The Dempsey Center offers short-term therapeutic counseling services for individuals and families managing the impact of cancer.
Cancer’s impact on body, mind, and spirit
Cancer’s impact on relationships
Cancer’s impact on Care Partners
Living with advanced cancer
Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques
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) 795-7530, [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]
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.
207-376-9686, [email protected]
Sarah Walter has more than 10 years of experience supporting children, teens, adults and their family members through life transitions, trauma and loss using a clinical lens grounded in attachment theory. She earned her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Administration degrees at the University of Utah’s Graduate school of Social Work in 2016. Prior to joining the Dempsey Center in 2020, Sarah worked as a clinician supporting children and their families at Sweetser’s Eslie J. Parquette school, community behavioral health clinics and as a Field Instructor at a wilderness therapy program in Utah.
Sarah was previously licensed as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and has experience treating adults and adolescents with Substance Use Disorders. She is trained in Motivational Interviewing, Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), the Attachment Self-Regulation and Competency (ARC) Framework, and Structural Family therapy. Sarah has facilitated life skills and psychotherapy groups related to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy Skills, coping skills and mindfulness for children, teens, and adults. She has a passion for helping children and their parents build a stronger sense of connection and confidence in each other and their own resilience.
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