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Meet the Staff


Each of the Opening the Heart Workshop facilitators has spent their adult lives learning, practicing and teaching the ways of the heart. They are personal growth coaches, mental health practitioners, business men and women and educators who care deeply about others.

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Linda Belliveau, M.Ed

Linda is a grief counselor, wellness coach and mental health consultant and educator.  She works individually with clients on a  wide variety of issues. She  also supports  clients in a group setting at the OTH Workshop, where she has worked for the past 40 years. The OTH setting helps people access their natural emotional intelligence and learn tools which empower them to live their healthiest life. Linda balances teaching affective education with a strong interest in the emerging field of Integrative and Biological Psychiatry, specifically in the areas of genetics, neuroscience, bio-chemistry & nutrition. She is the mother of two beloved sons.

Al utilizes the tools of the OTH Workshop in all aspects of his life. He trusts that operating with mindfulness in all interactions, whether business or personal, allows positive outcomes to manifest.  He has had the great fortune to work in true collaboration in a number of endeavors throughout his life, including being a senior staff member of The Opening the Heart Workshop, co-leading the OTH for Couples with his wife Judy, and co-designing the OTH for Men.  Raising two sons and supporting men in the process of opening to their authentic selves fills Al with joy! He is thrilled to continue the work in the ‘digital space.’

Al DeGroot

Judy Kushner-DeGroot

Judy trained in 1981 with Robert and Judith Gass, founders of the Opening the Heart Workshop; presenting at Spring Hill, Kripalu, and the Omega Institute. She is thrilled to be a part of revolutionizing OTH  by bringing the essence of its teachings and practices online, and sharing the lessons learned to all who seek to discover what life beholds with an open heart. Judy and her husband Al  have co-designed and led multi-level couples workshops.  Judy has a passion for short term coaching.  In her practice she supports and guides her clients who may feel stuck or alone, to find their way through problem- solving current challenges, and life decisions. Judy is often referred to as a "confidant and trusted advisor".

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Lee is a philosophy Professor at MIT in the experimental study group. He is also the director of the  Educational Justice Institute at MIT, a MIT prison initiative, and teaches university courses in area prisons, which includes courses jointly taken by MIT students and inmates. His signature courses are Philosophy of Love and Non-Violence as a Way of Life. Lee began staffing Opening the Heart workshops in 1985, and has facilitated similar workshops in a variety of settings including Massachusetts prisons. Lee is also a facilitator in restorative justice groups in the Massachusetts prison system, and the music director of the Deborah Abel Dance Company.

Lee Perlman, Ph.D

Liz Mazlish, M.A.

Liz's M.A. is in Counseling Psychology. She has facilitated the “Opening the Heart Workshop” since 1990. She’s had a  psychotherapy practice for 30 years, working with adults, teens and couples. Liz has received training at “The Cambridge Family Institute“, “Gestalt Institute of New England“, “The Center for Body-Oriented Psychotherapy” and “The Children’s Room: Center for Grieving Families”.  Liz specializes in helping with depression, anxiety, grief, trauma and abuse, as well as couples/relationship, LGBTQ and work issues; she brings a special interest in the transformative process of intention, mindfulness, art and movement. Liz is honored to help guide and support your sharing, receiving, healing and growth toward a more satisfying present and future.

Don is a psychotherapist and substance abuse counselor in private practice whose work is informed by the Opening the Heart approach. Starting on the OTH staff in 1984, he helped develop an OTH for Children of Alcoholics, Teens, and Trauma Survivors, as well as leading music in many workshops. A songwriter, he has been inspired by the Heart work in writing "from the heart." Don also enjoys gardening, singing duets with his wife Nancy, and being with their six children and eight grandchildren.

Don Rhoades, L.M.H.C.

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