I am starting up my equine assisted psychotherapy program again in the coming months with small groups of 6-7 year olds based around feeling identification and empathy building. The sessions will include 15 minutes of grooming, a 30 minute therapeutic riding lesson, and a 30
minute office session on a separate day. The program will last 10 weeks: Riding will be on Monday afternoons at Kensington Stables and office sessions on either Wednesday or Thursday afternoons in Park Slope.
For those who are not aware, EAP is used to enhance office work with the use of horses. The therapeutic riding is excellent in helping with sensory integration, management of anxiety, and awareness of one’s body and feelings in the moment. This group will include those inherent aspects of therapeutic riding, but will have a specific focus on the feeling and empathy end. The riding is taught by an instructor from GALLOPnyc – www.gallopnyc.org – and the psychotherapeutic aspect is led by me, a licensed clinical social worker. If you are interested in the group for your child, please email me at [email protected] or call (718) 360-8531 to learn more.
Please note: Safety is of the highest priority – children must have adequate impulse control in order to be safe around the horses.
Susannah Gersten was born and raised in Brooklyn and specializes in working with young children and new parents. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and her Master s in Social Work from the Smith College School for Social Work. She has experience in mental health as well as community-based counseling services in Park Slope, making her invaluable in building relationships with the schools and other services in the area. In her private practice, Susannah offers play therapy with young children as well as behavior management, behavior plans and other techniques that involve both the child and their family. She also offers couples and family psychotherapy in order to help the parents and family address any underlying concerns in the family system. If parents desire, Susannah is happy to be in communication with guidance counselors, teachers and others at the child s school. Outside of the office, She runs an equine assisted psychotherapy group with middle-school aged and younger children to address anxiety, shyness and depression. This group is especially indicated for children who have not responded to traditional therapy in the past. She has run this program for three years in conjunction with GallopNYC which works out of Kensington stables.