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Posted By Opening the Heart

Opening the Heart is a weekend-intensive workshop that provides a safe and supportive environment for accessing feelings, working through blocked emotions, disentangling from the past, reconnecting with core truths, and learning to live more fully from the heart. It was originally conceived by Robert Gass EdD and Judith Ansara MSW in 1976.


Our philosophy recognizes that true health is based on a holistic model that includes mind, body and spirit. Opening the Heart draws on a variety of western psychological methods including gestalt, bioenergetics, focusing, and psychodrama. Recognizing what modern neuroscience continues to prove - that past trauma and abuse are stored in the body at a cellular level - the Opening the Heart Work engages the body's natural energies in holistic exercises designed to uncover and heal old wounds. Movement and the gentle power of music play major roles in the workshop, creating a uniquely effective healing experience.
Inner transformation lies at the core of all spiritual and wisdom traditions. We use exercises in witnessing, and mindfulness practices drawn from a wide range of those traditions. Though not affiliated to any specific creed or doctrine the workshop embodies a deep respect for the spiritual aspects of our lives. The innate resilience of the human spirit is supported and enhanced by the blend of modern positive psychology and ancient healing wisdom underlying the unique Opening the Heart approach.


Creating a safe container for the exploration of buried feelings is a primary goal of the workshop leaders. The senior staff each have more than 20 years' experience In facilitating Heart Work. We walk our talk, and each of us has been a participant in the workshop -  multiple times. We have also had training and many years experience in group dynamics; healing from trauma and grief; and the transformational change process.
Confidentiality is a pre-requisite for all participants. The workshop is highly structured and offers a variety of small group and individual exercises that invite participants to try new activities and explore new methods of self-discovery and self-expression. Of course, participants always reserve the right to choose not to take part in a particular exercise and are completely supported in making choices that are right for them. We assist people with special needs in adapting exercises to suit their needs.


 Our staff clinician reviews whatever input and background data participants choose to provide in advance of each workshop to help insure each individual's needs are met. Submission of this advance information is completely voluntary. A high staff to participant ratio - approximately one staff member per six or seven participants - allows for a great deal of individual attention and is designed to provide emotional support and safety. We believe that caring and simple human kindness are essential in promoting healing. Deep listening and the power of loving attention are vital keys in helping people remove inner barriers.



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