Clinical Oncology Social Work

Patient and Family Support Programs at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute offer clinical oncology social work support for patients and their families. This team is made up of licensed social workers with master’s degrees and specialized training and expertise in psychosocial oncology.

Social workers address the psychological, emotional, social and practical needs of our patients and their loved ones. These services help patients and their families cope with the complexities of cancer care. They also can help you explore and manage your emotions and feel more in control.

Social Work Supportive Care Services

We offer the following social work support care services:

  • Psychotherapy for individuals, couples and family members
  • Counseling for a range of emotions, such as feelings of being overwhelmed, frustrated, denial, anger, fear, worry, stress, anxiety, sadness, depression, guilt and hope
  • Teaching coping skills for behavior, patient education, new ways to process thoughts and feelings, deep-breathing exercises, training your muscles to relax, learning how to meditate, behavioral activation, problem-solving therapy and ways to cope with stress
  • Help with how to talk with children and family members about cancer
  • Sexuality and fertility concerns
  • Appearance-related concerns
  • Fear of treatment or fear of recurrence of cancer; and concerns about death and dying
  • Preparing psychologically for surgery and other procedures
  • Help with communicating with your doctors and other medical service providers
  • Assistance in discussing and completing advance directives
  • Pre-bone marrow transplant and donor evaluations
  • Expertise and concern for patient dignity, confidentiality, legal rights and access to care

The social work team can also offer information or referrals for the following:

  • Community-based support groups
  • Information about wigs and other appearance products
  • Financial assistance
  • Prescription assistance programs
  • Disability insurance options
  • Social Security benefits
  • Transportation
  • Caregiving resources and support
  • Legal assistance
  • Lodging resources