This Meet Up & Support Group will be meeting online with a Zoom community. In order to participate and receive the Zoom link, register by clicking the RSVP button above or by emailing erin@smithcenter.org.

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

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

DC Young Adult Cancer Meet Up and Support Group

This monthly gathering is an opportunity to meet other young adult cancer survivors in their 20s, 30s and early 40s. Caregivers of young adult cancer survivors are welcome to join as well. This program is a collaborative initiative of local hospitals, health organizations and cancer support groups.*

Click here to review our Online Group Participation Rules.


DC Young Adult Cancer Meet Up & Support Group meets Bi-Monthly on Sundays from 5:00-6:30pm.
Upcoming Dates:
  • November 7 & 21
  • December 5 & 19

Our monthly Young Adult Caregiver Support Group has been put on hold temporarily, and all caregivers will be welcomed in this group. 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, OSW-C

Erin Price

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 Hughes

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, OSW-C

Sara Field

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.

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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Laura Pole, RN, MSN, Chef

Healing in the Kitchen with Laura

Healing in the Kitchen with Laura

Are you ready to get creative with Chef Laura and riff with a twist on a few Thanksgiving favorites? What about all those leftovers that are longing for a transformation between the storage container and your plate?

 

Join us on November 6 for a fun class that’ll give you new menu ideas for your Thanksgiving Day and the day after and the day after that!

 

What might be on the menu? It depends on what leftovers Chef Laura finds. Hint: You’re likely see winter squashes, kale, and cranberries transformed before your very eyes!

Suggested Donation: $10


About Laura Pole, RN, MSN, Chef

Laura Pole

Laura, Director of Smith Center’s Nourishment Education Programs, has served as the head retreat chef and nurse consultant since 1997. She is an Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist and Integrative Oncology Navigator with over 40 years experience in caring for people with serious illness. She is also a Certified Health Supportive Chef, professional musician and Nia body-mind fitness instructor. Her popular cooking classes are centered on culinary translation: that is, helping  participants translate a diet prescription to a plate of nourishing delicious food. Laura is the founder of “Eating for a Lifetime,” a consulting business dedicated to teaching individuals and professionals about health supportive eating and food preparation. In addition to Laura’s work with nourishment, she is the co-coordinator of Smith Center’s Patient Navigation Training in Integrative Cancer Care. Laura also serves as coordinator of the “Media Watch Cancer News That You Can Use” listserv.

You must have attended the first session to participate in the second session of this program series.

with Bobbie Marchand

Tools for Living Authentically with Cancer

In the midst of Cancer’s wake, what if you could:

  • Cultivate practices of self-care that align with your highest values that are nurturing and healing
  • Manage the feelings and energies of anxiety/fear/sadness/confusion/frustration that inevitably arise
  • Discover empowering ways to communicate with your circles of support and Medical Team
  • Know yourself in a deeper, more connected way that prepares you for the journey ahead and within

 

As a two-time Survivor and the Daughter of a four-time Survivor, Cancer has been a part of my life for decades. It is my hope in this series to share with you, ways we have coped, dealt and healed along the way. Every journey is deeply personal, these tools are universal; for everyone, to take and shape to fit your own unique circumstances. Registrants should bring with them:

  • A new, fresh journal that’s only for this work
  • Pen and pencil
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable

Tools for Living Authentically with Cancer will be offered as a 2-part program series to cancer patients/survivors at any point in their journey.

Program Series Dates:

  • Saturday, October 30th, 10:00-11:15am ET
  • Saturday, November 6th, 10:00-11:15am ET

Participants are expected to attend both sessions in the 2-part series.

Suggested Donation: $25/series


About Bobbie Marchand

In addition to being a two-time Breast Cancer Survivor (BRCA1+), she is a dedicated Mom, accomplished Yoga Instructor, avid Cook and Wellness Advocate. As a former Professional Dancer, Bobbie has always leaned into life through the lens of Movement and the Healing Arts; helping her make sense of the un-sensical, finding a sense of purpose in the many twists and turns experienced along the way. She is passionate about uncovering the ways in which Cancer can inform, rather than define our lives as patients; how such a disease has the potential to clear a path to live more fully, humbly and in deeper connection to ourselves and what we truly value in life.

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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Alexis Reale

Therapeutic Creative Dance

Therapeutic Creative Dance

Dance/movement therapy offers individuals the opportunity to strengthen the mind/body connection, engage in nonverbal communication, and to improve our overall health and wellbeing.

 

Defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as the “psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of the individual,” dance/movement therapy recognizes that we can create changes in the body to reflect lasting changes in the mind.

 

Join us for collective creative expression through dance, writing, art-making and verbal integration. Class includes both individual exploration as well as partner exercises to foster meaning-making through self-exploration and connection with others. Class typically involves a check in, an individual improvisation warm up, individual movement exploration around a theme, partner work, journaling/art making, and a final discussion.

 

The class is open to individuals with all levels of experience and ability around movement. You do not need to have dance experience, only a willingness to move, and class can be done standing, seated, lying down or wherever is best for your comfort.


Therapeutic Creative Dance will be hosted Weekly on Fridays from 12:30-1:30pm ET.

No dance experience is required! Class can be done standing, seated, lying down or wherever is best for your comfort.

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


About Alexis Reale

Alexis Reale

Alexis is entering her third and final year of her Master’s degree program in Dance/Movement Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. Alexis is currently an intern at the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley where she leads dance/movement therapy groups and 1:1 sessions with clients. Alexis previously interned at Dominion Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, and continues to be under the supervision of dance/movement therapist Jody Wager. Alexis leads dance/movement therapy groups for adults, individuals living with chronic pain, and for older adults in assisted living communities. A lifelong dancer, Alexis believes that anyone can dance, and is delighted to be able to bring the healing power of movement to the Smith Center.

Click here to register for this program series.

with Kiersten Gallagher and Mindy Brodsky, LCSWA

SC Writes for YACS

“My hope is that all your experiences of the past…will pave the way for you to find that new story.”

– David Kessler, Finding Meaning, pg. 94

SC Writes for YACS: What’s Your Story?

Welcome back to SC Writes for YACS, where we will deepen our writing and sharing in a safe and supportive environment. No writing experience required. Activities will include mindfulness practices, writing exercises, and reflective practices. We will focus on Sharing Your Story in our writing.

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 Adult Cancer Survivors (YACS) is a 4-part program hosted on weekly on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:00pm ET, starting on October 12th, 2021.

Program Dates:

  • October 12, 19 & 26
  • November 2

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


About Kiersten Gallagher

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 Smith Center 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, LCSWA

Mindy Brodsky

Mindy Brodsky 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.

This program series 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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Bobbie Marchand

Tools for Living Authentically with Cancer

In the midst of Cancer’s wake, what if you could:

  • Cultivate practices of self-care that align with your highest values that are nurturing and healing
  • Manage the feelings and energies of anxiety/fear/sadness/confusion/frustration that inevitably arise
  • Discover empowering ways to communicate with your circles of support and Medical Team
  • Know yourself in a deeper, more connected way that prepares you for the journey ahead and within

 

As a two-time Survivor and the Daughter of a four-time Survivor, Cancer has been a part of my life for decades. It is my hope in this series to share with you, ways we have coped, dealt and healed along the way. Every journey is deeply personal, these tools are universal; for everyone, to take and shape to fit your own unique circumstances. Registrants should bring with them:

  • A new, fresh journal that’s only for this work
  • Pen and pencil
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable

Tools for Living Authentically with Cancer will be offered as a 2-part program series to cancer patients/survivors at any point in their journey.

Program Series Dates:

  • Saturday, October 30th, 10:00-11:15am ET
  • Saturday, November 6th, 10:00-11:15am ET

Participants are expected to attend both sessions in the 2-part series.

Suggested Donation: $25/series


About Bobbie Marchand

In addition to being a two-time Breast Cancer Survivor (BRCA1+), she is a dedicated Mom, accomplished Yoga Instructor, avid Cook and Wellness Advocate. As a former Professional Dancer, Bobbie has always leaned into life through the lens of Movement and the Healing Arts; helping her make sense of the un-sensical, finding a sense of purpose in the many twists and turns experienced along the way. She is passionate about uncovering the ways in which Cancer can inform, rather than define our lives as patients; how such a disease has the potential to clear a path to live more fully, humbly and in deeper connection to ourselves and what we truly value in life.

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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Alexis Reale

Therapeutic Creative Dance

Therapeutic Creative Dance

Dance/movement therapy offers individuals the opportunity to strengthen the mind/body connection, engage in nonverbal communication, and to improve our overall health and wellbeing.

 

Defined by the American Dance Therapy Association as the “psychotherapeutic use of movement to promote emotional, social, cognitive and physical integration of the individual,” dance/movement therapy recognizes that we can create changes in the body to reflect lasting changes in the mind.

 

Join us for collective creative expression through dance, writing, art-making and verbal integration. Class includes both individual exploration as well as partner exercises to foster meaning-making through self-exploration and connection with others. Class typically involves a check in, an individual improvisation warm up, individual movement exploration around a theme, partner work, journaling/art making, and a final discussion.

 

The class is open to individuals with all levels of experience and ability around movement. You do not need to have dance experience, only a willingness to move, and class can be done standing, seated, lying down or wherever is best for your comfort.


Therapeutic Creative Dance will be hosted Weekly on Fridays from 12:30-1:30pm ET.

No dance experience is required! Class can be done standing, seated, lying down or wherever is best for your comfort.

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


About Alexis Reale

Alexis Reale

Alexis is entering her third and final year of her Master’s degree program in Dance/Movement Therapy and Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Lesley University. Alexis is currently an intern at the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley where she leads dance/movement therapy groups and 1:1 sessions with clients. Alexis previously interned at Dominion Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, and continues to be under the supervision of dance/movement therapist Jody Wager. Alexis leads dance/movement therapy groups for adults, individuals living with chronic pain, and for older adults in assisted living communities. A lifelong dancer, Alexis believes that anyone can dance, and is delighted to be able to bring the healing power of movement to the Smith Center.

If you missed Part 1 of the workshop series, please email carla@smithcenter.org for registration.

with Jamie Katz

 

Awe Photo by Jamie Katz
Awe in New Zealand by Jamie Katz
Awe is defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary as “an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime”. Awe can be broken down into two unique parts: perceived vastness and mental accommodation. Awe has the potential to create positive changes in the way a person experiences the world by making her feel a connection to something greater than herself.
In this workshop, we will watch awe-evoking videos and write about personal awe-inspiring experiences. Since awe is an emotion that can bond groups of people together, reflecting and sharing your experiences is highly encouraged. In the second part of this series, we will reframe our understanding of awe and learn to incorporate these powerful, emotional experiences into our everyday lives.

Experiencing Awe Workshop will be offered in two parts: 

  • Part 1: Thursday, October 14th, 7:00-8:15pm ET
  • Part 2: Thursday, October 28th, 7:00-8:15pm ET

Suggested Donation: $10/session or $15/program (both sessions)

Participants are encouraged to attend both parts to get the most out of the workshop. Please let us know in advance if you are unable to attend both parts.


About Jamie Katz

Jamie Katz
Jamie Katz is an aspiring social psychologist whose past research has focused on the effects of experiencing awe. She is a DC area native who currently works at American University, and she graduated from the University of Richmond in Virginia. Jamie will pursue a graduate degree in psychology so that she can continue to research healing practices and interventions through a deeper understanding of the brain’s processes of experiencing emotions and social connections.

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 carla@smithcenter.org.

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

with Judith Sachs

The Breath of Life
Photo © Jacques-Jean Tiziou

The Breath of Life

We are breathing from moment we are born—our steady inhale and exhale is a “given.” But as we age or if we are stressed or ill, our breathing may suffer. This program will provide not just respite, but tools and skills to enhance and improve our breathing throughout our lives.

The Breath of Life is an introduction to techniques based on traditional Chinese Qigong and Indian Pranayama methods. Qi means “life force” and /gong means “work.” Prana means “life force” and /yama means “directed.” The BREATH is the foundation of all movement. The goal is to match the strength and ability of your internal and external body.

Judith Sachs, a 20-year practitioner of qigong (from the Chinese tai chi tradition) and a 30-year practitioner of pranayama (from the Indian yogic tradition), gives us options from movement to stillness to improve the structure, volume and duration of the breath.

The class begins with a rudimentary physiological explanation of lung function as well as a picture of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which regulate the stress response. We work with the breath to change “fight or flight” to “feed and breed” – with emphasis on the exhalation. The movement of a simple standing qigong set contrasts with the quiet of a seated pranayama. These two forms give us insight into how to use not just the “in” and “out” but the pauses in between breaths.

Most students feel release and relaxation after just one session. From there, they are able to build their own practice at home.

Suggested Donation: $10


About Judith Sachs

Judith Sachs is a certified Dance for Parkinsons® teacher who runs a program called ANYONE CAN DANCE® in Philadelphia. She has an extensive background in martial arts and started this class to get people aware of the potential of the breath – very important at a time when we are all concerned about staying well. You can read more about her at www.anyonecandance.org.

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 carla@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 and meeting at the same time on OTL’s off-weeks, this workshop will begin with a series of partnered exercises in which participants tell chapters of their own stories in their own words.

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

Possible forms include poetry, monologue, fairy tale, and film noir.  While many writing workshops strive to find and / or hone a writer’s “voice,” Writing Outside the Lines will give writers the chance to express themselves in an ever-expanding range of voices.


Writing Outside the Lines will be hosted on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30am ET. 

Upcoming Dates:

  • October 27
  • November 10
  • December 15

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.