Beth I. Barol

Beth I. Barol, PhD, LSW

  • Associate Professor
Media Expertise:
  • Social Justice

Programs I Teach


  • PhD, Social Work (1998)
    Bryn Mawr College (PA)

About Me

My passion for social work started in the footsteps of my father, who spent most of his career working within the Settlement House Movement in Philadelphia. I saw him do his part fighting oppression, and I set out in high school with a mission to do the same. My own engagement in this mission over the past 38+ years has been in the service of people with intellectual and developmental disability, especially those with "challenging behaviors." These men, women, and children of all backgrounds are among the most oppressed and voiceless members of our society. If we can find a way to help them be heard, we will be facilitating a climate where every voice in society is heard. We need this now more than ever.

My work has taken me from being a live-in house parent to being a facility director to being the clinical director for the Pennsylvania Office of Mental Retardation Statewide Training and Technical Assistance Initiative, as well as a consultant at home and internationally. I endeavor to use these experiences in my teaching to help bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Research Interests

The focus of my work and the greatest part of my research agenda has been group dynamics, conflict resolution, developing compassion and empathy through the use of biographical timelines and other interventions, management, and leadership, as well as therapeutic approaches around trauma, mental illness, and supporting people with neurological differences including autism.


  • Barol, B.I., & Seubert, A. (2010). Stepping stones: EMDR treatment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and challenging behavior. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 4(4), 156–169.
  • Focht-New, G., Clements, P.T., Barol, B.I, Service, K., & Faulkner, M. (2008). Persons with developmental disabilities exposed to interpersonal violence and crime: Strategies and guidance for assessment. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 44(1), 3–13.
  • Barol, B.I. (2009). Generalist practice with groups. In J. Poulin (Ed.), Strengths-based generalist practice: A collaborative approach (3rd ed.). Belmont, California: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning Inc.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD), NADD


  • Fitz Dixon Innovation in Teaching Award Nominee (2013)
  • Faculty Development Options Award
  • Developing practitioners skilled in EMDR work with people with developmental disabilities


  • Social Work Professor Recognized for Clinical Practice

    Beth Barol, associate professor of social work, was chosen for the Earl L. Loschen Award for Clinical Practice from the National Association of Dual Diagnosis (NADD), an international association for persons with intellectual disabilities and mental health needs. Given annually, this prestigious award recognizes Barol for her tremendous impact on the lives of individuals with intellectual and development disabilities as well as mental health needs through her clinical practice.

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