Three-Day Cancer Retreats


We accept applications on an ongoing basis. Please contact us if you are interested in attending, at or 202.483.8600.

Our next Three Day Retreat is May 13-15, 2016.

Life-Enhancing Three-Day Retreats for People with Cancer

The goal of all Smith Center retreats is to empower participants to make life-affirming changes by providing tools and knowledge in a safe and caring community of others facing a cancer diagnosis.

Our three-day retreats are based on our renowned weeklong model, which we have been offering for over 17 years. They offer an opportunity for those who can’t spare significant time away from work, family or other obligations but who wish to become fully immersed in their healing.

      "I feel wiser, stronger, with more tools for my own inner healing. I am less scared"
            -2012 Participant

What is a retreat like?

Smith Center retreats offer a place to explore the issues and choices that people with life-threatening illness encounter. We aim to provide a nurturing environment and experiential healing options paired with the highest quality small-group support program.

Our Three-day Retreats offer:

  • A respite from the stresses of daily life with a cancer diagnosis in a nurturing environment for mind, body, and spirit
  • An opportunity to learn about and personally explore choices in healing
  • Laura Pole teaching about cooking for people with cancer

    Gentle, therapeutic yoga and meditation
  • Delicious, whole foods, health-supportive meals and valuable information about the connection between diet and good health
  • Group sessions with a licensed psychotherapist
  • A creativity session offering another pathway to greater self-understanding in the face of cancer
  • Skills and tools for your continuing journey

Cancer retreats provide a non-medical, educational, hands-on experience for patients and sometimes their primary caregivers. They are not a cancer therapy or treatment program.

      “It means so much to be able to stop for a moment and be heard as an individual instead of a patient.
          To be heard as someone who’s going through a difficult life challenge instead of a victim.” 

Who should attend?

Our retreats are for adults with any type of cancer at any stage in the cancer journey, including remission. Spouses, significant others, and caregivers are encouraged to participate.

Over the years we have observed that Smith Center retreats are most beneficial for those who seek to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and who are receptive to the work of personal transformation.

Participants must be under the care of a physician, able to care for themselves and participate in the daily program, and well enough to devote two-and-a-half concentrated days to the program.

How do I sign up?

Smith Center strives to ensure that all retreat participants are prepared to benefit from the retreat experience. To begin the process, please request an application by emailing or by calling 202.483.8600. Our retreats are intimate and limited to 10 participants, so please apply as early as possible.

What is the Three-Day retreat Schedule like?

  • Three-day retreats begin on Friday and conclude on Sunday.
  • Arrive at noon on Friday for a light lunch and the start of the day’s activities. The day concludes at 8:30 pm following dinner and a presentation.
  • Arrive at 9 am on Saturday for yoga and depart at 7:30 pm following dinner and a day-closing activity.
  • Arrive at 9 am on Sunday for yoga and depart at 3 pm following the closing of the retreat.
  • Daily schedules will include gentle morning yoga, training in meditation, creativity workshops, group sessions, facilitated discussions about the practical and profound choices in healing, and time to relax and enjoy delicious, whole-foods meals.

Who staffs the retreats?

Smith Center retreats are staffed by highly skilled professionals including a licensed psychotherapist, a yoga master, an oncology nursing specialist, a health-supportive chef, an art therapist, wellness educators, and bodyworkers. There is a one-to-one participant to staff ratio. 

Where are Three-Day Retreats held?

All activities are held in our beautiful, light-filled center in Washington, DC, so local participants can choose to stay at home or in a lovely nearby hotel to enhance the retreat experience.

1632 U Street, N.W., Washington, DC.
Driving directions, parking and Metro information

Although not required, retreat participants are encouraged to take advantage of a special hotel offer that Smith Center has arranged and spend Friday and Saturday nights at a nearby hotel. Hotel information will be provided in our retreat packet. By staying close to the Center, you will avoid the stress of commuting, more fully benefit from the activities each day offers, and have the opportunity to casually spend time with the other retreat participants at the end of each day.

What is the cost of the three-day Retreat?

The cost for the three-day program is $650 per person, not including individual accommodations at the hotel. All meals – two on Friday, three on Saturday and two on Sunday are included. Please note that participants’ fees cover just a portion of the cost to Smith Center to offer this retreat. The fee is generously supplemented by contributions from past participants and other friends who help us keep the price as reasonable as possible.

Partial scholarship assistance is available on a limited basis to those for whom the full fee is a barrier to participation.

Spouses and other close support people are welcome to enroll at the same fee and with full participation in the retreat program.

For more information
Call: 202.483.8600

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