My Background

susan-gesten-photo-10-15I value making a difference in people’s lives and have worked in the helping professions all of my adult life. Early on I discovered that my work needed to involve people’s inner lives, which is why coaching is such a good fit.

I’ve had a meaningful career as a social worker and I continue to draw upon those skills.  Over the course of 20 plus years, I worked in the areas of mental health, long term care and cancer services.  Those experiences taught me to listen carefully for challenges under the surface.  I also learned to value the incredible determination that people uncover to resolve their deepest struggles.  I believe that we all persevere – and even flourish – when we are treated with dignity and are accepted for who we are.

I became a coach to expand my professional role and to work in a field that views clients as full partners. Coaching does just that. It acknowledges that the coach and the client each bring their life experiences, skills, and insights to the process.  While the coach brings extensive training and a particular set of skills, the client is the one who makes personal discoveries and who ultimately knows what fits best. I work hard to create a safe place for people to explore their experiences by being down-to each and non-judgmental.

What I truly love, is helping people learn to be at ease with who they are, eliminate shame, and find their particular way of being in the world.  Whether it’s coming to a greater understanding of the impact of ADHD or learning to align with one’s true nature as an introvert, I have seen this clarity make an amazing difference.


I have lived on both coasts of the United States and currently reside in the Capital Region of New York.  I have been divorced and remarried and have experienced the challenges and joys of blended families.  I currently live with my husband and we have two grown children.


I received a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College, a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Washington, and completed the Advanced Coaching program at the ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA), considered the global leader in ADD/ADHD training.  I am a licensed social worker in New York State (LMSW), a Certified Coach from the ADD Coach Academy, and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation.  I adhere to ICF Code of Ethics and standards of ethical conduct that can be found at:  International Coach Federation.

Contact Information: (518) 461-6513