Geoffrey Zehnacker, MSW, LICSW

geoffrey@affinitypsych.com

Hello all! My name is Geof (he/him). I am a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW). After my military career in the U.S. Marines was cut short by traumatic brain injury, I found a love of continuing education and received my Masters in Social work from Walden University, followed with four years of work on a PhD at North Dakota State University. I am a transplant to the midwest, growing up in Delaware and upstate New York. I have lived in three of the four corners of the U.S., served overseas, and traveled nationally and internationally.

How I Work

I like to think that I specialize in people, not issues. I feel that rapport and trust are the foundation of any relationship which is why I do not narrow my practice down to specific populations or issues. I like to consider myself an open book, and as long as it doesn’t become about me, I am happy to share my successes and failures with anyone who can learn from them. I have a wide range of humor, and connect with sarcasm, banter, and always a good joke.

I am here for you (whoever you are). I adjust my approach to what works best for you – I do not expect you to have to conform to my therapeutic approaches. I do utilize play therapy (not just for the young in age); I support animal assisted interventions; and I utilize traditional approaches. But, I focus on what makes you most comfortable and fits best for you.

What Sets Me Apart As a Therapist?

This is my second career. I have a depth of personal experiences that have not been afforded to many others. I came into this profession backwards starting with a focus on being a researcher and educator; but, the personal loss of a MD friend who completed suicide redirected me down the provider path. With this diverse life experience, I understand trauma, and the grief, loss, sadness, fear, and all the other emotions that come with it. I pride myself on my ability to observe and see things that get blurred and overlooked by others.

I recognize that people are usually not seeking out a therapist when they have tons of free time, so I offer non-traditional working hours. I try to have availability early mornings and late evenings as well as one weekend a month, making my availability a unique asset. I don’t want therapy to be your full time job, and recognize that your time is valuable.

Issues I Treat:

  • Transitions and adjustment issues
  • Burnout recovery and prevention
  • Parenting struggles
  • Animal Assisted Intervention (service dog and emotional support animals)
  • Sexual identity
  • Sexualality
  • Family structure issues (both traditional and adaptive)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post suicide understanding
  • Behavioral issues
  • Cultural issues
  • Dual diagnosis (medical and mental health)
  • Higher education stress
  • Chronic PTSD
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Populations I Serve:

  • Families (together and individual)
  • LGBT+
  • Type A personalities
  • First responders
  • Career Military (active and veterans)
  • Service Animal users
  • Medical Professionals (Would love to see more peers and Doctors reaching out)
  • Athletes (all levels)
  • Graduate School Students
  • New professionals (recent graduates as well as return to career fields)
  • Empty nesters
  • Retirees
  • Underrepresented populations (those of you who can’t seem to find the box to check)

Professional background:

Education

I like people to know that my entire education was funded and supported by the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation program.

  • Walden University (Minneapolis MN)
  • North Dakota State University (Fargo ND)
  • Minnesota State University Moorhead (Moorhead MN)
  • North Dakota State College of Science (Wahpeton ND)
  • U.S. Army Advance Law Enforcement Academy (Ft Leonard Wood MO)
  • U.S. Army Military Police School (Anniston AL)

Previous Employment

  • Gateway Unlimited Living LLC Burnsville MN
  • Willow Tree Crisis Stabilization services (Detroit Lakes MN)
  • Becker County Mental Health Crisis response team (Becker county MN)
  • Naytahwaush Community Charter School (Naytahwaush MN)
  • North Dakota 4-H Youth Development (Fargo ND)
  • North Dakota Extension services (Fargo ND)
  • U.S. Marines (North Carolina, California, North Dakota, Africa, Iraq)

Licensure

  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
  • (MN Lisence #30462)