(509) 228-1000 WA
(208) 754-3100 ID

Counseling Services

A cancer diagnosis can be a devastating experience, one that is life-changing, stressful and all-consuming. The disease not only affects your body, but also your emotions, your mind and your spirit. It impacts all aspects of your life: your marriage, your family, your friendships, your work, your spirituality, even how you relax and receive comfort.

It can be a frightening, uncertain road. But you don’t have to travel it alone.

At Cancer Care Northwest, you’ll find the extra support you and your family need to navigate through the overwhelming emotional and social challenges you will face on your journey.

You’re Not Alone
Our compassionate, licensed therapists can guide you and your family through the emotions, changes, grief and struggles of living with cancer. You will learn ways to improve your quality of life, despite the diagnosis. Our licensed therapists offer:

  • Individual counseling
  • Family counseling
  • Survivor counseling
  • Trauma counseling
  • Support groups for patients, families and children
  • Relaxation and pain management techniques
  • Interactive guided imagery
  • Assistance with chemical dependency issues


With their support, you can discover an inner strength and reveal a powerful resilience that can help you overcome barriers, fight your disease head on, find peace on the journey, and fully experience life—now and after treatment.

Cancer Care Northwest has licensed therapists on staff to help you and your family cope with the emotional, spiritual and social challenges which accompany the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Our highly skilled, compassionate counseling services team offers individual, marriage and family counseling, support groups and other important emotional support services.

 

Paula McKee, MSW, LICSW
Paula is an oncology counselor with experience working with families in crisis, earning her Master of Social Work degree with a focus on Family Systems and Illness.  Education in Aging Studies, as well as, Palliative Care have informed Paula’s practice with both individuals and families experiencing cancer.  She has worked with Kidz Count, a Cancer Care Northwest support group for families, since 2010. Paula teaches stress-management strategies and utilizes a variety of techniques to assist families in making change, including dialogue, cognitive behavioral therapy, narrative therapy, and grief work. She is able to work with individuals and families to set and achieve goals for the health and well-being of your family. 

 

 

Allison Bennett, MSW, LICSW
Allison's specialties are trauma work and teaching people how to cope in healthy ways with stress, intense emotions, and crisis. Allison has extensive experience working with survivors of abuse and traumatic experiences. Allison also has special training in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) technique, which is an integrative psychotherapy approach proven to be effective for treating trauma and other types of psychological stress. Allison holds a Master of Social Work with a Mental Health Concentration from the University of Southern California. She is a licensed counselor and social worker.  

 

 


Additional Support Counselors

In addition to our counseling services team, we have other licensed therapists who help facilitate specific support groups. All of our counselors are passionate about their mission to help their clients find healing throughout their journey in battling cancer. 

 

Angela Gaddis, BA Ed
Angela is an elementary school teacher who joined Cancer Care Northwest in 2015, working primarily with children between the ages of four and seven years old through Cancer Care Northwest's Kidz Count Program. Angela holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Whitworth University. She has received extensive training in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and specializes in working with children overcoming traumatic life situations. Angela has been working with young children for the past six years, and has a passion for helping them develop a sense of security through self-awareness and mindfulness practices. Her goal is to empower them with practical tools that will last a lifetime, which include recognizing and identifying emotions in themselves as well as others, learning the differences between healthy and unhealthy coping skills and developing a support system within their community.


 

Stacey Mainer, BSN, MSN, MSW
Stacey is a family nurse practitioner at Family Health Center and a part-time oncology counselor at Cancer Care Northwest.  Prior to being a nurse practitioner, she was a social worker with a private counseling practice. As a counselor at Cancer Care Northwest, Stacey is very involved in the Kidz Count Program, helping kids cope with the cancer diagnosis of a family member. Stacey believes it is important to include the whole family, even children, in counseling and treatment. When there is stress in the family, having a supportive environment can help all members gain strength, hope and cohesiveness.


 

 

Nora Redfox, BSW, MSW
Nora holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Eastern Washington University. She is currently a social worker with Hospice of Spokane, and contributes to Cancer Care Northwest's family support group, Kidz Count, by helping young teens develop coping skills to deal with a family member’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. For eight years, Nora has been an important part of the Cancer Care Northwest counseling team, and believes that, with the guidance of the Kidz Count family support group, all family members can achieve an understanding of each other's emotions and grief so they know they are not alone.

 

 


 

Brad Reimer, BSW, MSW, LICSW
Brad Reimer earned his BS and MS degrees in social work from Brigham Young University. He is a licensed clinical social worker in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Utah, and has spent the majority of his career counseling individuals, couples and families. He also has experience in adoption services—working with both single expectant parents and prospective families—and in working with autistic children. Brad’s experience in interacting with diverse age groups and issues gives him a unique perspective, and he is passionate about serving Cancer Care Northwest patients, and serves as facilitator for the Prostate Cancer Support Group.

 


 

Amy Sobosky, MS, NCSP
Amy has been working with children and families in the school setting for over seven years. She received a Master of School Psychology from Eastern Washington University in 2010. As a co-facilitator of Cancer Care Northwest’s family support group, Kidz Count, Amy helps elementary school children discuss and cope with the issues that can arise when a parent or loved one has been diagnosed with cancer.

 

 

 

Our licensed therapists specialize in therapy that addresses challenges like managing anxiety, depression and other emotional struggles with cancer. They are highly trained and experienced in assisting people, most of who have never had therapy before, through the seven predictable crisis points of cancer:

  • Diagnosis
  • Beginning of treatment
  • Mid-way through treatment
  • End of treatment
  • Diagnosis of reoccurrence
  • Terminal diagnosis
  • Death


With their expert guidance, you and your loved ones can navigate the difficult journey through cancer, overcome emotional and social challenges, and live each day to its fullest.
 

Fear Management and Relaxation Techniques

Learn specialized techniques to manage your fear, pain and anxiety. Our therapists provide training and practice in:

  • Awareness & Mindfulness: Learn how to recognize, observe, and regulate physical, emotional, and mental responses to external and internal stresses.
  • Breathing Exercises: Learn the fastest way to help yourself relax.
  • Challenging Unsafe Beliefs: Learn to challenge distorted thinking, fear based belief systems, and ingrained patterns that are no longer beneficial or useful in order to create new beliefs and practices that can help with self acceptance and healing.
  • Creating time-limited intentional worry time: Learn to focus fearful thoughts so that they don’t leak throughout your whole day or night.
  • Distraction Skills: Learn to refocus your mind when you become stuck in fearful thoughts.
  • Dropping Stories: Learn to recognize truth versus mental flights of the imagination that stir up and create fear.
  • Emotional Regulation: Learn to use skills to manage uncomfortable feelings.
  • Family Assessment: Create a Family of Origin diagram with that(?) illuminates your feelings about family members and how they impact your life today.
  • Guided Imagery: Learn to use your mind to impact changes in your body.
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: Learn to eliminate assumptions about relationships, suspend judgments, identify destructive behaviors, and repair and make amends with others.
  • Relaxation Exercises (in session or CD): Learn to pause and relieve tension with meditation skills and breathing exercises in order to calm physical responses to internal and external stress.
  • Self Soothing: Learn how to talk yourself through difficult situations to create a calm inner self.
  • Staying Present: Learn to keep your thoughts in the “here and now” instead of trapping yourself in fears of the future or sufferings from the past.
 
Marriage and Couples Counseling

Reestablish your connection with each other. Our therapists can help you and your spouse or partner:

  • Eliminate communication barriers.
  • Understand and cope with issues involving sexuality and intimacy.
  • Work effectively as a team.
  • Adapt to lifestyle changes, such as household responsibilities, financial challenges and other stresses related to cancer.

Family Counseling

Explore ways to keep your family-unit strong throughout your journey with cancer. Our therapists can help you and your family members:

  • Maintain open communication lines.
  • Learn to support and console each other.
  • Deal with pre-existing family dysfunctions or unresolved grief.
  • Understand and respect various methods of coping.
  • Use age appropriate responses to your children’s questions about cancer.
  • Cope with the loss of a loved one.

Survivor Counseling

Adapt to life after cancer. Our therapists can help you heal the wounds to the heart, mind and soul that can linger long after your cancer treatment is done. Learn to apply the strength and wisdom you built throughout your treatment to life after treatment.
 

Chemical Dependency Counseling

Our counseling services team includes a certified chemical dependency counselor. Her expertise is available to patients who need help overcoming and/or coping with drug or alcohol addiction.

Our licensed therapists facilitate regular support groups at several of Cancer Care Northwest’s locations. These groups provide a safe, comfortable environment to share your experiences and to receive encouragement from others who are facing similar challenges as you. They are a valuable tool in the healing process.

The groups are open to patients, their family members and to others in the community. There is no cost for participating. Contact group facilitators, Allison Bennett, (509) 228-1581, allison.bennett@ccnw.net; Paula McKee, (509) 228-1580, paula.mckee@ccnw.net; or Brad Reimer, brad.reimer@ccnw.net, for more information.

Please note, if a CCNW Support Group falls on a holiday that is observed by Cancer Care Northwest, the group will be cancelled. For CCNW holiday closures, please visit our website calendar. Thank you.

South Spokane

General Cancer Support Group – every Thursday from 5:30-7:30pm
This group is for patients and caregivers dealing with ANY type of cancer, at any point in their journey. Our group helps people cope with the emotional, physical, social and spiritual impacts of cancer by providing a safe place to share feelings and challenges, and learn from others who are facing similar situations. Please join us.

Kidz Count  Family Support Group – 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month from 6:00-7:30pm
This special support group is for families who have an adult family member with cancer. We enjoy a light meal and then break into age-appropriate groups. Children, as well as their parents, will learn the skills necessary to better cope with the challenges of cancer. There is fun and laughter in a supportive environment. 

Men's Prostate Cancer Network – 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month from 5:15-6:40pm
This group was created specifically for men battling prostate cancer. Come and find support from others experiencing similar challenges in the uphill climb to restored health. Questions about the group? Contact group facilitator Brad Reimer at brad.reimer@ccnw.net.

 

Spokane Valley

Breast Cancer Support Group – 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:30pm 
This group is available for women who want information, support and encouragement through the stages of cancer: patient, survivor and lifetime thriver. The group offers emotional solace as well as techniques to cope with the unexpected effects cancer has on self-image, relationships and daily lifestyle. 

General Cancer Support Group – every Thursday from 10:00 to 11:30am
This group is for patients and caregivers dealing with ANY type of cancer, at any point in their journey. Our group helps people cope with the emotional, physical, social and spiritual impacts of cancer by providing a safe place to share feelings and challenges, and learn from others who are facing similar situations. Please join us.

We know there is a lot of information you could be reading about your cancer and how to best care for yourself and your family. Our counseling experts have created the below downloadable guide to help you know which sites and resources are most reliable: 

Cancer Care Northwest Reliable Resources (Click to download)

 

Additionally, several of our physicians and clinical experts at Cancer Care Northwest have contributed to authoring pieces of valuable cancer literature for patients. They might be helpful to you as you research your cancer. Patients may request a FREE COPY of these books at the front desk at each location. Please note it may take a couple weeks to order. 

 

"The media, family, friends, coworkers, EVERYBODY should be talking about prostate cancer but NOBODY does. This group sometimes is the only place where men can talk about feelings and issues surrounding prostate cancer."
- Mike, Prostate Cancer