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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

Early Stage Cancer Caregiver Support Group

There are over 2.8 million cancer caregivers in the US, most of them caring for someone with early stage disease. Are you one of them?
In this group you will learn tips and techniques for caring for your loved one/partner/friend while also taking good care of yourself.
Also, you will learn that you are not alone in your caregiving role, and that caring in community can make a difference to your own and your care recipient’s health.

The Early Stage Cancer Caregiver Support Group will meet Bi-Monthly on the 2nd & 4th Mondays from 11:00am-12:00pm EST.

Upcoming Dates: 
  • December 19

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

with artist & sculptor Liz Lescault

Stress Release and Finding Ease

Finding Ease through Mindfulness, Movement and Story

Breathe It Out; Move It Out; Talk It Out

In this program, we will focus on our mind-body connection and explore ways to manage our stress and live with more ease. Our practices will have the intention of moving tension out of our bodies. With this intention in mind, we will share our personal stories and move and engage with each other in playful ways.

 

This program is based in affirmation and looking for the good. Accordingly, our shared, safe space will encourage us to explore our own creativity, to find our own answers and ways of managing our stress.

 

Creative movement forms can happen standing and moving within a small space or from a sitting position. Movement can also happen with our videos on or off. You are encouraged to take care of yourself and only participate at your comfort level. All are welcome.


Finding Ease through Mindfulness, Movement and Story will be offered monthly on the 3rd Thursday from 5:30 – 7:00pm ET.

Participants are encouraged to drop-in for any monthly session. Limited to 12 participants.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • December 15
  • 2023 dates TBD

Suggested Donation: $15


About Liz Lescault

Liz Lesault

About Liz Lescault

Liz Lescault, a visual artist and sculptor, has practiced and taught art for over 40 years. Liz is also a Coordinator of the DC InterPlay Metro Region, is a certified leader and a member of the DC InterPlay Board. She leads Open Gathering days for InterPlay DC, and organizes and leads workshops regionally and nationally online and in person.

Liz has been leading Art Lab for Smith Center for the Healing Arts, for the Phillips Collection and for InterPlay internationally. Formerly, Liz, was a hotline crisis counselor, for various suicide prevention lifelines and The Trevor Project providing help for LGBTQ youth in crisis and the Prince Georges County Homeless Hotline. Liz has also led InterPlay for elders with chronic illness and cognitive disabilities at Iona Senior Center in Washington DC.

Liz melds her art, teaching, guidance and personal philosophy with InterPlay wisdom, tools and forms.

B.S., Psychology, Drew University, Madison, NJ

M.Ed., University of Massachusetts at Amherst, British Techniques of Open Education

Studied watercolor at WICE, an international arts and cultural association in Paris, France

https://www.lizlescault.com/home

A short video of my current work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPZeEG09qJgfacebook.com/LizLescaultSculpture

www.facebook.com/LizLescault (personal page)

The Energy Balancing team continues to offer distance sessions. If you wish to receive, please email kiersten@smithcenter.org.

with the Energy Balancing Team

Energy Balancing

Our Energy Balancing Program addresses the subtle energies of our body. When these energies are out of balance, all our body systems can become askew. One key to bringing us back into balance is deep relaxation. This is just what our volunteers provide – a half-hour of stress reducing relaxation to calm the body and enhance our well-being.

Most likely you are familiar with many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the skeletal system and so on. But are you aware that we also have subtle energy systems, systems that cannot be seen, cannot be measured, cannot be felt. Perhaps you know of some; the most familiar are the aura (also known as the biofield), the meridians, the chakras.

These subtle energy systems were very familiar to the ancients. They used them regularly to bring the body into energetic balance. When the body’s energies are in balance, we function at a higher vibration and are more relaxed, more joyful, more centered and able to enjoy life more productively. Many of the age-old techniques are now being used to bring calm to the body and to optimize one’s well-being.


Energy Balancing is offered Weekly on Thursdays in 1/2 hour appointments.

By appointment only. 

Time slots:

  • 1:00pm
  • 1:40pm
  • 2:20pm

About the Energy Balancing Team

About Ann Ringenberg

Ann Ringenberg

I am a reiki master and have been practicing reiki for over 12 years. I have provided reiki through volunteering at Thomas Circle Retirement Community, The Smith Center and was approved to start volunteering at INOVA Life with Cancer center prior to the COVID pandemic. I also volunteer at the Charles County Hospice Center. Reiki helps me to stay centered within myself and helps me to give others the gift of relaxation and a moment of peace.

About Anne Molofsky

Anne has always been interested in promoting health and wellness. She had a forty-year career as a nutritionist, beginning as a research nutritionist in several NIH-funded clinical trials, then working for the federal government in policy and education, and subsequently counselling clients in her private practice. She received her reiki training over 10 years ago and was able to offer reiki sessions to her nutrition clients as part of their treatment. Since 2013 Anne has also volunteered at Walter Reed offering reiki sessions to Wounded Warriors and their families. She became a Reiki Master Teacher in 2017. Anne is thrilled to be joining the wonderful Energy Balancing Team at the Smith Center!

About Constance Custer

Constance Custer

Connie has practiced Reiki since 1998, and received her Reiki Master/Teacher credentials from GW Hospital’s Center for Integrative Medicine. She has been a Reiki volunteer at Life With Cancer and Capital Caring Hospice, and has a certificate in animal Reiki. As part of her energy work, she also practices qigong, and is certified to teach walking qigong.

About Margaret Haggerty

It is a privilege to be part of the energy balancing team for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts.
Having had a long and gratifying career as a registered nurse, I bring a wide range of experiences. Before my retirement nine years ago, I had worked for 47 years as a nurse in a variety of capacities. Whether I was taking care of a tiny two-pound NICU infant or doing diabetic teaching for a centenarian, I realized that there was a larger Presence who was always guiding me. And I believe deeply that whatever experience of healing we receive, involves body, mind and spirit. I became a massage therapist and Reiki Master in order to incorporate a more deliberate approach to healing touch. It was a privilege to work with many clients who were dealing with cancer. What a joy it was to offer some hope and gentle touch as they faced many medical and emotional challenges. Now in my later years I am happy to bring the soft, caring touch of energy balancing to help those who come to Smith Center, to relax in order for. their bodies to mend and their spirits to heal.

About Pat Spellman

Pat Spellman

Pat studied English literature and has a special interest in reading and writing poetry. She has been certified as a Reiki master and as a practitioner of reflexology and Feldenkrais movement. She is a long-time member of the Self-Realization Fellowship, which teaches meditation methods and principles for harmonious living. After a career in publications in DC, Pat retired in Baltimore where she continues her active interest in the Smith Center and its clients.

About Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm

Sylvia Sturm, EEM-CLP, RM/T, heads our Energy Balancing volunteer team. Sylvia is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner and a Reiki Master Teacher. For many years she has managed a Reiki Volunteer group at a seniors’ residence and has served for 6 years as a Reiki volunteer in GWU Hospital. She is delighted to now work with a dedicated and wonderful team to address the balancing of one’s subtle energies in order to allow the body to completely relax. She has an independent practice in Kensington, MD. To learn more about Sylvia and subtle energies, please visit her website www.sylviasturm.com.

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

with Kiersten Gallagher, RYT200

Gentle Yoga

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.


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

Suggested Donation for 1 Class: $10

Suggested Donation for 1 Month of Classes: $25

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.

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.


About Kiersten Gallagher

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.

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

with Lisa Hahn

Healing Circle for Metastatic Breast Cancer Thrivers 45+

This healing circle is for people who are 45 and older who are living and thriving with Metastatic Breast Cancer. This peer-led circle will provide a safe place to connect, support and share with one another.


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.

This Healing Circle will meet Monthly on the 2nd Wednesday from 5:15-6:45pm ET.

Upcoming Dates: 

  • December 14
  • 2023 sessions TBD

About Lisa Hahn

Lisa Hahn

Lisa Hahn was diagnosed with MBC de novo in the Fall of 2019. In addition to working full-time and attending doctor appointments, she is always looking for a new exercise class and tries to maintain a consistent yoga and pilates practice. Her background in the arts as a former ballet dancer and arts council program officer have given her a strong appreciation for the arts and she is a regular attendee at the Smith Center. She lives in Alexandria with her husband, two teenage boys and two cats and you can follow her on Instagram @dancingwithmbc

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

with Project Knitwell and Friends

Knitting Circle on the Couch

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.

 

Knitting is:

  • relatively easy to learn,
  • requires no artistic talent or prior experience,
  • portable,
  • and results in a useful product.

Sometimes referred to as the “new yoga” — plain and simple — knitting is good for you.

 

Trained volunteers will provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community. 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 ET.

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.


Looking for more intimate knitting instruction? Check out Project Knitwell’s new program, Knitwell in the Cloud, for ongoing, one-on-one knitting instruction via Zoom.


About Project Knitwell

Project Knitwell

Project Knitwell offers knitting as a tool to promote wellness and help people cope with stressful situations at more than a dozen hospital and community settings.

All of Project Knitwell’s programming is provided by volunteers, and services and supplies are provided free of charge to the people we serve.

Project Knitwell volunteers provide knitting instruction and quality materials in an effort to foster wellness, comfort, and community among those we serve.

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

with Kimberly Parekh and group

Healing Circle for Young Adults with Metastatic Breast Cancer

We are a demand-driven and patient-led in-person and online community support group for young women and men (diagnosed between the age of 18 – 45ish) with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) in the DC, MD, and VA area. We have created this group as a means of providing both a safe community support space for people with MBC, as well as peer-led and expert-led information on living with breast cancer. This group is new and independent of any established breast cancer organization, though we are are in complete gratitude to the Smith Center for hosting us.


We facilitate our group in a democratic and participatory manner; in essence, our group is your group! Interested new members, kindly contact Kimberly Parekh at kimberlyparekh@yahoo.com for an informal intake before coming to your first meeting.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 14, 12 – 1 PM
  • 2023 sessions TBD

About Kimberly Parekh

Kimberly Parekh

Kimberly Parekh was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38 in February 2015 and has since then been an active cancer advocate. Her breast cancer interest lies in evidence-based holistic and complementary approaches for treatment and wellbeing. In that regard, Kimberly is the founder of a community support group for young persons with metastatic breast cancer in the DC region hosted by the Smith Center. She has supported Komen Foundation in organizing their annual DC regional metastatic breast cancer conference, moderating the ‘Complementary Approaches to Treatment and Wellbeing’ panel in 2020, and speaking about her experience on a patient panel in 2019. She wrote a chapter on her experiences with holistic approaches in Confessions of a Radiation Oncologist (2017). In addition, she focuses on research while serving as a panel reviewer for the Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Research Program and as a former member of the Georgetown Breast Cancer Research Advocates. Finally, Kimberly recently co-authored an essay with her best friend on experiences with breast cancer in Untold: Defining Moments of the Uprooted (forthcoming, 2021).
Kimberly works as a Senior Education Advisor for UNICEF and is based out of Washington, DC. She continues to enjoy traveling internationally both for work and pleasure and spends much of her time in various holistic practices such as yoga and a plant-based diet. She has an ED.S. in Education Policy & Leadership, M.A. in International Education, and a B.A. in Foreign Affairs.

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

with Jodi Kanter

Writing Outside the Lines

Writing Outside the Lines

Inspired by Smith Center’s Outside the Lines: A Creative Art Studio, this program begins with a series of partnered exercises. In our own words, we will begin to tell chapters of our own stories.

 

With our stories as a springboard, we will write within a variety of genres. We’ll explore a new genre each week, discovering what different writing forms have to say to us—and we to them. Genres were made to be broken—or at least mixed and matched!

 

Possible genres include poetry, monologue, fairytale, and film noir.  Many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice.” Conversely, Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the opportunity to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-12:00pm ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 14

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

with Terry Conroy, RYT500

Wake-Up Morning Stretch

This yoga class combines gentle yoga postures, including some extended holds, to awaken your mind, body and spirit, and prepare you for your day. Students will be asked to focus on how each posture feels in their body, bringing mindful awareness to their practice.

 

Much of the morning stretch practice will be done sitting or lying on a mat. Chair practice can be accommodated. All levels welcome.


Wake-Up Morning Stretch will be offered Weekly on Wednesdays from 8:00 – 9:00am ET.

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

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.

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.


About Terry Conroy, RYT500

Terry Conroy

Terry Conroy, RYT500, has been a yoga practitioner for over 15 years, and a yoga teacher for over 10 years. Terry’s teaching provides a combination of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga postures appropriate for any body type or physical condition. Terry believes that yoga is about what you can do, not what you can’t. Her goal is to help others feel grounded, strong, and confident. Her yoga specialties are chair, gentle mat, and yin. Her motto is, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” Terry is certified in Yoga4Cancer, Yoga4Trauma, and Yoga Nidra.

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 programs@smithcenter.org.

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

with Rachel Ress, LICSW

Survivorship Support Group

This group is designed for cancer survivors who have completed their primary cancer treatment(s) and are now either post-treatment or on maintenance medication (such as hormonal therapy). Cancer can be emotionally and physically draining — many times we aren’t able to fully process the experience until after treatment is over and we are trying to get back to our “normal” lives. The struggle and expectation to find “normal” again can also be an overwhelming process. This group is a space where you can talk openly about these issues and process the trauma of cancer with other survivors.

The Survivorship Support Group will meet Monthly on the 2nd Tuesday from 6:30-8:00pm ET.

Upcoming Dates:

  • December 13
  • 2023 sessions TBD

About Rachel Ress, LICSW

Rachel Ress

Rachel is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker serving as Cancer Support Community Washington DC’s (CSC DC) Community Navigator. Prior to working at CSC DC, Rachel was an oncology social worker with the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital for three years. She earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice where she interned at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Rachel uses an eclectic approach in providing support and compassion to cancer patients and their families, and she is passionate about the intersection of chronic illness and mental health.