Support groups offer a place where we can be ourselves, where we don’t need to censor what we say. We can laugh, cry, mope, celebrate, use black humor, rail about the stupid comments we’ve heard, and find relief in the universality of our experiences. With our burdens lifted, we can go back to our families and friends and work and lives able to handle the difficult reality with equanimity.
All participants sign a confidentiality agreement and are asked to keep the conversations private. We can talk about ideas outside of the group, but not about people.
Before joining a group, each participant needs to talk with the facilitator to discuss whether the group will fit your needs. Then you can come when you want to come or need to come, a couple of weeks, a couple of months, once in awhile, just when you’re receiving chemo or recovering from surgery or radiation or when you’re anxious about an upcoming scan or blood test or doctor’s appointment. Some people wait until after they have completed treatment before joining a group, when they feel vulnerable no longer being under the watchful eye of their doctors. Call 413-586-1642 to confirm time and place of all meetings.
Living with Advanced Cancer
A support group for individuals whose treatment options will slow the progress of their disease but neither cure them nor offer them remissions, facilitated by Betsy Neisner. This group is not currently meeting in person. Betsy contacts participants by phone and stays in touch with them.
All Cancers (for people diagnosed with any type of cancer) - Northampton and Amherst groups
Northampton group - Tuesday evening
This group is facilitated by Deborah Burkhalter, LICSW.
Amherst group - Monday midday, every other week
This group is facilitated by Pierre Zimmerman, MA.
Living with Breast Cancer
Tuesdays late afternoon, second and fourth weeks of each month.
(schedule may be subject to change over the summer - check with facilitator)
This support group is facilitated by Judy Swanson, LICSW
*The breast cancer group generally meets twice each month. The breast cancer group will offer special "reconnection sessions" for current group members to join with those who have participated in the breast cancer group in the past. Please call Cancer Connection to let us know if you'd like to attend a session.
*NEW* Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
This group meets on the fourth Thursday afternoon each month.
This support group is facilitated by Vivien Weiss, LMHC.
Caregivers & Families
Thursday evening twice monthly
A support group for families and caregivers of people with cancer,
This group is facilitated by Vivien Weiss, LMHC.
Men Living with Cancer
This group is facilitated by Ron Freshley, LICSW.
Ovarian & Gynecological
This group is led by Vivien Weiss, LMHC.
Self-Care Skills and Support
*Now on Wednesday evenings twice monthly
This group provides guidance to help you kindly reconnect and care for yourself during and after treatment. Each meeting includes relaxation exercises to regain comfort and ease in your body, time to share mutual support and helpful resources, and other practical tools for creating well-being and vitality. The 30-minute guided relaxation and visualization includes breathing, self massage, seated movement, or encouraging self talk that is designed for the needs of the participants each week. Enjoy the support of other group members to help you remove obstacles that get in the way of caring for yourself, and create well being each day
This group is led by Linda Tumbarello, LMHC