The Dempsey Center offers short-term therapeutic counseling services for individuals and families impacted by cancer. Counseling is provided by Master’s-prepared licensed psychotherapists (LCSWs and LCPCs) who specialize in oncology and bereavement.
Cancer’s impact on body, mind, and spirit
Cancer’s impact on relationships
Living with advanced cancer
Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques
(207) 795-7530, [email protected]
Theresa earned her Masters’ degree in Social Work at the University of New England. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Oncology Social Worker. Theresa provided end-of-life counseling to terminally ill patients and supportive counseling to their families as a hospice social worker for over 10 years before coming to the Dempsey Center in 2013. She has facilitated Grief Support Groups and Psycho-Educational Grief programs in the Lewiston/Auburn Community since 2002.
Theresa uses a variety of therapeutic modalities including Narrative Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy and her approach to counseling is strength and solution based. She uses a skill-building approach to teach patients and caregivers ways to decrease stress and anxiety and how to improve their self-care and assertive communication skills. Theresa also provides grief and bereavement support and counseling services.
207-795-8256, [email protected]
Christine is a 2017 graduate of the University of New England earning her Master’s Degree in Social Work. Christine completed her clinical internship at the Dempsey Center and practiced in the areas of Adult Oncology and Grief and Bereavement.
Christine uses a person centered, strengths based approach, incorporating therapeutic modalities of CBT, Mindfulness and Narrative Therapy. Prior to transitioning into Oncology Social Work, Christine worked with children and families in the areas of Early Head Start and Child abuse prevention.
(207) 330-7737, [email protected]
Kerry Cox Irish, LCSW, OSW-C, has worked in oncology and hospice-care settings since 1995, and was intimately involved in the creation and development of the Dempsey Center, serving as founding Director until October 2010, when she decided to “return to her roots” in direct practice as a clinical social worker.
Kerry has her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia and is also an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister, having completed a two-year seminary program at One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York in 2015. She has advanced certifications in oncology social work and interactive guided imagery, and has published and also presented at multiple local and national conferences on a variety of psychosocial oncology care-related topics. In 2016, she was awarded the American Cancer Society’s national “Quality of Life” award
Kerry’s supportive counseling practice is rooted in a holistic, strengths-based perspective. Her practice specialties include navigating the challenges and opportunities presented by serious illness, including stress, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, faith and spirituality, life transitions, and personal growth. She incorporates meditation, guided imagery, meaning-centered psychotherapy, narrative therapy, reminiscence/life review and CBT techniques into her work with clients.
207-774-2200, [email protected]
Patti Sands earned her Master of Social Work degree at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. She is a licensed clinical social worker and has a background in supporting children, adults and families with grief, bereavement, loss and trauma. She interned and later volunteered at the Center for Grieving Children, serving as a facilitator in the peer model to all age groups. Patti has facilitated psycho-educational groups related to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and skill-based groups such as managing anxiety.
Patti uses a variety of therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Play Therapy and Narrative Therapy. She also incorporates mindfulness and meditation into her practice.
Patti is a nationally certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy clinician and has presented extensively on subjects related to childhood exposure to violence and trauma, most specifically childhood traumatic grief. Patti is also trained Child-Parent Psychotherapy, Child and Family Traumatic Stress Intervention and Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma or Conduct Problems.
207-795-8256, [email protected]
Kailie Sullivan, LCSW, OSW-C, has worked in oncology care settings since 2008, most recently at Central Maine Medical Center and previously Massachusetts General Hospital. Kailie has a Master’s degree in Social Work from New York University and holds advanced certification in Oncology Social Work. Prior to studying Social Work, Kailie spent several years working with children and families in the field of Early Childhood Education.
Kailie utilizes a strengths-based approach and resiliency theory model in her work supporting children, adolescents, young adults and families impacted by cancer. She also has expertise in counseling clients with concerns around managing complicated family dynamics and parenting through cancer. Kailie uses a variety of therapeutic modalities appropriate for youth and families including play, expressive arts, mindfulness and adventure-based therapies.
When I first found out I had cancer I didn’t know who to turn to. My family is not the ‘norm’ where support is available emotionally or financially. I debated calling the Dempsey Center, but I’m not usually one to ask for help. That phone call was the most valuable I’ve ever made. I scheduled a counseling session and met Theresa, she invited me to participate in the From Cancer to Health™ support group. Through the group I’ve learned many valuable techniques like relaxation, assertive speaking, etc. I learned it’s okay to ask for help, which had been the toughest thing for me to do. I don’t know how I would’ve coped; this group became my family and my support. I’m very thankful for making that call.
- Debbie Gogan-Koris