Carissa Hodgson, LCSW, OSW-C is the Director of Programs and Community Outreach at Bright Spot Network, which provides a program of support to parents with cancer who have young children. She has over 14 years of clinical and program experience working with families facing cancer. Prior to her position at Bright Spot Network she was the Program Manager at Gilda’s Club Madison for 13 years. Her professional passion is supporting kids and families who are navigating cancer, shaped largely by her father having lung cancer when she was a child and her step-father’s diagnosis of liver cancer when she was a young adult.
Carissa has been a member of the Association of Oncology Social Work since 2015 and presently sits as co-chair of the Youth, Families and Cancer Special Interest Group. She enjoys traveling around the country giving presentations and writing articles for cancer magazines and blogs. She recently finished co-authoring a chapter on cancer in middle adulthood for the upcoming Oncology and Palliative Social Work: Psychosocial Care for People Coping with Cancer textbook published by Oxford Press.
Carissa is also a Long Term Lecturer at the Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches courses on grief and loss, as well as a generalist practice course with individuals, families and groups.
Carissa has a private psychotherapy practice working with issues of cancer, chronic illness, caregiving, grief and loss, child and adolescent development, family systems, and issues relating to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Carissa lives outside of Madison, WI with her social worker wife, 7 year-old son and aging Boston Terrier/Pug mix pup. She looks forward to time spent with family meandering through the prairies near her home, taking up a new craft, playing board games, telling silly stories, and taste-testing her wife’s home-made chocolates.