Support Groups &
Healing Circle Workshops

WomenCARE Support GroupsWe offer a safe place where women with any type of cancer will find mutual support, shared experience, and open hearts.

All support group meetings are held at WomenCARE’s office.  Pre-registration (office intake and a conversation with the group facilitator) is required before attending any of our support groups. Please call 831-457-2273 to provide us with necessary client information.

  • ARM-in-ARM: Open to women with Advanced, Recurrent, or Metastatic cancer. Facilitated by Sally Jones & Shirley Marcus. Meets every Monday, 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Cancer Support Group: Open to newly diagnosed women throughout the course of their treatment and up to 4-6 months post-treatment. Facilitated by Vickie Assunto and Deb Abbott. Meets every Tuesday, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
  • Friends & Family: Open to friends and loved ones (men & women) of people with cancer. Led by Donna Cavallaro. Meets 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 5:30 to 7:00pm.
  • Post Treatment Group: Open to women who have completed their treatment. This is a closed group that meets for 6 months. Women may attend 2-six month groups.  Group participants become ineligible to concurrently attend another of WomenCARE’s emotional support groups; nor may they return to them after completion of a POST TREATMENT group. An exception to this would be if a woman has a recurrence.  Women  may continue to attend Healing Circle groups. Please call 831-457-2273 to find out when the next group will be starting and for more information.
  • Spanish Speaking Cancer Support Group: Open to Spanish-speaking women with all kinds of cancer.  Provides emotional support, education, and referrals to other social services.  Group is led in Spanish and meets at WomenCARE’s office on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. Please call 831-336-8662 to register. Led by Carolina Evans-Roman.
  • Entre Nosotras: Open to Spanish-speaking women with all kinds of cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and the healing process. Groups are led in Spanish and meet at our Watsonville office. Please call 831-761-3973 for details. Led by Chila Correa. Meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Healing Circle Workshops

WomenCARE Healing Circle WorkshopsProviding comforting ways to cope with cancer through art, writing, meditation, and more. Please call the WomenCARE office at 831-457-2273 before attending any of these groups, both to verify location and times, and to provide us with necessary client information.

  • Art for Healing: No art experience necessary, just a willingness to play with art materials and listen tenderly to yourself. Led by Wendy Traber. Meets the 3rd Saturday of every month at The Soquel Glen Mobile Park Clubhouse, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Complementary Treatment Forum: An educational and collaborative group for women who want a safe place to learn, sort through, and share information about the many complementary cancer treatments. Led by Marianne Benforado, Licensed Acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and Michele Sparrows, Nutritional Consultant. Meets the 4th Saturday of every month, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at WomenCARE’s Soquel office.
  • Laughter Yoga: Laughter Yoga is all about playing, having fun, feeling good and relaxing. It’s an innovative wellness tool where anyone can laugh at any time as a form of stress relief. We laugh in a group as a form of exercise, and through eye contact and childlike playfulness the fake laughter becomes real and contagious. It is a scientific fact that the body does not know the difference between fake laughter and the real thing, so when we laugh we receive a happy chemical release (dopamine, serotonin), and create more ease and space in our bodies and minds.
    Join Carla Brown, certified Laughter Yoga instructor, to form you own laughter practice! Females who are a vital part of a client’s care team are also invited!
    Meets the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of every month, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Inner Light Ministry – Fireside Room, 5630 Soquel Drive.
  • Mindfulness Meditation: For women newly diagnosed, recovering, or coping with the effects of cancer or chronic illness. Meetings are held at Land of the Medicine Buddha and are led by Yangchen, a Tibetan Buddhist Nun. Meets the 1st Tuesday of every month at Land of Medicine Buddha, 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.
  • Writing Circle: Open to the writer in each of us, this group allows for creative exploration in a supportive space right where you are. Each session is a surprise. Your creations are prompted by writing activities and the stories of your life—bring your notebook and invite your muse. Meets the 2nd Saturday of every month, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at WomenCARE’s Soquel office.
  • Qi  Gong:  In this class you will learn specific tools for managing side-effects of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.  Led by Sarah Diaz-Bastin. Meets the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of every month, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at 420 Melrose in the Fireside Lounge of Trinity Presbyterian Church..
  • Yoga, all levels: This class will focus on using the breath and gentle stretching to open up the body and reduce stress. For those who are ready to rebuild strength, modifications will be offered. No yoga experience necessary – beginners welcome! Taught by Becky Dickson, certified yoga instructor. Meets the 4th Thursday of the month, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Yoga Within, in Aptos.

Please note: All of our Healing Circle Workshops and Support Groups (except for our Friends & Family group) are for women who are in any stage of the cancer journey.