Susan Cressy

I consider myself to be very fortunate to be living and working at Highlands Gate, an 85 acre farm in Lanark Highlands, Ontario, with my husband Ray and our herd.  All of the photos on the website were taken at the farm and the vistas, fields, forest, marsh, ponds and century old log buildings are here for you to experience.

I was born with the "horse-lover' gene and I have been privileged to weave these magnificent animals in to my life and work, first with Therapeutic Riding and now in the field of Counselling, Psychotherapy, Spirituality and Equine Facilitated Wellness.

The approach taken in therapy sessions is from a holistic, nature based and experiential approach to psychotherapy, integrating mindfulness and focusing techniques.  A combination of theories may be applied depending on the needs of the client including an in depth Psychodynamic approach, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy.  My influences have been Pat Ogden, Peter Levine, Babette Rothchild and Dr. Bruce Perry in terms of a somatic approach to working with survivors of trauma.  My mentor and trainer in the field of Equine Facilitated Wellness has been Deborah Marshall of http://www.generationfarms.ca  Mary Smith of Buckingham, Quebec was one of my first teachers.  She and her husband Victor, shared their innate ability of how to live a grounded, present focused, community minded life on their small farm where they raised Morgan horses, near Buckingham, Quebec.  

Education & Experience

  • Owner of Highlands Gate Wellness, 4381 Wolf Grove Road, Lanark Highlands, Ontario
  • Master of Arts in Counselling, Psychotherapy and Spirituality, University of St Paul, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Honours Degree in Social Psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario
  • Diploma in Rehabilitation Counselling from Red Deer College, Red Deer, Alberta
  • Registered Psychotherapist through the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
  • Certified through the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association
  • Tri Certified as an Equine, Mental Health and Learning Professional through the Professional Association for Equine Facilitated Wellness  http://www.equinefacilitatedwellness.org​
  • Co-facilitating group therapy sessions for veterans with Marie Josée Hull, MSW, RSW, Pro-EFW, of https://www.mariejoseehullcounselling.com and Marleen MacDonald, MSW, RSW
  • Co-facilitating personal development workshops with Marleen MacDonald, MSW, RSW.
  • Individual and Couples Counselling with the University of St Paul Counselling Centre
  • Psychotherapy and Counselling for Cornerstone Residence for Women
  • Co facilitated individual and group Equine Facilitated Wellness sessions in the field of addictions with clients from the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre
  • Coordinator of the Lanark County Therapeutic Riding Program Coordinator, certified Coach and National Examiner with the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association
  • Job and life coaching for men and women re-entering the workforce
  • ​Support worker for Connections, part of Lanark Renfrew Health and Community Services, assisting young families in parent directed supportive programs for healthy families