• Essential Connections: Tips and Techniques for Case Managers

  • By: David Freeman
  • Podcast
  • Summary

  • “Essential Connections: Tips and Techniques for Case Managers”, is an accessible description of ideas and methods used in clinical and community based behavioral health organizations. The friendly, five minute sketches are designed to improve the basic knowledge and skills of case managers on the front lines of providing mental health and substance abuse services. Dr. David Freeman, a psychologist at Community Connections in Washington D.C., is the author and narrator of the Podcast. Currently the Chief Clinical Officer at Community Connections, Freeman has 45 years’ experience in the field. Starting as a volunteer in a therapeutic Summer Camp for “kids who got kicked out of every other camp” he worked as case manager, counselor, therapist, supervisor, team leader, Project Director and Program Director. This podcast distills what Freeman has learned in helping staff work with individuals who struggle with mental illness, addiction, homelessness, criminal justice involvement, poverty, traumatic brain injury, and violent victimization. The individual pods range from an introduction to technical methods like “Pro-Con Analysis”, and “Care Coordination” to equally important but less concrete topics like “Small Talk”, and “Spirituality”. Case managers who are new to the field will appreciate how quickly and easily they can learn the material. New supervisors will enjoy the clarity of thought and the review pf basic concepts that are rarely boiled down to their essence. Senior clinicians will see established clinical interventions in a new light with the help of Freeman’s sketches. In the rush to satisfy pressures from funders and auditors, case managers sometimes use clinical jargon that they don’t fully understand when documenting services. And, perversely, in providing a service, case managers sometimes forget what they know about helping people because they are so concerned about maintaining fidelity to an evidence based practice that they have been taught but haven’t fully absorbed. The human and relationship elements – so essential to good outcomes – are often lost in the case manager’s effort to be compliant with clinical authority. Freeman demystifies and explains clinical ideas and practices in clear, straightforward language so that case managers can make use of the concepts. He helps case managers think clinically while acting practically. Paraprofessional staff working in shelters, benefits offices, hospitals, and jails will appreciate the way Freeman simplifies complex clinical subjects. Families who are coping with the difficulties of a loved one will appreciate the plain talk of the podcast; it will help them learn skills for interacting with the family member and talking to professionals. Other topics addressed in the Podcast include: Social Networks, Suicide Risk Reduction, Anger Management, Self-Soothing, Collaborative Mindfulness, Goal Setting, Stages of Change, and Introduction to Cognitive Interventions. Future Topics will include Use of Supervision, the Art of Case Management, The Zen of Case Management, Multidisciplinary Teams, The Clinical Manager’s Dilemmas, and Models of Case Management.This Podcast was developed with the support of Community Connections Inc. in Washington DC and especially the CEO and Co-Founder of Community Connections, Maxine Harris. Joe Cullinan drew the icon. Chris Fischer provided technical assistance. Loretta Rodts, Chloe Ambrose, Rebecca Wolfson Berley, Karen Singleton, and Mimi Scotchmer – all members of the Clinical Thinking Workgroup which is devoted to improving services at Community Connections– provided helpful support. Clients have been incredibly generous in sharing their feelings, ideas, and insights about the human condition. All three of Freeman’s children played a unique role in bringing the podcast to life. Music for the Podcast was composed by Jessica Krash, Freeman’s wife, who has also provided him a lifetime of inspiration.
    © 2022 Essential Connections: Tips and Techniques for Case Managers
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