Caregiver Support Group

With Julia Rowland, Ph. D.

Mondays, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

  • January 22
  • February 12
  • March 26

This 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.

Please RSVP to us at 202.483.8600 prior to your first visit.

Caregiver Support Group

With Julia Rowland, Ph. D.

Mondays, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

  • January 22
  • February 12
  • March 26

This 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.

Please RSVP to us at 202.483.8600 prior to your first visit.

Caregiver Support Group

With Julia Rowland, Ph. D.

Mondays, 6:00pm – 7:30pm

  • January 22
  • February 12
  • March 26

This 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.

Please RSVP to us at 202.483.8600 prior to your first visit.

with Wendy Miller & Larry Kanter

4:30pm – 6:00pm

This healing circle series will focus on the unique needs of those experiencing, recently or not, the loss of a spouse or partner. No matter where you find yourself in your journey with grief, a chance to be with others who have lost a spouse or partner can lead to shared learning and healing.

Come join us in our healing circle of collaborative conversations.

Healing Circles bring together small numbers of people impacted by a condition or circumstance to share experiences and harvest collective wisdom.  A Healing Circle is a peer-led process by which people support each other through deep listening and shared learning. When working at its best, this collaborative conversation model leads to authentic and deep connectivity and can create wisdom and healing for participants.

Please RSVP to Kiersten at 202.483.8600.

About Wendy Miller: Moving here many years ago from the SF Bay Area, my relationship with Commonweal led me to Barbara Smith Coleman. I am proud to have been part of an early group of people with Shanti Norris who met with Barbara to envision the cancer retreats, a healing center, and gallery for Smith Center. Years later when my late husband Gene Cohen was facing metastatic prostate cancer, he went to Commonweal for his cancer retreat.  The gift of community support, reflection, and care guided the choices we made through the many years of living with cancer in our family body. I became a widow in 2009.

Wendy Miller is an expressive arts therapist, artist, and writer living in Kensington Md. In 2016, she published the book, Sky Above Clouds: Finding our way through creativity, aging, and illness, about her life and work with her late husband.  It is a spiritual treatise on love and creativity during life’s major transitions.

About Larry Kanter: My late wife, Alex Todorovich, passed away in 2009 from breast cancer.  My work with the Smith Center began in 2007 when Alex and I attended the Center’s week-long retreat, which marked a turning point in our understanding of what it means to really live, to love life, and to live in the embrace of a healing community.  After Alex’s passing the Center’s Hisaoaka Gallery mounted a show of Alex’s art entitled “How to Leave a Well-Traveled Road” which documented her life, her fears, her loves and the path she chose at its end.

Larry Kanter is a graphic designer living in Washington, DC and is a Smith Center friend and an ardent supporter of Center’s work.

 

Hosted by Critical Mass

Critical Mass Young Adult Cancer Alliance Family Building Town Hall Smith Center

The National Cancer Institute estimates that each year nearly one-quarter of all new cancer diagnosis will impact men and women of reproductive age.  Cancer patients and their providers have a very short window to decide to preserve fertility whether prior to treatment or in between surgery and chemotherapy. In addition, adolescents and young adults face unique barriers.  Many providers do not discuss how cancer treatment will impact their fertility and if they do, they do not always meet strict insurance coverage requirements for coverage. Join Critical Mass for a town hall discussion about how a cancer diagnosis impacts family building options.

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 Critical Mass

Critical Mass was formed in 2006 as the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance (Alliance), a program of the LIVESTRONG Foundation, built as a volunteer-driven coalition of organizations that included universities and academic medical centers, cancer centers, community hospitals, professional societies, nonprofit/advocacy groups, and liaison members from government agencies such as NCI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The LIVESTRONG Foundation created the Alliance originally as an implementation body to address the recommendations in the groundbreaking report from the NCI’s Adolescent/Young Adult Oncology Progress Review Group in 2006, which was the first major recognition in the United States of young adults between 15-39 years old as a distinct group with unique needs, issues and even biology.

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW

This weekly 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 group will also be closed, welcoming new members at the first meeting of each month. Please RSVP to Kiersten at 202.483.8600.

Meets 2nd and 4th Mondays from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

  • Mondays October 16th and 30th
  • Mondays November 13th and 27th
  • Monday, December 11th

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.

Experience the transformative power of a Smith Center Retreat. We are pleased to announce our June Retreat will be held at Dayspring Retreat Center, set on over 200 acres in Germantown, Maryland. 

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

Our upcoming Three Day Retreats are scheduled for:

December 8-10, 2017

 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 20 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
-Retreat 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 cancerGentle, 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 retreats@smithcenter.org 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?

dayspring

We are pleased to announce our June Retreat will be held at Dayspring Retreat Center, set on over 200 acres in Germantown, Maryland.

Driving directions to Dayspring Retreat Center

What is the cost of the three-day Retreat?

The cost for this three-day program is $850 per person, which includies individual accommodations and all meals. 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
Email: retreats@smithcenter.org
Call: 202.483.8600

with Wendy Miller & Larry Kanter

4:30pm – 6:00pm

This healing circle series will focus on the unique needs of those experiencing, recently or not, the loss of a spouse or partner. No matter where you find yourself in your journey with grief, a chance to be with others who have lost a spouse or partner can lead to shared learning and healing.

Come join us in our healing circle of collaborative conversations.

Healing Circles bring together small numbers of people impacted by a condition or circumstance to share experiences and harvest collective wisdom.  A Healing Circle is a peer-led process by which people support each other through deep listening and shared learning. When working at its best, this collaborative conversation model leads to authentic and deep connectivity and can create wisdom and healing for participants.

Please RSVP to Kiersten at 202.483.8600.

About Wendy Miller: Moving here many years ago from the SF Bay Area, my relationship with Commonweal led me to Barbara Smith Coleman. I am proud to have been part of an early group of people with Shanti Norris who met with Barbara to envision the cancer retreats, a healing center, and gallery for Smith Center. Years later when my late husband Gene Cohen was facing metastatic prostate cancer, he went to Commonweal for his cancer retreat.  The gift of community support, reflection, and care guided the choices we made through the many years of living with cancer in our family body. I became a widow in 2009.

Wendy Miller is an expressive arts therapist, artist, and writer living in Kensington Md. In 2016, she published the book, Sky Above Clouds: Finding our way through creativity, aging, and illness, about her life and work with her late husband.  It is a spiritual treatise on love and creativity during life’s major transitions.

About Larry Kanter: My late wife, Alex Todorovich, passed away in 2009 from breast cancer.  My work with the Smith Center began in 2007 when Alex and I attended the Center’s week-long retreat, which marked a turning point in our understanding of what it means to really live, to love life, and to live in the embrace of a healing community.  After Alex’s passing the Center’s Hisaoaka Gallery mounted a show of Alex’s art entitled “How to Leave a Well-Traveled Road” which documented her life, her fears, her loves and the path she chose at its end.

Larry Kanter is a graphic designer living in Washington, DC and is a Smith Center friend and an ardent supporter of Center’s work.

 

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW and Cheryl Hughes, LICSW, OSW-C

Monthly on Sunday, 5:00-6:30pm

  • October 15
  • November 5
  • December 3

Meet other young adult cancer survivors and enjoy a light dinner and facilitated group support session. This monthly gathering is a collaborative initiative of local hospitals, health organizations and cancer support groups.*

Thanks to our partners, we are able to provide a supportive community to more young adults in the DC region:

Cancer Support Community

GWU Medical Faculty Associates

First Descents

Hope Connections for Cancer Support

Howard University Hospital

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Life With Cancer

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Nueva Vida

Stupid Cancer

Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults

Virginia Hospital Center

Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

Young Survival Coalition

In Partnership with George Washington Cancer Center, Georgetown Lombardi Cancer Center, and Washington Cancer Institute

Wednesday, November 29,  6:00 – 7:30pm

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, you may have concerns about how younger members of your family are coping. Kids’ Club is a monthly group for children or grandchildren (ages 6 to 12) of people in treatment for cancer.

Each session, after enjoying some pizza together, kids and parents will go to separate rooms to talk and make art. Our topics include communicating feelings, building personal strengths, and developing coping skills. At the end, the groups reconnect and have an opportunity to share with one another. We invite everyone to share as much or as little as they feel comfortable.

Although we are brought together by our common experiences with cancer, Kids Club is not a sad or scary place; we have fun! Our goal is to have positive interactions with other families dealing with illness and to learn new ways of expressing and managing feelings. Our facilitators are experienced social workers, counselors, and trained volunteers.