Oncology Social Work, Counseling & Psychiatry

At the Swedish Cancer Institute, patients and their families have access to a range of psychosocial services, including support for individuals, couples and families, and regular peer support groups for patients and caregivers. These services are part of our Division of Psycho-Oncology, which includes board-certified psychiatrists and oncology social workers who work exclusively with cancer patients and families.

Social Work

Learn more about the role of an oncology social worker, what to expect when meeting with an oncology social worker, and how they can assist cancer patients as they move through cancer diagnosis and treatment, in our video: What is an oncology social worker?

Individual and Family Care

  • Supportive listening and counseling
  • Coping with treatment
  • Improving communication with health-care providers, friends, and family members
  • Managing depression and anxiety
  • Dealing with current and past losses
  • Providing resources for relaxation techniques, stress management, visualization and imagery
  • Helping family members cope with your cancer and its treatment
  • Financial concerns
  • Connecting with community agencies and services
  • Finding mental-health counselors in the community who have experience working with cancer patients

To reach our social work team, please call:

Cherry Hill Swedish Neuroscience Institute Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment: 206-320-2300.

Learn about advanced care planning, why it's important and what steps to take to document your wishes in our video: Advanced Care Planning.


Psychiatry at Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) is a special field in psychosocial oncology that acts to understand the ways that cancer and its treatment can affect your mood, thinking, relationships, and ability to manage stress. Our psychiatry team works closely with surgeons, oncologists, nurses, social workers, and other cancer and palliative care providers to develop personalized treatment plans for each patient.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 206-215-2275.

Art Therapy

The Art Therapy sessions available at Swedish Cancer Institute introduce creative ways for patients to respond to their cancer experience, and they provide a safe space to explore thoughts and express feelings about cancer. Research shows that Art Therapy can help reduce symptoms related to pain and anxiety in patients with cancer. Art Therapy may also help reduce stress and help patients achieve personal insight. Learn more in our video: What to Expect in Art Therapy.

Art Therapy is available at no extra cost and is open to all SCI patients, family members and caregivers. 

To schedule or for more information, please contact SCIArtTherapy@swedish.org or 206-309-5437.

For more information about art therapy education and credentialing, please visit the Art Therapy Credentials board at atcb.org or the American Art Therapy Association at arttherapy.org.

View Current Art Therapy Offerings

Music Therapy

In a creative, safe, and supportive setting, participants are invited to explore the healing benefits of music through individual, group, or treatment center sessions. Enhance your cancer treatment plan by learning how to use music to manage common physical and emotional symptoms of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Benefits of music therapy can include anxiety and stress reduction, pain and sleep management, and improved coping skills.

All sessions at Swedish Cancer Institute are facilitated by a Board-Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) and offered free of charge to oncology patients and their family members. Music experience or confidence is not required to participate.

Learn more in our video: What to Expect in Music Therapy.


Offerings vary and may include:

In a creative, safe, and supportive setting, participants are invited to explore the healing benefits of music through individual, group, or treatment center sessions. All sessions at Swedish Cancer Institute are facilitated by a board-certified music therapist. 

Offerings vary and may include:

  • Individual sessions: 60-minute in person or virtual session, by appointment only.
  • Group Sessions
  • Treatment Center Visits: 5–20-minute sessions offering live music designed to decrease stress and increase relaxation
  • Music Medicine playlists: Curated music medicine playlists designed to reduce anxiety and stress during minor procedures. Talk to your clinic about Music Medicine playlists if you are receiving a bone marrow biopsy procedure, gamma knife treatment, or radiation therapy

View Current Music Therapy Offerings

For more information about our drop-in music therapy groups, please see the Cancer Support Groups and Education flyer.

To schedule a session or learn more about our services please contact:

Edmonds Campus

Edmonds Music Therapist

Alex Fermanis, MT-BC

Phone: 206-395-2699

Email: alexander.fermanis@swedish.org

First Hill & Issaquah campus

First Hill & Issaquah Music Therapist

Betsy Hartman, MT-BC, NMT-Fellow

Phone: 206-386-6711

Email: betsy.hartman@swedish.org

Support Music Therapy

The music therapy program at SCI is generously funded through philanthropic support. Donations from the community help make this program possible. To donate or learn about how you can support our music therapy program contact: Jeff Walker at jeff.walker@swedish.org or 206-386-3194.

Support Groups

The Swedish Cancer Institute offers a variety of support groups. The groups provide an opportunity to meet with others having experiences similar to your own. Each group is facilitated by an experienced Swedish Cancer Institute support group facilitator and are open to all people in the community.

To learn more, see our Swedish Cancer Institute Support Groups brochure.

Support group members experience and receive:

  • Practical information
  • An understanding of diagnosis and treatment
  • A safe and caring place to share feelings and learn self-care skills.
  • A place to develop coping skills and discover how one lives life fully in the midst of cancer.