From Biography to Flourishing: Social Therapeutic & Trauma-Informed Perspectives for Our Work

In May 2023 Dr. Beth Barol offered Part I of From Biography to Flourishing: Social Therapeutic & Trauma-Informed Perspectives for Our Work. This Continuing Education course led participants through the creation of biographical timelines. From the course description:

Even in the context of meaningful relationships and rich community life, we all experience times of crisis and transition. During these periods, we need accompaniment and support to move out of crisis and into flourishing. Even with the best of intentions, discerning how to best accompany your fellow community members with dual diagnoses, challenging behaviors, or changing support needs can elude supporters.

Learning to understand life experiences, including, friendships, love, mastery and successes, as well as trauma, marginalization, and loss, often leads us to a positive healing path through times of crisis and transition. The biographical timeline is a tool to help us gain a compassionate understanding of the underpinning experiences in another person’s life, and from this explore a myriad of social therapeutic activities and approaches to build a better life together with the person in the context of inclusive and intentional community.

Dr Beth Barol, a white woman with short curly white hair. She is wearing blue glasses and dangly green earrings.

Dr. Barol (PhD, LSW, BCB, NADD-CC) has dedicated the past 46 years to serving and supporting people with Intellectual and Developmental and neurological differences (ID) who also have challenging behaviors and co-occurring mental health issues. She started out as a direct support worker and live-in “houseparent” and has served a community-based project director, residential program director, facility director and clinician. She served as the Clinical Director for the PA office of Developmental Program’s Statewide Training and Technical Assistance initiative focusing on individuals with dual diagnoses for 10 years.

She has been working with Biographical timelines for over 30 years, and trained trainers in the process in Pennsylvania when she worked as the Clinical Director of the State-wide Training and Technical Assistance initiative, and through her consultation and training overseas.

Her areas of special interest include: Positive Approaches with people with IDD and challenging behaviors including co-occurring mental illness, the effects of trauma, and neurological differences. She works on the behalf of these individuals through her clinical roles as well as through her experience in Group Process, Conflict Resolution, Partnership Building, Leadership Development, System Change, and Management.  She is trained in EMDR, Biofeedback, and Neurofeedback and is integrating these modalities in her current teaching and clinical work.

Dr Barol is the Executive Director of Camphill Soltane. She was the 2020 recipient of the NADD Earl L. Loschen, MD award for clinical practice.

She currently serves as co-Director of the Capacity Building Institute for Pennsylvania  and the National Association of State Directors of DD Services (NASDDDS) Capacity Building Institute currently serving seven states. Dr. Barol consults regularly in the U.S. and internationally.

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