Robin Adler, MSW, LICSW, Director of Mind-Body Medicine

What affects the body also affects the mind, so it only makes sense that cancer treatment involve both, says Robin Adler, director of mind-body medicine at Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center.

“That is the holistic model we use. We’re not separating out parts. We’re treating the whole person,” she says.

A licensed clinical social worker, Robin offers support to patients, caregivers and families throughout their cancer treatment and recovery. In addition to individual and family counseling, she leads support and relaxation groups, provides community-education workshops, coordinates a monthly Laugh Club, and links patients to needed resources in the community.

“You’re giving people control in a situation that feels overwhelming,” she says.

Robin earned her master of social work degree from the University of Washington and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University.

Before coming to the clinic in 2003, she served as an oncology social worker in Highline Community Hospital’s Cancer Care Program in Burien and as a hospice social worker at Swedish Home Health and Hospice in Seattle.

Robin is a member of the Association of Oncology Social Workers, the Oncology Social Work Network, the National Association of Social Workers and the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work.

At the clinic, she works with patients to identify sources of stress that go beyond the disease, then teaches them relaxation techniques and helps them develop plans to manage stress.

The idea is to give the mind and body a break from worry, fear and anxiety and boost the immune system, she says. “The body and mind have a natural ability to heal. Mind-body medicine strives to enhance that.”

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