Systematic Approach to Social Work Practice

Working with Clients with Traumatic Brain Injury

By Margaret A. Struchen, Ph.D. and Allison N. Clark, Ph.D.

The goal of this brain injury training manual is to improve the care that individuals with TBI receive in healthcare settings by improving the knowledge of social workers about acquired brain injury.

Despite the high incidence of TBI, information for social workers on working with clients with TBI has not been readily available. Unlike social workers in specialized brain injury services and rehabilitation programs, those working in general medical and rehabilitation settings, in social service settings or community agencies have few training resources to learn about traumatic brain injury.

This manual helps fill this gap. It is a training resource for social workers on traumatic brain injury (TBI). The training manual will:

  • help social workers feel more comfortable and confident in their clinical
  • interactions with clients with brain injury
  • increase knowledge regarding TBI
  • outline skills that are useful in working with clients with TBI, and
  • highlight resources that may be useful for clients with TBI and their family members.

Initial sections include general information about TBI and explain common terms used in brain injury treatment and recovery. The remainder of the manual uses a problem-focused model of practice to help social workers apply the information to their clinical practice.


© Baylor College of Medicine, 2007
This program is sponsored by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education, for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Integration of Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury (Grant #: H133B031117) at TIRR Memorial Hermann.

Lash and Associates is distributing these publications via free downloadable PDF files.

Users may print and download this publication and are encouraged to inform others of this resource by referring them to

Systematic Approach to Social_Page_001Systematic Approach to Social Work Practice

By Margaret A. Struchen, Ph.D. and Allison N. Clark, Ph.D.

8 responses to “Systematic Approach to Social Work Practice”

  1. Monica Smith says:

    Thank you so much for this resource! I truly appreciate the information and will be using it immediately!!!!!

  2. Dear Frank,
    Can you be more specific about the content your are looking for in a manual?
    M. Lash

  3. Hi I was searching for a manual because I’ve got a TBI and am having challenges with some of my staff that the agencies have provided me and I’ve been receiving help for at least 10 years.

    I feel this is a systemic, reoccurring theme… I had hope to find a recently updated manual but this is all I found.

    Oo if you are wiling to work with me to produce an updated one which then I envision would be used across the board by all agencies in their training programs (which most agencies are not doing any training or only a minimum training and are not up to date) please get back to me !

  4. Dear Jodie,
    Glad you found these useful. I just checked the downloads and was able to download using both Google Chrome and Internet Explorer so please try again. There is a technical glitch with the images on explorer which will be fixed this week. Be sure you click on the title not the url for the download.

  5. Jodie Shapiro says:

    These materials are so helpful in training new staff and interns. I have also directed therapists in the local agencies to your website specifically for these materials
    I tried downloading this file in the past and it worked with no problem. Today, I have tried on two computers with no success.

    I am looking forward to it being available in the future.

  6. LENA VASQUEZ says:

    Hi my name is Lena , I’m thinking of getting a job as a social worker working with brain injury clients. I don’t know where to start. I’m giving my self 6-months to start making a move. Thank you very much.

  7. I’ve been recomending this material to social workers in the community who do not regularly work with brain injury survivors.

  8. This is a wonderfully comprehensive tool for those new to brain injury in adults.

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