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"We create experiences
where individuals, couples and families
are immersed in a culture of love, compassion and safety,
where they can find connection to their authentic selves,
the power of community and other sources of inspiration"

The Opening the Heart Workshop Mission Statement

The Opening the Heart Workshop
was endorsed in 2012 by 
The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“The Opening the Heart Workshop provides such a safe, gentle, supportive, and loving environment for anyone who is grieving a loss. We believe Elisabeth would applaud this professional yet heartfelt approach to healing from grief.”

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The Opening the Heart Staff at Spring Hill circa 1996
















The Opening the Heart (OTH) philosophy recognizes that true health is based on a holistic model that includes mind, body and spirit.

When the heart gently opens, loneliness, pain and shame can ease; self-acceptance and joy can increase. Our facilitators create a safe environment for experiences of connection with yourself and others. In an atmosphere of kindness and support, we provide opportunities to learn skills toward increasing your emotional and relational health. 

At Opening the Heart, we create the container to open to genuine connection—with yourself,  others and life.

OTH helps people find and express feelings,  share what’s true, resolve hurts,  experience self-love and compassion  and make positive life changes.

Our History

Since 1976, an estimated twenty thousand people have benefited from learning to live more fully from the heart.

The Opening the Heart Workshop was designed by Harvard-trained, Clinical Psychologist Robert Gass, Ed.D, his wife Judith Ansara, LICSW and colleagues from the Boston area. Until 1998, it was housed at Spring Hill Institute in Massachusetts where it supported an international clientele in regaining emotional health. The workshop was a product of the cultural milieu of the '70's and blended practices from humanistic psychology with the teachings of ancient wisdom traditions and simple human kindness.

Since 1998, OTH has been offered at conference centers in the Northeast continuously.  

It has been offered at  Kripalu Conference Center, in Lenox, Massachusetts and  at Omega Institute, in Rhinebeck, New York as well as at a number of other places. Each organization has been a major catalyst for the emergence of   the health and wellness movement of which  OTH has been a part, for many years. 


In 2018, OTH began running  post-workshop online groups 

In 2020, in response to the Covid crisis, a virtual, introductory workshop, "How Are You, Really?" was launched.

For years, OTH has served a diversity of groups with unique needs.

Participants have benefitted from specialized weekend workshops and week-long programs, which were tailored to address a their common concerns: 


Opening the Heart for Individuals (Levels 1 & 2), Couples, Women, Men, LGBTQ, Adult Children of Alcoholics, Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse, Men Survivors of Sexual Abuse, Grief & Loss, Healing the Inner Child, Heart-Centered Psychotherapy Intensive for Helping Professionals as well as  6-month and year-long Heart-Centered Psychotherapy trainings. 










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