For Guru Olivia Only Week 2: Client Relationships

Week 2: Client Relationships

In my early professional years I was asking the question: How can I treat, or cure, or change this person? Now I would phrase the question in this way: How can I provide a relationship which this person may use for his own personal growth?
–Carl Rogers, from On Becoming a Person

How do you build a relationship with a stranger? How do case managers connect with clients? How can case managers overcome their biases to develop productive relationships with clients? It is essential for case managers to develop effective relationships and connections with their clients in order to provide appropriate services and develop effective service plans. This week, you explore ways to cultivate relationships between case managers and clients. You also examine the development and potential effects of personal biases on the relationships between case managers and clients. In addition, you formulate service plans for your virtual clients.


By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • Analyze case management skills to address personal bias
  • Formulate  service plans to meet client needs

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Frankel, A. J. & Gelman, S. R., & Pastor, D. K. (2019). Case management: An introduction to concepts and skills (4th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • Chapter 5, “Interpersonal, Connecting, and Information-Gathering Skills”
  • Chapter 6, “Specialized Practice Skills”

Eack, S., Greeno, C. (2009). Case managers’ perspectives on what they need to do their job. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32(4), 309–312.


Kondrat, D. C. (2010). An exploration of the working alliance in mental health case management. Social Work Research, 34(4), 201-211.


Stanhope, V., & Matejkowski, J. (2010). Understanding the role of individual consumer-provider relationships within assertive community treatment. Community Mental Health46(4), 309–318.


Teaching Tolerance. (2005). “Good morning boys and girls”. Retrieved from

Teaching Tolerance. (n.d.). Not post-racial yet. Retrieved January 27, 2012, from

Teaching Tolerance. (n.d.). Test yourself for hidden bias. Retrieved January 27, 2012, from

University of Tasmania. (2010). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid. Retrieved from


Required Media

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Case management for persons in need. Baltimore, MD: Author.


  • “Virtual Client Case Files.”

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Case management for persons in need. Baltimore, MD: Author.


  • “Virtual Client Case Files.”

    Click to access the Course Media transcript: Virtual Client Case Files transcrip

Optional Resources

Bermúdez, J. M. (1997). Experiential tasks and therapist bias awareness. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 19(2), 253–267.

Stanhope, V., Henwood, B. F., & Padgett, D. K. (2009). Understanding service disengagement from the perspective of case managers. Psychiatric Services60(4) 459–464.

Vargas, H., & Wilson, C. M. (2011). Managing worldview influences: Self-awareness and self-supervision in a cross-cultural therapeutic relationship. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 22(2), 97–113.





Discussion: Personal Bias in Case Management

Personal bias and the passing of judgment are innate parts of human nature. To explore this, carefully reflect on the three scenarios below:

  • Spouse abuse. Dan comes into your office and tells you that Mary, his wife, has been beating him up. What is your first reaction?
  • Psychiatric impairment. Tasha has been your client for a few months. She calls you on the phone and urgently confides that she has been hearing voices in her head. What do you say to her?
  • Mental illness. Your newest client is Jose, an elderly man who has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As you read over his file you are reminded of your own grandfather who recently passed after living with Parkinson’s for many years. How might you approach the situation?

Personal bias can take any form, as reflected in these situations. Your preconceptions about age, race, gender, values, beliefs, mental illness, and substance abuse have the potential to influence, and possibly hinder, your relationship with a client. Case managers must be cognizant of these biases and work to address them. Identifying one’s biases requires thoughtful introspection and honesty. Coming to terms with your personal feelings and perceptions can be a challenging process. Once you have identified and addressed these biases, you can begin to work with clients in an ethical and professional manner.

For this Discussion, you consider potential personal biases of case managers. You also explore ways to address personal biases in case management.

To Prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review Chapters 5, “Interpersonal, Connecting, and Information-Gathering Skills” from the Course TextFocus on the descriptions of strategies for interacting with new clients.
  • Review the article, “An Exploration of the Working Alliance in Mental Health Case Management.” Consider the criteria used to gage the effectiveness of case manager relationships with clients.
  • Review the article “Understanding the Role of Individual Consumer—Provider Relationships within Assertive Community Treatment.” Consider the types of relationships described and the approaches inherent in each type.
  • Review the web articles “Test Yourself for Hidden Bias,” “Good Morning Boys and Girls,”and “Not Post-Racial Yet.” Pay attention to the biases described, and consider potential biases that case managers might bring to their work with clients.
  • Develop two strategies that a case manager can use to mitigate personal bias when working with clients.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 4

Post by Day 4 a brief description of a personal bias that a case manager may have to address. Then, describe two skills that may be used to address that personal bias and explain why each might be effective. Be specific and provide examples to support your response.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.




Assignment: Creating a Service Plan

In the field of case management, planning is used to identify chronological steps that can be taken to improve a client’s current situation. This process, known as “creating a service plan,” establishes short-term objectives that help clients to meet long-term goals. Short-term objectives should be specific, task-oriented actions that clients can accomplish.

Case managers tend to model objectives around the format developed by Abraham Maslow in 1943. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs involves a set of increasingly complex needs building upon each other, signifying that, without first fulfilling basic needs, more sophisticated ones cannot be met. Beginning with the basic needs of food, water, and shelter, case managers allow clients to fulfill the overwhelming needs that may be affecting their current situation. Once these immediate needs are addressed, case managers can then create short-term objectives revolving around safety, belonging, and esteem. As clients meet these objectives, they come closer to reaching and sustaining their established long-term goals. Many long-term goals created for clients correspond with Maslow’s highest level of need: self-actualization. Self-actualization describes a person’s ability to achieve his or her full potential. Case managers should work collaboratively with their clients to fulfill a long-term goal such as this.

In this week’s Assignment, you develop service plans for your three case studies, which you will continue to use for the remainder of the course.

To Prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review Chapter 6, “Specialized Practice Skills” from the Course TextFocus on the information about client assessment and setting goals.
  • Review the article “Case Managers’ Perspectives on What They Need to do Their Job.” Consider the areas about which case managers report wanting additional training.
  • Review the media titled Virtual Client Case Files.
  • Review the Case Management Service Plan Form.
  • Consider potential needs and goals of each of your case management clients.
  • Think about service plans you will create for each.

The Assignment (3 completed client forms)

  • Develop a service plan for each of your three cases.
  • Note: For the first case depicting the family group, you will need to represent each client on the same form, as they are all a part of one case.

By Day 7

Submit your Assignment by Day 7.

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.

Straker, D. (2011). Maslow’s Hierarchy. Retrieved from




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