Cancer Patient Support Program (CPSP)

“Transition is the emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual process that people go through when they are confronted with change.” ~ Jakob van Wielink

Our Care Approach: Supporting through Transitions

As behavioral health providers in the Cancer Patient Support Program, we recognize that transitioning into living with cancer can be challenging—not only for the person diagnosed but for caregivers and loved ones. Anxiety, fear, and sadness can impact the whole family in many ways. You may be experiencing persistent, troubling thoughts, or the things you used to do may be more difficult because of physical limitations. During this life transition, you may find yourself seeking answers to life’s greatest existential and spiritual questions: Who am I? What are my values and beliefs? Who and what are meaningful to me?

Our licensed counselors and psychologists are here to support you and your loved ones during this transition.

For over 40 years CPSP has been a pillar of support in the Comprehensive Cancer Center. We believe that everyone has coping skills to assist in navigating life’s challenges. We are here to help you access and refine your strengths during this life-changing event. Our team guides you and your loved ones on your cancer journey through a variety of therapeutic offerings to reduce suffering and improve your quality of life across the lifespan, throughout survivorship and beyond. To meet your needs and keep you safe during the pandemic, we have expanded our services to include virtual telehealth appointments and support groups via video. For those unable to engage in virtual services, our team provides in-person services when safe and appropriate.

Counseling Services

Our team offers a variety of counseling services and approaches, including:

  • Supportive Psychotherapy for Individuals, Couples, and Families (“talk therapy”)
  • Mindfulness-based Practices
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Existential and Spiritual Counseling
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Art Therapy
  • Grief and Bereavement Counseling
  • Support Groups

How is talking to a mental health provider different than talking with my family and friends?

Our providers differ from the support of family and friends, because we are skillfully trained to assist with adjusting to life stressors. You can talk with us privately in a safe space to explore existential concerns or feelings of depression or anxiety—topics you may not feel comfortable discussing with family or friends.

During your initial phone intake with one of our clinicians, she will get to know you and identify what services best fit your needs. These services may include individual counseling, couples counseling, support groups, or other specialized care. Rest assured, you will be placed with a provider who specializes in your areas of concern.

What are the benefits of a support group?

Some patients and caregivers may prefer to meet with others who are walking a similar journey rather than meet individually with a mental health provider. We offer virtual support groups for both patients and caregivers. This is a unique opportunity to join with others across North Carolina to discuss similar issues.

Being a part of a support group has many benefits! They include increased empowerment and hope; a reduction in anxiety, distress, and feelings of loneliness; new coping skills; improved communications with loved ones; and tips on navigating cancer care.

  • Wellness Support Group
  • Caregivers’ Navigation Guide
  • Women’s Wellness Support Group
  • Young Adults Support Group
  • Survivorship Reading Group
  • Partner Bereavement
  • 30-Minute Mindfulness
  • HIPEC Financial Support Caregivers Group
  • Caregiving a Loved One with Neuro-Cognitive Challenges

For dates and times for CPSP Support Group listed below, check the CPSP monthly calendar online or at the Information Desks on the 1st and 4th floors of the Comprehensive Cancer Center or call 336-713-6954.

What other CPSP programing is available to me and my family?

We know that cancer impacts a person both emotionally and physically. We invite you to engage in our healing music program, where you can listen to live music in the Cancer Center atrium. To support your physical well-being, you can participate in tai chi and gentle chair yoga classes. These classes can be accessed virtually or in-person.

Care and Treatment

Clinician Specializations

    Erica Art Therapy Mandala
    Response art & mosaic mandala created by CPSP clinician during an art therapy session.
  • Art Therapy
  • Existential Concerns
  • Geriatrics
  • Long-term Survivorship
  • Mood & Adjustment Concerns
  • Spirituality
  • Thanatology – Grief and Bereavement
  • Transitions
  • Trauma & EMDR
  • Women's Mindfulness & Wellness
  • Young Adults

Whether you are interested in supportive counseling, joining a support group, or expressing yourself through music or physical movement, we invite you to learn more about our services, by calling 336-713-6954.

We are here for you.


Katie Duckworth, PhDKatie E. Duckworth, PhD, LCMHC

Katie Duckworth, PhD is the Director of the Cancer Patient Support and Psychosocial Oncology Programs and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Hematology and Oncology. Katie received a BS in Cognitive Studies and Spanish Literature from Vanderbilt University, a MA in Community Counseling from the University of Texas at San Antonio as well as a MA in History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Counseling and Counselor Education. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Psychosocial Oncology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Katie's clinical and research interests include adjustment to chronic health conditions, maternal health, including pregnancy in cancer care, young adult survivorship, sleep quality, fertility and end of life care. She works primarily with the stem cell transplant service and enjoys multidisciplinary care as well as long term relationship establishment with clients. Katie has a strong interest in both clinical and archival research. She is active in many committees throughout the medical center, including medical school admissions and faculty development, and teaches in numerous programs, including Genetic Counseling and the Addiction Research and Clinical Health Programs.

Erica Fox, LCMHC, NCC, ATR

Erica joined the Cancer Patient Support Program in 2022 as a psychosocial oncology counselor and art therapist, having previously served as a staff counselor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine since 2018. She is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Registered Art Therapist, and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner. She holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy from Lesley University at Cambridge.

Erica’s counseling approach is rooted in art therapy, humanistic, and holistic approaches. She has previous experience working with children, adolescents, and adults in school, hospital, and community based therapeutic milieus. Her clinical and research interests include medical art therapy, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, life transitions, and women’s wellness and empowerment. She currently provides counseling to individuals and families in inpatient and outpatient settings.

Carrie Madsen, MS, LCMHC, NCC

Carrie Madsen rejoined the Cancer Patient Support Program in 2022 as a psychosocial oncology counselor, having previously served on staff with CPSP in 2015. She completed her MS in Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2012 and has provided individual and group therapy in medical, educational, and clinical mental health settings. Carrie also holds a BA in Music from the University of Oregon and an MA in Musicology from Cornell University.

Carrie's clinical interests include chronic health conditions, anxiety, depression, spirituality, existential concerns, end-of-life issues, grief and loss, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and group therapy. She is particularly passionate about supporting clients as they navigate periods of adjustment, such as those initiated by cancer diagnosis, treatment, and/or survivorship. Carrie works with individuals, groups, and caregivers/families in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Lisa Ann RainwaterLisa A. Rainwater, PhD, MA, LCMHCA, NCC

Lisa is the Integrated Clinical Programming Manager of the Cancer Patient Support and Psychosocial Oncology Programs. She joined the Cancer Patient Support Program in 2020 as a psychosocial oncology counselor after completing her year-long practicum and internship as a graduate student in counseling. She holds a BA in Psychology, German, and Sociology from Winona State University; an MA in German Studies from the University of Oregon; a PhD in German and Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with an emphasis on existential and feminist theory and philosophy; and an MA in Counseling from Wake Forest University.

Her graduate work and research has focused on human concerns related to meaning and purpose in life, human suffering and death, freedom and responsibility, and isolation and loneliness. Her theoretical orientation is rooted in existential humanist philosophy with the belief that each individual has inherent strengths that enable one to grow and adapt through personal choices and responsibilities. The death of a loved one, the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness, or the inability to speak due to cancer can be the force that catapults one into an existential crisis. Lisa recognizes that such crises can be debilitating but also views them as an opportunity for personal growth. She is committed to supporting her patients on their journey to identify and embrace the people, values, and activities that matter most to them while facing life challenges.

Lisa’s clinical and research interests include grief, anxiety, existential threats, caregiver distress, geriatrics, and end of life decisions. She provides inpatient and outpatient counseling to individuals, couples, and families and leads virtual support groups for caregivers and cancer survivors. She is currently working toward Certification in Thanatology.

Aimee TolbertAimee Tolbert, MA, LPA, HSP-PA

Aimee Tolbert joined the Cancer Patient Support Program as a psychology student intern in June, 2015. In January, 2016, she transitioned to the role of staff psychologist. Aimee completed her BS in Psychology and Sociology from Virginia Tech, and her MA in Clinical Health Psychology from Appalachian State University.

Aimee’s clinical interests include anxiety, depression, spirituality, caregiver issues, and existential concerns. She specializes in working with young adults and adolescents, individuals with blood cancers, gynecological cancers, and breast cancer. Aimee works with patients as well as groups/families in both the inpatient and outpatient settings.

Other Services

The Comprehensive Cancer Center offers a number of services that work hand-in-hand with the Cancer Patient Support Program to help patients through what can be a very difficult time. Please see the services listed below.