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Healing the trauma of yesteryear with the technology of tomorrow?

Wouldn’t it be great if we could heal the past, free ourselves from survival habits and go back to traumatic environments and make them safe?

Well, a new research project at UCL (University College London) is looking for volunteers to try out Virtual Reality equipment and scenarios for the first time with an  accompanying psychotherapist.

Juliet Brown, lecturer in film studies at the Anthropology Department of UCL, is spending the next few years researching whether Virtual Reality (VR) technology can be used in a therapeutic context with boarding school survivors. She is particularly concerned with safety, ethics, confidentiality as well as efficacy.

Juliet announced the project at yesterday’s sell-out conference at the University of Brighton, Boarding School – Surviving the Syndrome, featuring Joy Schaverien, Alex Renton, Thurstine Basset, Anni Townend, Marcus Gottlieb, Nicola Miller, Simon Partridge, Olya Khaleelee, and Pam Howard. Nick Duffell (me) kicked off the day with a paper called ‘Surviving Boarding School – the psycho-historical perspective.’ More here on the conference later, including my paper.

Juliet has got funding from the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) and been offered the generous use of the latest technological hardware. So now she is looking to form a research group of former boarders to explore this subject from the inside, working with myself as the accompanying psychotherapist.

If you’re interested in participating please contact Juliet by email in complete confidence.



  1. Hello Juliet,
    I’ve probably missed the boat this one but I heard Nick Duffell mention your research last Saturday at the Boarding School Conference. I believe you were there too?
    If you are still looking for volunteers I’d be very interested in participating in the programme.
    Can you let me know if you are still looking?
    many thanks
    Tim Bray

    Comment by Tim Bray on 23/04/2018 at 2:38 pm
  2. Hi Tim, Nice to meet again at the conference. I have forwarded your email to Juliet. Best, Nick

    Comment by Nick Duffell on 24/04/2018 at 12:52 pm

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