After leaving secondary school I initially worked as an auxiliary nurse on a stroke unit meeting many people with aphasia. This sparked my interest in the impact of language on identity and wellbeing, and led me to study and then practice Speech and Language Therapy for many years. My broader interests in human development and diversity encouraged further study in linguistics, child development, psychology and anthropology. I worked in various professional roles and places in (mental)health and education, including acute mental health and special education. This enabled me to learn about the diversity of people and places, and learn about life's challenges and opportunities.
As a practitioner I was involved in a wide range of research projects including:
- Investigating the needs of ‘’slow’’ adult second language learners and providing training for teachers on cultural assumptions and impact on learning (co-researcher)
- Audit and evaluation of Manchester City Council/Manchester PCT Sure Start project on language enhancement, involving parents and local communities (lead)
- I first entered academia professionally in 2001 as a Research Associate in Clinical Linguistics on an ESRC funded research project at the University of Sheffield, looking with a project group into language use in people with autism.
- After joining Manchester Metropolitan University in 2004 as a Senior Lecturer I had the opportunity to contribute to a research group evaluating local Art and Mental Wellbeing projects, and develop my skills as a university lecturer. I started a doctorate in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy whilst lecturing and leading modules in the areas of applied psychology, child development, and clinical linguistics.
- Appointments as External Examiner at The Montfort University and the University of Reading have broadened my understanding of academic practice.
As a psychotherapy practitioner I am influenced by compassion focused therapy, relational psychodynamic approaches, existential approaches and the wider humanistic tradition, EMDR and narrative work. I have had the opportunity to practise with Mind, Place2Be, Rape Crisis/Survivor’s Network and Just Psychology, a CIC focusing on mental health needs and cultural diversity.
As part of my doctorate I am exploring the impact of multilingualism on the therapeutic relationship using interpretative phenomenological analysis. I am inspired by discursive, phenomenological and narrative approaches to research, and have a keen interest in the relationships between language, identity and wellbeing.
Perkins, M. R., Dobbinson, S., Boucher. J., Bol, S., Bloom, P. (2006) Lexical Knowledge and Lexical Use in Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(6) pp.795-805.
Kagan C.M., Sixsmith J.A., Siddiquee A., Bol S., Lawthom R., Kilroy A. (2007). "Participation, Wellbeing and Creativity: Community Psychology meets Participatory Arts" in: A.Bokszczanin (ed) Social Change in Solidarity: Community Perspectives and Approaches. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Opolskiego.
Bol, S., (2017) Between Being and Becoming. Challenges and Resources in Training Therapists. In Parry, S. (ed.) Effective Self Care and Resilience in Clinical Practice. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Bol, S., (2019) Psychoeducation. In Parry, S. (ed.) The Handbook of Brief Therapies: A Practical Guide. London: Sage.
BSc Speech and Language Therapy
BSc and MSc Psychology
MA Eastern European Studies (Social Sciences and Linguistics)
DCPsych Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy (in progress)