Do you feel anxious about giving a clinical case presentation?
Are you unsure about what to include or how to organize it?
You’re not alone! Giving a clinical case presentation to your supervision group, peer consultation group, or at a case review meeting can be intimidating. However, it’s also a valuable tool. We all need support, guidance, new ideas, and feedback so that we can do our best work.
Preparing for a clinical case presentation
When you give a case presentation, there are three things you want to keep in mind:
- You need to provide all of the relevant information so that your supervisor and/or colleagues get a full and accurate picture of your client and the progression of your work with them.
- You need to be concise and mindful of time constraints. You may have a specified amount of time allotted for your presentation or you may simply want to make sure that you don’t monopolize all of the group’s time. In other words, you can’t include every detail about your client.
- The information needs to be organized in a logical way, so you’re providing background and demographic information before delving into the current presentation or issues.
Remember, your goal is to present the most relevant information in an organized fashion so that others can understand your client’s needs and how you’ve been able to meet them. You don’t need to have all the answers. Your consultation or supervision group is there to help you gain new insights about your clients and about your work as a social worker or therapist.
Sample social work clinical case presentation outline
Below is a sample clinical case presentation outline that I developed several years ago for my social work interns and supervisees.
The organization of your presentation and information included is going to vary depending on your employment setting, type of services being provided, client constellation, and so forth. But, I hope this case consultation outline gives you a good place to begin!
Case Presentation Outline
- Demographics (age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, children, living situation, employment/education, race/ethnicity)
- Presenting Problem & Brief History (Why did the client come to treatment/services? How has the problem developed over time? Have they received treatment/services previously? What was the outcome?)
- Client/Family Strengths
- Client/Family Challenges
- Cultural Diversity Issues
- Diagnostic Impressions/Symptoms
- Current Medications and Health Concerns
- Risk Factors (suicide, violence, substance use, domestic violence, etc)
- Goals & Interventions Used
- What’s Working and What’s Not Working?
- Ethical Issues
- Counter-transference (How do you feel about this client and how does it affect your work?)
I think learning how to organize your clinical case material into a cohesive presentation is a valuable skill for all social workers and therapists. Even if you don’t have to give a formal presentation, you may find that considering each of the items on this outline, brings clarity and new insights about how to work best with your client.
If this case presentation format is helpful, you can print a copy of it here. It’s a Word document, so you can easily edit it to suit your needs.
©2019 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved.
Photos courtesy of Canva.com.