Nancy Arbuckle-Hinks: Senior Counseling Associate
Hi, my name is Nancy and I came to counseling and social work in a roundabout way. I was raised in northeast Ohio and my father and grandfather were both physicians. As long as I could remember, I had wanted to be a doctor. I read every book I could find about female physicians. When I began high school however, chemistry hit me like a ton of bricks, and I quickly assumed I wasn’t “smart enough” to go to medical school.
After attending various colleges, I ended up getting my degree from Arizona State University, in English literature. I had taken a social work class as an undergraduate and really liked it, but never pursued anything beyond that. After graduation, I had various jobs, but always seemed to gravitate toward helping people and working in nonprofits. I got married, moved to Colorado and decided to go back to school.
I received my Masters in counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado. Over the years, I have worked for nonprofits, mental health centers, and family planning programs. Raising a family and moving for my husband’s job made pursuing a career challenging but I eventually landed a position in the medical field in Houston, working as a behavioral therapist at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Another move eventually brought my family back to the Midwest. I continued my career in the traditional medical setting, and spent about two years working as a counselor at a cancer center for a local hospital before they closed. For the last 13 years, I have worked in the local medical community with patients on discharge planning and resource referrals.
A divorce, new relationship, children launching from home, and pursuing new interests have all been a part of my life for the past two years. My focus when working with others has always been supportive and my greatest pleasure has been with clients who are interested in participating fully in their treatment and recovery. I have facilitated support groups at various times in my career and find them to be beneficial for different reasons: the energy and resources gained from a “good group” can be very healing both emotionally and psychologically.
I have had my own experiences with cancer and the grief associated with it. My brother died of a brain tumor at the young age of 49. I have two close friends who have recently completed chemotherapy and radiation for lymphoma and breast cancer and have seen the benefits a support group has had with them.
I am excited about joining a progressive and energetic team at the Absenger Cancer Education Foundation and look forward to participating in an integrative model which benefits cancer survivors. I know that supportive counseling and group work can relieve anxiety and play an important role in the journey for all survivors. I am looking forward to meet you!