View from a Case Manager

By Nancy Kahn

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When a client discharges from treatment, they typically leave harboring a host of sentiments, ranging from sheer panic to divine confidence that they’ve ‘got this’ and are ready to dive into a grand life of sobriety and happiness. Unresolved guilt, sadness, fear, anger, and remorse is often tempered with gratitude, enthusiasm, and hope.  During a stay at a typical 30-day treatment facility, it’s not easy for a client to settle the internal toll addiction has plagued on their psyche after years of substance abuse.  The emotional price a client will pay to successfully discharge from a residential treatment facility is likely steep. The services a Case Manager (CM) or Recovery Coach (RC) can provide are designed to “coach” or guide their client through the emotional jungle of recovery.

An initial meeting between a CM or RC and Client can range from an introductory rapport building session where goals are discussed to doing a walk-through of their living environment to search for hidden triggers that could prompt a relapse (i.e. alcohol bottles, prescription drugs, etc.).  While both of these activities are explicitly active ways to support recovery, the most important aspect of being a CM or RC is the implicit process of building trust and the unique allegiance the client may not have with anyone outside of their treatment facility. Helping a client to map out this new phase of life within the context of their old one can be a confusing, yet exciting, adventure and is best approached with compassion, care, and enthusiasm.  Case Managers and Recovery Coaches are not a substitute for clinical therapy, but we often take on the role of motivational coach and are eager to bolster a client’s psychological resilience and new appreciation for sobriety.

Dignity and respect is paramount for a successful alliance between a client and their Case Manager or Recovery Coach.   A CM or RC can help build the confidence needed to continue a lifelong journey of healing. From encouraging clients to engage with self-help resources in their own community to rehearsing possible scenarios where relapse triggers are present, the role we as Case Managers and Recovery Coaches play is proven to be helpful in maintaining recovery.

I believe I speak for all of us who are fortunate enough to be in the role of Case Manager or Recovery Coach — we hit the ground running, and always try to meet a client wherever their psychological and physical needs may be.

Read more about OPG’s Case Management Services.


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