Hearthstone Institute began as an idea and a dream. Founded by psychologist Dr. Susan Shaffer after years of experience working within the limitations and restrictions of institutionally funded mental health care, Hearthstone at its outset was driven by the belief that there was a market for the best quality mental health care she could arrange to provide.

In 1997, she initiated a direct service psychology clinic with psychiatric consultations provided by Dr. Darell Shaffer, psychiatrist and husband. Funded solely by patient fees with no interference from outside companies or agencies, Hearthstone has always focused on providing detailed effective and professional care with roots that are equally balanced between a concern for science with an appreciation of the soul.