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.


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

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

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 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month. Participants can attend on a drop-in basis, but prior registration is required.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • November 11 & 18
  • December 2 & 16

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


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 Rachel Ress, LGSW

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 Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00pm.

Upcoming Dates:

  • November 10
  • December 8

About Rachel Ress, LGSW

Rachel is a Licensed Social Worker in Washington, DC. 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 joined the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in 2018. Rachel uses an eclectic approach in providing support and compassion to cancer patients and their families. Her clinical work focuses primarily on the care of patients diagnosed with breast, brain, and lung cancers, and she is passionate about the intersection of chronic illness and mental health.

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 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.

And, check out Yael’s contribution to CONNECT, Smith Center’s community-minded newsletter, called “Nurturing Resilience” on our YouTube channel!


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

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 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

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 and Mindy Brodsky

SC Writes for Young Adults (1)

Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. 
Who looks outside, dreams.
Who looks inside, awakens.
-Carl Jung

As you enter the final quarter of 2020, what do you want more of? What makes you feel most alive? When you think of inspiration, where does your mind go? Join us in a four-part workshop series to explore the theme of inspiration through the written word, within a supportive community. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices.

Group members are encouraged to attend all sessions, but missing one meeting is fine. This is a limited series with limited capacity and attendance is important in our effort to foster community and build an open space for sharing.


SC Writes for Young Adults is a 4-part program hosted on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm, starting on October 27th.

Program Dates:

  • October 27
  • November 3
  • November 10
  • November 17

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $35/whole series


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

About Mindy Brodsky, Esq., MSW Candidate

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky is a master’s in social work candidate at Simmons University and is completing her advanced clinical placement at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. She specializes in trauma-informed, strengths-based counseling with a passion for integrative health and healing. Mindy honors her clients as the experts of their lives, and she strives to provide a supportive and safe environment.
After a career in social justice advocacy and her own challenging health journey, Mindy aspires to meet her clients where they are to help them achieve their goals.

with Kiersten Gallagher

House Calls with Kiersten offers an opportunity for our program participants to check-in and chat bi-monthly with Kiersten on Zoom or by phone, whichever is your preference. All of our face-to-face interactions that we are accustomed to having at Smith Center – when you walk in the door, when we interact in the programs I facilitate, and the times that we connect after you’ve attended other classes and workshops – are very important to me. I would like to set this time aside, for you and I, to catch up and address any concerns, to be philosophical together, or to laugh together; it’s up to you!

Continue reading House Calls with Kiersten

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. Please register to Claudia at 202.384.8342 to receive the Zoom link to participate.

Este programa se ofrece prácticamente a través de Zoom. Regístrese en Claudia al 202.384.8342 para recibir el enlace Zoom para participar.

Smith Center es ahora el anfitrión de los Grupos de Apoyo para la Comunidad Latina en Español

Estamos muy felices de anunciar que seremos los anfitriones de los grupos de apoyo de Nueva Vida para la comunidad latina. Nueva Vida es una organización independiente, sin fines de lucro, que proporciona servicios integrales de cáncer gratuitos, a las familias latinas en el Distrito de Columbia, Virginia del Norte (hasta el sur de Prince William County), Suburban Maryland (Condados de Montgomery y Prince George), Richmond, y Baltimore. Otros servicios incluyen educación y divulgación en la comunidad latina, asi como navegación de pacientes para exámenes de detección y tratamiento de cáncer.

En Smith Center, Nueva Vida tendrá grupos de apoyo que se enfocan en el apoyo al trauma asociado con el diagnóstico de cáncer. Estos grupos proporcionan a las latinas la oportunidad de identificar y expresar sus sentimientos, en un lugar seguro, y lleno de empatía, así como compartir sus sentimientos con otras personas que están o han pasado por similares circunstancias. Las reuniones semanales, se combinan con una actividad de reducción del estrés (Zumba o Yoga).

Para registrarse, llame a Claudia a Nueva Vida: 202.223.9100.


Smith Center Now Hosting Support Groups for the Latino Community in Spanish

Nueva Vida is an independent nonprofit that provides free, comprehensive, culturally competent cancer services to medically underserved Latino families in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia (as far south as Prince William County), Suburban Maryland (Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties), Richmond, and Baltimore. Other services include outreach to the Latino community and Patient Navigation for cancer screenings and treatment.

At Smith Center, Nueva Vida will be providing support groups that are focused on supporting the trauma associated with a cancer diagnosis. These groups provide Latina women the opportunity to experience a catharsis of feelings, where they feel safe to identify, verbalize, empathize, and share their feelings with others who are in similar circumstances. All support group meetings are paired with a stress reduction activity (either Zumba or Yoga).

To register, call Claudia at Nueva Vida: 202.223.9100.

Please contact Kiersten at kiersten@smithcenter.org to register.

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.


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 meets bi-monthly on Thursdays from 4:30pm – 6:00pm.

Upcoming sessions:

  • November 5 & 19
  • December 3 & 17

About Wendy Lynn Miller, Ph.D.

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.

This program is being offered virtually through Zoom. Please click here to register for a 6-week circle.

with Kiersten Gallagher

Holy Ground

Please join us in a series Healing Circles for Grief “to discover the extent and limits of what is lost, what is left and what is possible.”  – John Schneider

If you have lost a loved one, this is an opportunity to share what is on your heart and mind right now, to listen and be listened to deeply and generously. Together we create a safe space for listening to messages from our inner experience. We have several series of six Healing Circles planned to start in September. Please see the schedule below; space is limited.


Some Assumptions about Grief

  • The experience of grief is unique for each individual. While we can make some general assumptions, there is no template that describes the experience for all people.
  • Grief is cumulative. That is, each time loss is grieved, the grief encompasses the lifetime of loss and the remnants of each experience.
  • Grief following a significant loss is most often a lifelong process, with each pivotal point in life bringing the grief back up to be processed from a new perspective.
  • Grief, loss and suffering fundamentally changes and reshapes the individual.
  • Grief is not about forgetting or disconnecting. Rather, healthy grief is about remembering the parts of self that get lost amidst the experience and reorienting the individual in their relationship with self, the world and others.
  • Grief is a whole body experience: emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual. Each have a wide range of expression which can cue us that grief is present.
  • While grief and trauma are often intertwined there are significant differences between them. Trauma should be addressed with trauma specific interventions that often go beyond what is possible in circles.

Adapted from Khris Ford


Grieving Together Healing Circle will meet Bi-Monthly on Thursdays from 3:00-4:30pm for 6 weeks.

Circle Dates:

  • September 10 & 24
  • October 8 & 22
  • November 5 & 19

Click here to view the schedule for 2 other Grieving Together circles.


About Kiersten Gallagher

Kiersten has served as the Cancer Support Program Director for Smith Center since 2014. Before coming to Smith Center, she had the privilege to serve individuals and families living with cancer at Wellness House of Annapolis. Kiersten aims to offer programs to reduce stress and help participants to see the world we live in from different perspectives. She thoroughly enjoys teaching yoga and creativity classes at SmithCenter and encourages gentle movement and creativity in the healing process. Kiersten is a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance and also has her YCAT (Yoga Therapy in Cancer and Chronic Illness) Professional Certification through the Integral Yoga Academy. She has completed Patient Navigation training through Smith Center’s Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation and has also completed the Commonweal Healing Circles: Advanced Cancer Support Training. Kiersten is also certified in CLIMB®(Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery) a program that aims to build upon the strengths of children and increase his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a parent’s illness. She believes in a holistic approach to healing, human relationships and is grateful for each and every day. In her spare time, you may find Kiersten laughing with friends, cycling, taking art classes, practicing yoga and spending time with her husband Shane, son Liam, and dogs Hooper and Pablo.

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.


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

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, 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.