14. December 2022
THE EAST BAY CANCER SUPPORT GROUP
The East Bay Cancer Support Group offers assistance to adult, adolescent, and paediatric cancer patients, as well as those who have lost a loved one to cancer. Our support programmes work hard to meet the physical and emotional needs of individuals with various cancer diagnoses.
The groups are led by our industry specialists:
- Kirsten Severson Ph.D. – psychologist specialising in psycho-oncology;
- Shellie Hatfield, L.C.S.W
- Deborah L. Blackburn M.F.T.
Our range of services covers the following groups: Adult Cancer Patients, Breast Cancer Patients, Adult Caregivers, Adolescent Caregivers, Adult Bereavement, Children’s Bereavement. Please check below for the individual groups and their timetables:
Breast Cancer Patient Group - Thursdays 5:30 to 6:45 pm
The group deals with the physical and emotional needs of patients with a varying cancer diagnoses. This group is led by Kirsten Severson Ph.D., a psychologist, specializing in psychooncology.
Adult Patient Group - Thursdays 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
This group is for men and women facing a metastatic cancer diagnosis. Although varying cancer diagnosis are represented, psychological issues experienced by patients are often similar. In a confidential setting, patients can address emotional concerns that surface as they face the reality of diagnosis and treatment(s). This group is led by Kirsten Severson Ph.D., a psychologist, specializing in psychooncology.
Adult Caregivers Group - Thursdays 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Individuals whose spouse/partner, family member or friend, is diagnosed with cancer are invited to attend this group. The intent is to provide “care for the caregiver.” Feelings of helplessness, and distress of seeing your loved one ill, as well as other caregiving issues are addressed. This group is facilitated by Shellie Hatfield, L.C.S.W.
Adolescent Caregivers Group - 2nd. & 4th.Thursday of each month. 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
A group is offered for adolescents whose parent has cancer. This group enables teenagers to receive support as they cope with the impact of an ill parent. Peer group, school, and other topics are discussed, as they deal with the reality of a parent diagnosed with cancer. Deborah L. Blackburn M.F.T. is the facilitator. Upon request, Deborah will communicate with the teenager’s teacher or school counsellor regarding emotional concerns that may be impacting school performance.
Children’s Group - 1st. & 3rd Thursday of each month. 7:00 to 8:30 PM
This group provides counselling for children, ages 7-12, whose parent is coping with cancer. Deborah Blackburn, M.F.T., is the facilitator.
Adult Bereavement Group - Thursdays 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.
This is an adult bereavement group for men and women. The focus of this group is to provide emotional support as group members work through the grieving process. Shellie Hatfield, L.C.S.W. facilitates the group.
Adolescent Bereavement Group - 2nd. & 4th. Thursday of each month.: 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.
The adolescent bereavement group focuses on providing compassion and support as teenagers face the loss of a parent, sibling, or close significant other. In a confidential setting, teens receive professional counselling as well as peer support. Debroah L. Blackburn, M.F.T. facilitates the group. Upon request, Deborah will communicate with the teenager’s teacher or school counsellor regarding emotional concerns that may impact school performance.
Children’s Bereavement Group - 1st. & 3rd Thursdays 5:30 to 6:45 p.m.
This group provides counselling for children, ages 7-12, who have lost a parent to cancer. Deborah Blackburn, M.F.T., is the facilitator.
About our group facilitators:
Kirsten Severson Ph.D.
Dr. Severson is a clinical psychologist with a Ph.D. in psycho-oncology. Since 1988, she has worked with cancer patients and their families. Dr. Severson serves as the Director and oversees the adult cancer patient groups. When patients are unable to attend the group, she gives patients and their families with in-home psychological assistance. She runs a private practice and works as a consultant for many local hospitals.
Deborah L. Blackburn M.F.T.
Deborah is a marital and family therapist with a licence. She talks for the Leukemia Society in addition to working with families, particularly teenagers affected by cancer. Deborah is a leukaemia survivor who can provide first-hand knowledge and assistance to others. She leads a group for kids who have cancer-stricken parents, as well as an adolescent grief group. Deborah keeps a private practice.
Deborah A. Moore BSN, MSN, OCN, FNP-C
Debbie obtained her family nurse practitioner certificate from California State University, Sonoma in 1995 after receiving her master’s degree in nursing/oncology from the University of California, San Francisco in 1994. She has 25 years of expertise in oncology nursing, with a focus on breast cancer. Debbie works at Kaiser Permanente and has vast experience in public speaking on breast cancer.
Debbie has had a particular interest in breast cancer because she lost her mother to it when she was 16. “I know from personal experience what a terrible diagnosis this can be, and that knowledge gives strength to women and their families at a time when they feel helpless.” My husband, Paul’s, recent death from advanced oesophageal cancer, and the care I offered him, have given me a fresh perspective on what patients and caregivers confront on a daily basis. This has made me a significantly better provider in my work as a nurse practitioner.
Shellie Hatfield LCSW
Shellie Hatfield is a certified clinical social worker who works with cancer patients. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s MSW/DSW programme in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her first job was as an oncology social worker at the Cancer Research Institute at UCSF in San Francisco. She studied hypnotherapy there and led workshops for medical trainees on the psychological management of cancer patients.
She has two private practice locations in which she sees cancer patients as well as individuals, couples, and families. She works as a mental health consultant at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation in Redwood City and leads a monthly metastatic cancer support group for Alta Bates Cancer Centre. She has over 25 years of expertise as a clinician in the Bay Area healthcare system. She feels that engaging in a support group provides emotional support that improves coping and aids recovery. She is now facilitating the East Bay Cancer Support Group’s Bereavement and Caregiver Groups.