with Kiersten Gallagher, RYT-200

Enjoy a greater sense of wellbeing and enhanced energy in our gentle yoga classes. Learn various yoga postures, techniques in progressive relaxation, breathing practices, and meditation to help reduce stress, as well as balance mind, body, and spirit.  Our classes are specifically designed for adults facing stress, cancer, or other illness and are open to anyone interested in attending. All levels are welcome.

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.

Kiersten’s Gentle AM Yoga Class meets Weekly on Thursdays from 10:15am – 11:30am.

Our programs are also 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.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten Gallagher, RYT 200 and Certified Herbalist has studied yoga for over 25 years. Over the last decade, Kiersten has developed yoga programs and has provided a place for healing in the cancer community, in underprivileged neighborhoods, for special needs children, for teens and adults with drug addiction and for those struggling with body image. Kiersten invites you on a journey of healing to help guide you to a place where yoga will make a real difference in your life.  Kiersten’s goal for you is that you feel better when you leave class- mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, than you may have felt when you stepped through the door to begin your practice.

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered
to cancer patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers. The intention of the workshop is to provide a safe and creative environment for those touched by cancer to be able to express themselves and find the humor surrounding the difficulties in life and cancer.

Suggested Donation: $15

 

Upcoming Sessions:

  • June 24

 

About Charity Sade

Charity Sad​e​ is an up and coming comedian from Indiana, but has resided in Washington, D.C. for the last 8 years.

She has performed across the country, and won a new comic competition at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. ​Within her first year of comedy, Charity made her festival debut at the 2018 DC Comedy Festival as well as the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival.

She has always used humor to get through difficult moments in her life, including her breast cancer diagnosis at age 27. ​On stage, she takes her difficult life experiences and turns them into relatable, humorous tales. Her comedic superpower is her ability to make you simultaneously laugh and cringe.

Charity is the creator and founder of Comedic Relief: Coping Through Comedy. You can catch Charity hosting, producing, and performing on shows across the DMV.

with Catherine Nelson

Lying on a yoga mat with blankets for support, or sitting comfortably in a chair, you are invited to rest while being guided into a state of deep relaxation, the aim of which is to quiet the mind, relieve mental and physical stress, and to guide you to come home to yourself.

Suggested Donation: $10

Upcoming sessions:

  • June 24

About Catherine Nelson

Cathrine is a 200 hour Hatha Yoga teacher. Further training in Yoga for trauma has led her to offer Yoga and Yoga Nidra to patients with PTSD and cancer in a hospital setting. Daily she sees how the power of Yoga Nidra brings peace and tranquility to herself and to others.

with Project Knitwell and Friends

Join us weekly to enjoy knitting in a safe and welcoming environment. Knitting can provide a respite from one’s immediate situation, serve as a way to productively pass the time, and have a positive effect on reducing stress symptoms. It is relatively easy to learn, requires no artistic talent or prior experience, is portable, and results in a useful product. Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you. In this program, trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and a quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among participants. Beginner and experienced knitters are welcome. Starter kits are available, as is a small selection of yarn and knitting supplies.

Stone Soup Films and Project Knitwell created a beautiful 3-minute video highlighting the health benefits of knitting. Watch the video here!

Our Knitting Circle meets weekly on Wednesdays from 3:00-4:30pm. 

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.

with David “Lucky” Goff & Wendy Miller

Smith Center began offering an online Healing Circle via Zoom in the spring of 2019 with David “Lucky” Goff and Wendy Miller. Those who have been most gravely tested by life have the most loss, and potentially the most to gain. Yet it is in how we respond to these conditions – which come in many complex and subtle forms such as grief, illness, injury, injustice, war, and other unknown heartbreaks – that defines us and defines our life.

This bi-monthly circle is an opportunity to create a cyberspace community, connecting with others as we learn to grow through the hardships we have experienced in life, not in spite of them, but because of them. Healing becomes a by-product from our shared culture of community, connection, and mystery. In such a community, our flames of creativity can be lit, as we discover ourselves as more sensitized and adaptive human beings.

This Healing Circle meets online on Wednesdays twice per month from 1:30pm – 3:00pm EST / 10:30am-12:00pm PST. 

Pre-registration is required prior to attending your first group and receiving Zoom connection information.  Please RSVP via the link above or to Kiersten at 202.483.8600 / kiersten@smithcenter.org.


About David Goff

David “Lucky” Goff, Ph.D., M.F.T., served as adjunct faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, where he employed large group processes to promote community and personal development. David also assists organizations, including therapeutic and spiritual communities, in their quests to create and sustain genuine community. His research into the “psychological sense of community” is the first to examine and describe the conditions that facilitate collective consciousness.  In 2003 David had a brain aneurism. As a result of his stroke, and the onset of a rare brain syndrome, he nearly died and ended up permanently disabled. This experience had a transformational effect on David, which made him “Lucky,” and cued him into how radically connected all things are. This broader awareness now informs his approach toward what it means to be human. He maintains a psychotherapy practice specializing in psycho-spiritual development. He also writes extensively about a psychology of interdependence, community, elders and the conditions that lead to a social and ecological sense of connection. He can be reached at dg1140@sonic.net.

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. Wendy Miller can be reached at wendmiller1@gmail.com.

with Kiersten Gallagher

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. Our extensive collection of supplies is available for all to use.

This series is held twice each month on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • June 24

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.

Suggested donation: $10 per class


About 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.

with Yael Flusberg, C-IAYT, E-RYT500, RMT, MS

Enjoy a greater sense of well-being and enhanced energy in our gentle yoga classes. Learn various yoga postures, techniques in progressive relaxation, breathing practices, and meditation to help reduce stress, as well as balance mind, body, and spirit. Our classes are specifically designed for adults facing stress, cancer, or other illness and are open to anyone interested in attending. All levels are welcome.

In addition, our yoga classes are listed with the National MS Society and we welcome patients and caregivers of those with multiple sclerosis to our gentle yoga classes.

Yael’s Gentle Yoga Class Meets Weekly on Tuesdays from 6:00pm – 7:15pm.

Our programs are also 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.

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25


About Yael Flusberg

Yael Flusberg Gentle Yoga Instructor Smith Center
Yael Flusberg first came to yoga hoping she could get rid of stuff, namely the ways life’s stresses and traumas had become painfully embodied. Fifteen years and thousands of layers of release later, yoga continues to teach her how to make strategic, creative, and life-nourishing choices. Trained as an integrative yoga therapist, Yael’s classes blend active with receptive states of being, and are both insightful and lighthearted. Off the mat, she is a coach, writer and energy therapist. Since 2005, Yael has taught yoga classes at area hospitals, libraries, workplaces, schools, and yoga studios. As an integrative yoga therapist (E-RYT500) she facilitates both group and individual yoga therapy sessions, working with people dealing with a variety of conditions including cancer, digestive disorders, diabetes, eating disorders, fibromyalgia, hypertension, mental health challenges (including depression, anxiety, grief and trauma), rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis, and sports injuries. She currently teaches a weekly therapeutic class for people living with cancer and their caregivers on GW’s campus. More info: www.yaelflusberg.com

with Cheryl Hughes, LICSW, OSW-C, and Sara Field, LICSW

This monthly gathering is an opportunity to meet other young adult cancer survivors in their 20s, 30s and early 40s. Join us to enjoy a light dinner together with caregivers and participate in a facilitated group support session. This program is a collaborative initiative of local hospitals, health organizations and cancer support groups.*

This group meets once each month on Sundays from 5:00-6:30pm. A light vegan meal is served.

Our monthly Young Adult Caregiver Support Group meets simultaneously. Please indicate when registering if a caregiver will be joining you.

*A warm thank you to our partners that have allowed us to provide a supportive community to more young adults in the DC region:

  • Bella Warrior
  • 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
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Stupid Cancer
  • Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults
  • Virginia Hospital Center
  • Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • Young Survival Coalition

About Erin Price, MSW, LICSW

Erin serves as Smith Center’s Director of Young Adult and Psychosocial Support Programs. She is trained in Integrative Patient Navigation, a Project LEAD graduate, and holds a Masters in Social Work. A seven-year breast cancer survivor, Erin is passionate about providing support and community to other cancer survivors, especially young adults. She works with Smith Center’s DC Young Adult Cancer Community and is also actively involved in the cancer community through Young Survival Coalition, Critical Mass, the Georgetown Breast Cancer Advocates, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and the DC Cancer Action Partnership.

About Cheryl Hughes, LICSW, OSC-W

Cheryl Ann Hughes, LICSW creates a safe and supportive environment from which individuals can define their goals, as well as the means by which they can be achieved. Cheryl tailors each treatment plan using a variety of modalities including EMDR, strengths-based and solution-focused techniques, and with recognition of– and a deep respect for — the strong connection between mind and body. Cheryl infuses her work with mindfulness-based techniques to assist her clients in recognizing their own ability to create a reality that will lead to a satisfying and fulfilling life. Cheryl received her master’s degree in social work, with an emphasis on clinical and medical social work, from Catholic University. She works with cancer patients and their families as they deal with the increased stressors caused by cancer and its treatment.
About Sara Field, MSW, LICSW

Sara is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in DC. She earned her Masters Degree in Social Work at the Catholic University of America in DC and has worked in oncology for over 3 years.  Sara interned at the Lombardi Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute during graduate school, which confirmed her interest in oncology social work. She joined the Lombardi Cancer Center in 2016 and now works at the GW Cancer Center in DC. Sara has a strong interest in the intersection of emotional and physical health and a particular passion for supporting parents with cancer and their kids. She enjoys partnering with Camp Kesem’s GW chapter and served as their mental health professional for the past two years.

with Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

This monthly group is an opportunity to meet others who are caring for a young adult cancer survivor. Enjoy a light, healthy dinner with caregivers and survivors before and after the facilitated group discussion. The caregiver and survivor support groups meet independently. This program is a collaborative initiative of local hospitals, health organizations and cancer support groups.*
*A warm thank you to our partners that have allowed us to provide a supportive community to more young adults in the DC region:
  • Bella Warrior
  • 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
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Stupid Cancer
  • Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults
  • Virginia Hospital Center
  • Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center
  • Young Survival Coalition

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.


About Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

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 Healing Circle is now full. Please contact Kiersten at kiersten@smithcenter.org for information.

with Wendy Miller & Larry Kanter

This ongoing healing circle will focus on the unique needs of those experiencing the loss, recently or not, 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 profound 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.

What is a Healing Circle?

Healing Circles bring together small numbers of people impacted by a condition or circumstance to share experiences and harvest collective wisdom.  Healing Circles 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.

Pre-registration is required prior to attending your first group.  Please RSVP to Kiersten at 202.483.8600 or email her at kiersten@smithcenter.org.

This Healing Circle meets on Thursdays twice per month from 4:30pm – 6:00pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • June 18

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 the Center’s work.