This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

This bi-monthly 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. Please RSVP at (202) 483-8600.


Our Monday evening support group meets twice per month from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 28

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW

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

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.

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered
to cancer patients/survivors. 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. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.

The group is held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month. Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.

 

Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 23


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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

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.


This series is held bi-monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • September 16

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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Jennifer Bires, LICSW and Lauren Broschak, MSW, LICSW

This bi-monthly 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. Please RSVP at (202) 483-8600.


Our Monday evening support group meets twice per month from 6:00-7:30pm.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 14 & 28

About Jennifer Bires, LICSW

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

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, you must register or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Maude Fish & Bonnie Vermillion

This ongoing healing circle will focus on the unique needs that people who are living with Lymphedema face. No matter where you find yourself on your journey you will have a chance to be with others who share in your experience. This shared experience will often lead to profound learning and healing.


Healing Circle for People Living with Lymphedema will be held Monthly on Mondays from 2:30-3:30pm

Upcoming Dates:

  • September 14

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.


About Maude Fish

Maude Fish has performed classical music throughout the DC Metro area since she moved to Washington in 1988. Currently, she plays regularly with the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Virginia Chamber Orchestra, The Arlington Philharmonic, and the Tysons-McLean Orchestra. In prior years, she has worked with orchestras as distant as Roanoke, VA, and St. Mary’s, MD. She teaches piano and bassoon privately from her home in Chevy Chase, DC. She is no stranger to Smith Center having participated in a day-long writers retreat and yoga classes when she finished active treatment for breast cancer in 2004. Additionally, her chamber group performed at Smith Center at a gallery opening for the Alchemical Vessels Exhibit. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, cooking, knitting, and writing. She is married with two adult children, her dog Otto, and Cookie the Cockatiel.

About Bonnie Vermillion

I am a Cancer survivor/thriver since 1998 and have had lymphedema since 2002. I initially had so much trouble finding information on lymphedema that I went online and found an exercise program that was developed to maintain lymphedema. I became an instructor, then trainer, and finally acquired the program in 2014. I currently teach classes in central Virginia. I’m also a regional coordinator for Chronic Disease Self Management workshops, so actively work with small groups of participants for them to self-manage their chronic conditions. I am also a volunteer Ombudsman with the local Agency on Aging and a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association as a support group facilitator and speaker.

with Charity Sade

Coping Through Comedy’s comedy writing workshop is offered
to cancer patients/survivors. 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. No previous comedy writing experience is necessary.

The group is held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of every month. Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

This program is sponsored by the Livestrong Foundation. Additional donations are always welcome.

 

Upcoming Sessions:

  • September 9 & 23


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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

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.


This series is held bi-monthly on Wednesdays from 10:30am – 12:30pm. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • September 2
  • September 16

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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

with Susi Wyss

Tap into the healing properties of nature in a supportive environment in this summer-inspired writing workshop led by a therapeutic writing facilitator. Please plan to have on hand an object from nature, as well as paper (or journal) and pen. No writing experience necessary, just an open mind.

Suggested Donation: $20


About Susi Wyss

Susi Wyss is a public health professional, author, therapeutic writing facilitator and—most of all—a believer in the healing power of words. Her public health career has spanned more than 25 years, most of it addressing women’s health in Africa. She is the author of The Civilized World, a novel set in Africa that was named “A Book to Pick Up Now” by Oprah Magazine. In addition to her collaboration with the Smith Center, she has led writing-for-healing workshops at the DC Rape Crisis Center and at Crossings Healing & Wellness in Silver Spring.

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

Register for the 8-week training here: https://smithcenter.org/programs-retreat/compassion-cultivation-training-7-9/

with Brandel France de Bravo

Compassion Cultivation Training©, Thursday evenings (6:30 pm to 8:30 pm) on Zoom from July 9 through August 27th. Would you like to start or deepen a meditation practice and also help support the Smith Center? One hundred percent of course fees will be donated to the Center. And for those experiencing financial difficulties, please don’t let course fees keep you away! Tuition reductions and waivers are available by emailing the instructor (see below).

Thanks to Covid-19 and its economic and emotional aftermath, we are facing challenges never experienced before, individually and as a society. By strengthening our natural capacity for compassion, empathy and kindness—for ourselves and others—we can become more resilient and better able to cope with the uncertainties of life during a pandemic.

Compassion Cultivation Training (CCT) is an eight-week course developed over a decade ago by a team of contemplative scholars, clinical psychologists, and researchers at Stanford University. Many who have taken the course say that it has given them a sense of balance and allowed them to live with greater joy and intention. When we become more aware, open, and curious about the world and the people around us, we can tap into the compassion inside of us to connect with others and be gentler on ourselves.  Practicing compassion can alleviate our worries and fears so we can become powerful forces for good — in our relationships, families, workplaces, and communities.

Classes will be held weekly on Thursdays via Zoom (6:30 pm to 8:30 pm) from July 9 through August 27th. Each class builds upon the previous but if you have to miss a class one week, that’s okay. Each week includes:

  • In-class guided meditations and online recordings for use at home
  • Group discussions and in-class exercises relevant to each week’s theme
  • Optional readings, videos, and practices for outside the classroom to enhance learning and support a daily meditation and compassion practice

Cost of course: $325 before June 25th, and $375 after June 25thALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO THE SMITH CENTER FOR HEALING AND THE ARTS. To request that the course fee be reduced or waived due to financial hardship, kindly email Brandel France de Bravo and let her know what amount is comfortable for you to pay. Write to: bravofrance@gmail.com


About Brandel France de Bravo

Brandel France de Bravo holds a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University and is a graduate of Warren Wilson’s MFA Program for Writers. She has two decades of experience researching and designing health interventions in the U.S. and abroad. She has run an HIV prevention program in Africa, designed harm reduction strategies for intravenous drug users in Central Asia, and developed materials to help cancer patients in the U.S. make informed decisions about their treatment. She is co-author of a parenting book influenced by the RIE philosophy of infant-toddler care and is a published poet and essayist. She studied Compassion Cultivation Training with founding faculty while a fellow at Stanford University and is honored to be a certified teacher of CCT.

http://www.brandelfrancedebravo.com/

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, you must register here or by emailing carla@smithcenter.org

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.