education for the few, with little consideration of the lived experience of the children sent away. Working with ex-boarders has provided the opportunity for her to gain an understanding of the true, but often unseen, impact of the boarding experience. She believes that greater awareness of the damaging impact of boarding schools, not only for individuals but for wider society, is vital. 

John Andrew Miller

Academic Consultant: John Andrew Miller created the first UK Masters degree course in psychotherapy and facilitated the academic validation of many psychotherapy training courses in Britain. He has organised several training programmes and conferences, chaired the CPD committee at AGIP, was a trustee at the Minster Centre and sat on the Executive Committee of the International Attachment Network. Primarily a therapist, John trained with the International Institute of Bioenergetics Analysis, underwent a Freudian analysis and a Jungian training analysis. For the past forty years, he has had a private practice in London specialising in psychosomatic problems, the trans-generational transmission of trauma and transition management and has supervised work with ex-boarders for many years.

Faciltator: Sarah Heydon retrained as a psychotherapist after a career in education in the UK and overseas in East Africa, following a sense of the importance of emotional support, needs and relationship. Having boarded herself at the age of nine, Sarah has a keen interest in learning about the impact that the boarding school experience has on a person. This has allowed her to gain strong and helpful insights into patterns and behaviours that made little sense before. She works as an accredited psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice on the border of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire and when not at work can be found swimming in lakes, running across fields or immersed in her ever-evolving family life.

Facilitator: Ben Midworth is an accredited Integrative embodied psychotherapist and supervisor with over 20 years’ experience working in Oxford, London and internationally. An ex-boarder himself, he started working with Nick Duffell in 2016 and has significant experience of working with boarding school survivors in his practice, supervision groups and personal development group work. Ben is passionate about facilitating understanding and embodiment to face the challenges of life; he likes to honour the potential within ourselves towards recovery, our ongoing human aliveness and the tenacity of the human spirit.