This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly cancer support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • November 1 & 15
  • December 6 & 20

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

Jennifer Bires

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren Broschak
Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Julia Rowland, Ph.D.

Caregiver Support Group

This cancer caregiver support group, led by a licensed psychologist, is designed to provide cancer caregivers with the opportunity to meet other caregivers, learn about useful tools for self-care, and explore ways to thrive in the caregiving role.


Julia’s Caregiver Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00 – 7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • November 1 & 15
  • December 6 & 20

About Julia Rowland, PhD

Julia Rowland

Julia Rowland, PhD, who joined Smith Center in October 2017, comes to this position as a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and their families, and published broadly in psycho-oncology, including co-editing, along with Dr. Jimmie Holland, the ground-breaking text, Handbook of Psychooncology.  She has also been a frequent speaker on cancer survivorship, or life after cancer, for both professional and lay audiences.

Julia received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in psychosocial oncology. While at MSKCC, where she held joint appointments in pediatrics and neurology, Julia helped to develop and was the first Director of the Post-Treatment Resource Program, one of the first non-medical survivorship care programs to be offered by a major cancer center in the U.S. In 1990 she moved with her husband and two young children to Washington, DC to become founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center. There she helped expand services to meet the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and families, launched some of the first quality of life clinical trials, and also introduced a program to enable first year medical students to learn the art of caring for those living through and beyond cancer from survivors themselves and Lombardi faculty. Nine years later, in September of 1999, she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, a position in which she served for 18 years, championing the growth of survivorship research and care, before stepping down in September 2017 to assume her new role at Smith Center. Although new to the team, Julia is no stranger to Smith Center. She knew Smith Center’s founder, Barbara Smith Coleman, and has volunteered her expertise across the years as a speaker, group leader and staff member for both the 1-day and weeklong residential retreats. Julia brings to her new role a passion to translate what research has taught us about healing in the context of cancer to the broader community, in essence, taking the science of survivorship from the lab bench to the park bench.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jodi Kanter

Exploring Improvisation through Theater Games
PC: https://spolingamesonline.org/

“Improvising is openness to contact with the environment and each other and willingness to play.”

— Viola Spolin

 

Take a break from your Monday and get in touch with your sense of play through theater games. Very different from “improv” shows designed for entertainment, these simple, structured improvisation sessions will lead us through building environments, creating characters, making images, moving and inventing new languages using nothing but our bodies and our virtually shared space.

 

The foundation of this workshop will be the theater games and explorations of Viola Spolin, author of the classic Improvisation for the Theatre. These games focus on a wide range of core acting skills including nonverbal communication, concentration, listening, observation, character, relationship, and sensory awareness.

 

Actor and filmmaker Rob Reiner attested that the principles behind Spolin’s games “have formed the basis of all the work I’ve done.” Elsewhere, another writer described them as “structures designed to almost fool spontaneity into being.” Spolin’s work is taught all over the world to children and adults, professional actors, educators, and community members.

 

We will apply these skills to storytelling and our individual healing journeys. No previous theater experience required.


Theater Games Workshop will be hosted Weekly on Mondays from 2:00-3:15pm ET. 

Registration is required for each session of this program. The program must have at least 4 registered participants to be held. You will be notified in advance whether each particular session will occur. Please register as early as possible.

Suggested Donation: $10


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jodi Kanter

Stages of Healing

Join dramatherapy intern Jodi Kanter for an experience of devising a short performance from original stories, scenes, monologues and theater exercises. Working together, we will create a group performance of 15-20 minutes in length, to be shared with a small, invited audience over Zoom.

 

The purpose of the performance will be to articulate and transform our own stories of healing and loss into a new artistic expression. In the process, we’ll gain new insights for ourselves and offer something of value to friends, family members and / or caregivers.


Stages of Healing: Therapeutic Play-Making is a 4-part series limited to 4-8 participants. Participants are required to attend all sessions as part of the group experience.

Program Series Dates: 

  • Friday, October 29th, 10:30am-12:30pm
  • Fridays, November 5th, 12th & 19th, 10:30am-12:30pm

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/series


About Jodi Kanter

Jodi Kanter

Jodi has been involved in theater since she was ten years old. She grew up acting and studying performance in American theater’s “Second City,” Chicago Illinois.  She is currently a professor of theatre in the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at George Washington University, where she has been on faculty for nearly fifteen years. Her academic work in theater includes her book, Performing Loss: Strengthening Communities Through Theatre and Writing (2007). Jodi’s focus on performance as a tool for individual and social healing and change has led her to create workshops, events and productions in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and prisons. Most recently, she co-created a four-month diversity and inclusion program for members of DC’s fourteen Neighborhood Village associations using the methodology of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. Jodi holds a PhD. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in dramatherapy at Lesley University.

If you missed Part 1 of the workshop series, please email carla@smithcenter.org for registration.

with Jamie Katz

 

Awe Photo by Jamie Katz
Awe in New Zealand by Jamie Katz
Awe is defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime”. Awe can be broken down into two unique parts: perceived vastness and mental accommodation. Awe has the potential to create positive changes in the way a person experiences the world by making her feel a connection to something greater than herself.
In this workshop, we will watch awe-evoking videos and write about personal awe-inspiring experiences. Since awe is an emotion that can bond groups of people together, reflecting and sharing your experiences is highly encouraged. In the second part of this series, we will reframe our understanding of awe and learn to incorporate these powerful, emotional experiences into our everyday lives.

Experiencing Awe Workshop will be offered in two parts: 

  • Part 1: Thursday, October 14th, 7:00-8:15pm ET
  • Part 2: Thursday, October 28th, 7:00-8:15pm ET

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $15/program (both sessions)

Participants are encouraged to attend both parts to get the most out of the workshop. Please let us know in advance if you are unable to attend both parts.


About Jamie Katz

Jamie Katz
Jamie Katz is an aspiring social psychologist whose past research has focused on the effects of experiencing awe. She is a DC area native who currently works at American University, and she graduated from the University of Richmond in Virginia. Jamie will pursue a graduate degree in psychology so that she can continue to research healing practices and interventions through a deeper understanding of the brain’s processes of experiencing emotions and social connections.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Alexis Reale

Therapeutic Creative Dance

Therapeutic Creative Dance

Dance/movement therapy offers individuals the opportunity to strengthen the mind/body connection, engage in nonverbal communication, and to improve our overall health and wellbeing.

 

Defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as the “psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of the individual,” dance/movement therapy recognizes that we can create changes in the body to reflect lasting changes in the mind.

 

Join us for collective creative expression through dance, writing, art-making and verbal integration. Class includes both individual exploration as well as partner exercises to foster meaning-making through self-exploration and connection with others. Class typically involves a check in, an individual improvisation warm up, individual movement exploration around a theme, partner work, journaling/art making, and a final discussion.

 

The class is open to individuals with all levels of experience and ability around movement. You do not need to have dance experience, only a willingness to move, and class can be done standing, seated, lying down or wherever is best for your comfort.


Therapeutic Creative Dance will be hosted Weekly on Fridays from 12:30-1:30pm ET.

No dance experience is required! Class can be done standing, seated, lying down or wherever is best for your comfort.

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $25/month


About Alexis Reale

Alexis Reale

Alexis is entering her third and final year of her Master’s degree program in Dance/Movement Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. Alexis is currently an intern at the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley where she leads dance/movement therapy groups and 1:1 sessions with clients. Alexis previously interned at Dominion Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, and continues to be under the supervision of dance/movement therapist Jody Wager. Alexis leads dance/movement therapy groups for adults, individuals living with chronic pain, and for older adults in assisted living communities. A lifelong dancer, Alexis believes that anyone can dance, and is delighted to be able to bring the healing power of movement to the Smith Center.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Gayle Danley, CEO, Poetry Pros and James Pennebaker, PhD (University of Texas, Austin)

Did You Know?

Smith Center is pleased to announce the launch of a special series of talks designed to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding of the center. Each of the talks will highlight one of eight healing practices that research and practice tell us is important to the health and well-being of cancer patients/survivors, and their loved ones.

The topics include: Eating Well, Moving More, Managing Stress, Sleeping Well, Creating a Healing Environment, Sharing Love and Support, Exploring What Matters Now, and Expressing Oneself.

For each topic, we will have two expert speakers. One will provide a clear and concise review of the science behind the given topic: what we do and do not know about the topic, the impact of this practice on cancer-related quality of life and mortality specifically, and national recommendations for action. The second speaker will “translate” this information into an action plan (e.g., provide user-friendly tips about how to integrate this aspect of healing into your daily life). At the end, there will be time for a question and answer period.


Did You Know? will be hosted Monthly on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30pm ET.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • October 20 – Expressing Oneself
    • with James Pennebaker, PhD (University of Texas, Austin), and Gayle Danley, CEO, Poetry Pros

In honor of our 25th Anniversary in 2021, we are suggesting donations for this series in fractions or multiples of the number “25.” E.G. $2.50, $12.50, $25, etc.


About Gayle Danley, CEO, Poetry Pros

Gayle Danley

Soon after crushing the competition at Asheville’s National Poetry Slam in 1994, Gayle Danley entered America’s classrooms teaching thousands of children how to access their emotions through the force of words. She performed and taught her way from Maryland Young Audience’s Artist of the Year, to National Young Audience’s Artist of the Year. She’s also both a former national and international poetry slam champion. CBS 60 Minutes profiled her work with middle schoolers as well as the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and New York Times.

For the past five years, Gayle’s Grieffriend sessions have helped women who are living with AIDS, widows, incarcerated youth and those struggling with drug addiction and recovery use poetry to cope and bravely face life’s challenges.

Gayle was recently named Maryland Library Association Poet of the Year.

About James Pennebaker, PhD

Jamie Pennebaker is the Regents Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. His early research dealt with physical symptoms and health which eventually merged into the discovery of expressive writing.  He and his students discovered that when people were asked to write about emotional upheavals for 3-4 days for 15-20 minutes a day, their physical and mental health improved compared to controls. Over 1,000 studies on expressive writing labs around the world continue to show the value of this method. For the last 25 years, he has focused on computerized text analysis as a way of understanding and measuring people’s social behaviors and psychological states. His text analysis program, LIWC, is well known in psychology, business, and computer science. 

Pennebaker has been continuously funded by NSF, NIH, and other federal agencies since 1983. He has published over 300 articles and written or edited 12 books. He has received many awards and honors for research (e.g., Honorary Doctorate, Social and Personality Society’s Distinguished Scholar, Health Psychology Distinguished Scholar, APA’s Distinguished Contributions to Applications in Psychology, the Pavlovian Award, APS’s William James Fellow Award) and teaching (UT Austin’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers). He served as Chair of UT’s Psychology Department from 2005-2014 and President of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in 2014. His most recent books are The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us (Bloomsbury, 2011) and Opening Up by Writing it Down (Guilford, 2016).

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Kiersten Gallagher

Outside the Lines

Creative expression has often been used in the healing process and it is at the core of Smith Center’s philosophy, but fear of judgment and “not being an artist” can often prevent us from tapping into its healing power. Join us for Outside the Lines, where a facilitator will help you reclaim art-making as a healing tool through guided creative projects. Participants who feel comfortable working on their own projects are also welcome to do so.


Outside the Lines is held Bi-Monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • October 20
  • November 3 (Social Hour)
  • November 17
  • December 1 (Social Hour)
  • December 22

Suggested donation: $10 per class

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten Gallagher

As the Cancer Support Program Director, Kiersten fully believes that through the arts we can expand our perspectives and explore new fulfilling ways of being. She invites you to make our space your own refuge, to circumvent your daily routine to spark creativity, to take time for introspection, and draw outside the lines.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C, and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

This bi-monthly cancer support group provides participants with the opportunity to explore their experience with cancer in a safe group setting with a trained social worker and to connect with others who are facing a similar challenge. This group is designed specifically for individuals that have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Cancer Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • October 4 & 18
  • November 1 & 15
  • December 6 & 20

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW, OSW-C

Jennifer Bires

Jennifer Bires is a licensed clinical social worker, who works with people affected by cancer. She received her Master’s in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Jennifer knows how distressing a cancer diagnosis can be for patients and their families. Her goal as an oncology social worker is to help patients and family members adjust to the emotional impact of a diagnosis.  Jennifer specializes in working with young adults, caregivers and patients who have advanced disease. She strives to help patients and families maintain a high quality of life in the face of their illness.

About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW, OSW-C

Lauren Broschak
Lauren is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC and Virginia. She has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Social Work, and has been working in oncology for just over three years. She developed her passion for oncology in Michigan where she worked at Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit supporting those touched by cancer. Since moving to the Metro DC Area she has worked at the GW Cancer Center in Washington, DC and is now an Oncology Clinical Therapist at Life with Cancer in Virginia. Lauren is particularly interested in providing support to the young adult community, and has presented at the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) national conference twice regarding young adults. Most recently, she became the Co-Chair of the Adolescent and Young Adult Special Interest Group at AOSW.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org.

You will receive the Zoom information no later than the morning of your program.

with Julia Rowland, Ph.D.

Caregiver Support Group

This cancer caregiver support group, led by a licensed psychologist, is designed to provide cancer caregivers with the opportunity to meet other caregivers, learn about useful tools for self-care, and explore ways to thrive in the caregiving role.


Julia’s Caregiver Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Mondays from 6:00 – 7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • October 4 & 18
  • November 1 & 15
  • December 6 & 20

About Julia Rowland, PhD

Julia Rowland

Julia Rowland, PhD, who joined Smith Center in October 2017, comes to this position as a long-time clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of psychosocial aspects of cancer. She has worked with and conducted competitively funded research among both pediatric and adult cancer survivors and their families, and published broadly in psycho-oncology, including co-editing, along with Dr. Jimmie Holland, the ground-breaking text, Handbook of Psychooncology.  She has also been a frequent speaker on cancer survivorship, or life after cancer, for both professional and lay audiences.

Julia received her PhD in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in psychosocial oncology. While at MSKCC, where she held joint appointments in pediatrics and neurology, Julia helped to develop and was the first Director of the Post-Treatment Resource Program, one of the first non-medical survivorship care programs to be offered by a major cancer center in the U.S. In 1990 she moved with her husband and two young children to Washington, DC to become founding Director of the Psycho-Oncology Program at Georgetown University and the Lombardi Cancer Center. There she helped expand services to meet the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and families, launched some of the first quality of life clinical trials, and also introduced a program to enable first year medical students to learn the art of caring for those living through and beyond cancer from survivors themselves and Lombardi faculty. Nine years later, in September of 1999, she was recruited to the National Cancer Institute to become the first, full-time Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, a position in which she served for 18 years, championing the growth of survivorship research and care, before stepping down in September 2017 to assume her new role at Smith Center. Although new to the team, Julia is no stranger to Smith Center. She knew Smith Center’s founder, Barbara Smith Coleman, and has volunteered her expertise across the years as a speaker, group leader and staff member for both the 1-day and weeklong residential retreats. Julia brings to her new role a passion to translate what research has taught us about healing in the context of cancer to the broader community, in essence, taking the science of survivorship from the lab bench to the park bench.