The Department of Social Work has licensed clinical social workers to help patients and their families/friends cope with cancer, and address any psychological or social barriers to their treatment. Social Work Counselors provide counseling, resource linkage, advance care planning, support groups, and more.
A cancer diagnosis can mean increased distress for patients and their loved ones. Highly skilled and professionally trained in counseling, clinical social workers provide short-term counseling free of charge.
Counseling services include:
- Adjustment to diagnosis and treatment
- Coping with life changes
- Crisis intervention
- Grief and loss
- Sexuality and intimacy counseling for couples and individuals
- Bereavement and loss counseling
- Relaxation and self-hypnosis
- Children whose parents have cancer
CLIMB: Children's Lives Include Moments of Bravery
KIWI: Kids Inquire, We Inform
MD Anderson clinical social workers serve as a liaison between patients, the health care system and the community. Based on your specific needs, your social worker will help identify appropriate resources, including:
- Lodging and housing (short-term and long-term)
- Financial support programs
- Community support programs
- Home health
Social Work conducts one annual adult memorial service and four quarterly pediatric memorial services throughout the year for families, friends, hospital staff and the community to commemorate the lives of those they have lost.
For more information:
- Adult memorial service - April Pichon, 713-792-5388
- Pediatric memorial services - Heather Derousse, 713-792-7146
The Social Work Internship program offers field placement opportunities to second-year Master of Social Work students. The program provides the highest quality hands-on learning experience, preparing students to enter the social work profession with confidence in their skills and knowledge.
Student pursuing the MSW degree
MD Anderson has both inpatient and outpatient social work settings. Opportunities for enhancing clinical, documentation, and interpersonal skills as a social work practitioner are available in both areas.
MD Anderson also offers practicum opportunities in Social Work administration. These students carry a limited clinical caseload and are involved in areas including program evaluation, policy and procedure development and review, and/or grant location and writing.
All students are required to participate in a departmental orientation program, and are then assigned to the service of their Field Instructor. Students are required to be in the field three days a week for two semesters for a consecutive placement, or five days a week for one semester for a block placement. During their experience, students participate in an interdisciplinary team approach to care, including patient teaching, planning conferences and chart rounds with physicians, nurses and other team members.
Staff development presentations are offered within the Social Work department. Students are expected to present at one staff development meeting. Weekly brown bag presentations on various topics are offered, and there are other opportunities to attend continuing education presentations within the institution.
Students seeking this placement should be independent and able to function with some degree of autonomy once established within their service. We promote the choosing of a learning experience, which would move students toward realizing their professional educational goals.
The Clara B. Smith Training Center
The Clara B. Smith Training Center was established in honor of Clara Blackford Smith of Denison, Texas. Mrs. Smith was a longtime friend and benefactor of the Social Work department, frequently contributing financial support for indigent patients and training institutes for Social Workers throughout Texas.
The grant provides funds for student stipends for second-year Master of Social Work (MSW) or Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) students who either are in a health care specialization or have a strong interest in health care social work.
Amy LaMarca Lyon, MSW, LCSW
Department of Social Work
1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 103
Houston, TX 77030
Social Work in Cancerwise
Whether you're a patient or a caregiver, cancer treatment is
stressful. But our social work counselors can help.
At MD Anderson, each patient is assigned to a social work counselor. These licensed clinical social workers help patients, their family and friends cope with cancer. They also can help you deal with psychological or social concerns you face during and after treatment.
Here are a few ways our social work counselors...
Stress is the body’s physical, emotional, and psychological response to any demand. Unfortunately, it’s a part of daily life, especially for cancer patients and caregivers.
But if you don’t actively manage your stress, it can become chronic and adversely affect your health and cancer treatment.
Fortunately, relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress. Meditation is one basic technique that is easy to learn...
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences,
penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of
- Maya Angelou
While the masses are out shopping for long-stem roses, many of our patients and their loved ones find themselves preoccupied with MRI results, blood counts and chemotherapy.
Unfortunately, cancer doesn't only affect the individual who is diagnosed. Relationships are impacted...
Main Building, Floor 2, near The Park, B2.4650
Mays Clinic, Floor 2, near the Tree Sculpture, ACB2.1508
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.