About Zoë Odegard, Psychotherapist
Master of Arts in Counseling, Licensed Professional Counselor
Member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE)
I hold a BA in both Contemplative Psychology and Traditional Eastern Arts from Naropa University, an accredited Buddhist institution. There I developed a firm foundation in meditation and mindfulness principles, which serve me personally as well as professionally. I do not, however, consider myself a Buddhist Counselor, and rather appreciate the philosophies as meaningful and effective tools to support mental wellness..
As life often goes, I didn't move directly into Counseling. Motivated by a desire to increase access to healthcare for everyone, I initially pursued a career in Law. I finished out my first year and completed a summer internship at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. After a lot of questioning and reflection I came to terms with the fact that it was not the path for me. One thing led to another and I ended up at Saybrook University to study Counseling at the masters level. The program I attended was rooted in Humanistic and Multicultural philosophies, which continue to inform my work today.
Therapeutic Orientation and Specialities
I approach every client as a true individual. My goal is to meet each client where they are and choose the mode of therapy based on what they need at that time.
There is no one right pace for treatment, and there is always room to be flexible. Sometimes one concern brings a person in, but a new unforeseen challenge arises and becomes the focus. Attending therapy is your time and should reflect your priorities.
Humanistic, Multicultural, and Feminist
Although the specifics of my work with each client may differ, there are several underlying ideals that make up my therapeutic foundation. These include the belief that each person is the true expert on their own life and experience, that differences matter, everyone deserves to be approached iwith respect and humility, and the context that a person develops and lives in is extremely important to consider in the conceptualization of the whole human. Culture, privilege and marginalization, family norms, etc. all impact how we think of and express who we are.
Trauma and LGBTQ+ Challenges
I come from a trauma-informed perspective and take great care to collaboratively establish safety in the therapeutic relationship. Reprocessing trauma and developing resiliency are imperative, and still must not be forced, pressured, or hurried.
I have experience working with folks author their own identities. This includes gender and sexuality, gender affirmation and transition support, and relational needs such as ethical polyamory and intentional monogamy.