Kara Derner, Psy.D., LP

I know that starting therapy can be scary and overwhelming if you’ve never been before. It can be even harder to give it another try if you’ve had previous experiences that weren’t helpful or were even negative. Although it can be scary to talk to a stranger, I am excited for you to see how much better life can be when you find a therapist that is a good fit and the process works for you.

It takes a lot of courage to look inside yourself, and I feel honored when a client allows me to be a part of this very personal journey. I see my role as helping you make sense of things; like putting pieces of a puzzle together so that you can see the “bigger picture”, which then allows you to have more understanding and compassion for yourself. We all start using coping mechanisms or survival strategies because they were needed and because they WORKED. The hard part is they may not be working anymore, or they may be causing more chaos in your life, and yet you don’t know how to stop them. That is okay.

As a trauma therapist, I believe it is important to give you as much information as I can about how traumatic things impact us. I see trauma as anything that changes how we view ourselves or how we view the world, and we know that repeated or chronic trauma can greatly impact a person because it impacts your brain. You are not lost or hopeless; your brain is responding a certain way because it had to keep you safe and is now constantly on the lookout for danger. That is something that has helped keep you alive and I see that as a strength that we can build off in therapy

Clients who work with me can expect someone who is caring, warm, a little funny (or a lot), someone who is non-judgmental and very interested in understanding who you are. I think most of us go through life never really feeling “seen” or understand, and that pain can be unbearable at times. I want to make sure that every client who walks into my office, if nothing else, walks away knowing they have been seen by another human being.


Internal Family Systems (Level 1 trained)
Adaptive Internal Relational (AIR) Network Model
Brainspotting (Level 1 trained)
EMDR (Level 1 trained)
Attachment issues
Eating Disorders
Suicidal thoughts
Guilt & shame
Self-harm/self-injurious behaviors
Borderline Personality Disorder
Grief & loss
Relationship issues
Mood Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Safe space for LGBTQ+


Psy.D. – Minnesota School of Professional Psychology of Argosy University
BA – Gustavus Adolphus College (Go Gusties)

clinical experience

CARE Counseling (Present)
Melrose Center
Sioux Trails Mental Health Center
Nystrom & Associates
Water’s Edge Counseling & Healing Center
University of Colorado at Boulder, Counseling Center (APA-Approved Pre-Doctoral Internship)

In network with

CARE’s Clinicians are In-Network with a variety of providers including:

  • BCBS – Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • MHCP – MA
  • Medical Assistance
  • PreferredOne
  • UCare
  • HealthPartners
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • Hennepin Health

Additionally, Out of Network & Out of Pocket options are available.


Understanding research and the root cause of common psychological issues is a great first step to creating a healthier you!

What is Trauma and How Can Therapy Help? Trauma Handout