EMDR with adolescents and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Thursday 7th April: 6.30pm – 9.30pm



EMDR in conjunction with a healthy brain/body orientation to support adolescents and young adults with IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Differences or Disabilities) who have challenging behaviours.


Many people with Intellectual and Developmental Differences or Disabilities (IDD) are treated only for their challenging behaviours with an emphasis on behavioural control methodologies. The presenter brings 45 years of working with Individuals with IDD – her professional experience provides her with certainty that most people with challenging behaviours have a significant trauma story underlying how they present to the world. The presentation will briefly discuss the impact of trauma with the IDD population. It will demonstrate how to use the biographical timeline to identify the trauma(s). In addition, the presentation will teach how to help to transform the perspectives of the supporters to be partners in healing. There will be a focus on the use of EMDR, as well as a healthy life style, and neuromodulation as key elements for many people to be able to resolve wounds that have been undermining their quality of life.

How will this presentation develop EMDR practice?

The emphasis in this workshop will be on developing EMDR clinical skills in relation to working with adolescents with Intellectual and Developmental differences who have experienced and continue to reverberate from traumas in their lives. This will be done through the exploration of crosswalks with EMDR protocols, as well as additional considerations to help individuals be more responsive to the current interventions. Special attention and focus will be paid to the benefit of using bilateral stimulation as part of this therapeutic work.

Aims and Learning Objectives: Please click here

Dr. Beth Barol, PhD, LSW, BCB, NADD-CC, is currently an Associate Clinical Director of the Clinical Services for Vulnerable Adults clinic, in Chester, Pennsylvania. She serves as co-Director of the Capacity Building Institute for Pennsylvania and CEO of Camphill Soltane. Dr. Barol has dedicated the past 45 years to serving and supporting people with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) 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 Pennsylvania office of Developmental Program’s Statewide Training and Technical Assistance initiative focusing on individuals with dual diagnoses for 10 years.

Dr. Barol 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 was the 2020 recipient of the NADD Earl L. Loschen, MD award for clinical practice. She consults regularly in the U.S. and internationally.