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Kara A. Derner, PsyD, LP

Melrose Center St. Louis Park

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Kara A. Derner, PsyD, LP



Meet Kara A. Derner, PsyD, LP

I believe it takes a great deal of courage and bravery to seek therapy, and I feel honored that others allow me to be a part of this journey. In my eyes, the relationship between client and therapist is one of the most important aspects of therapy, and likely the main reason people make progress. As a trauma therapist, I believe it is important that my clients are supported and guided while they work through the “little” and “big” traumas they have experienced in life. I see trauma as anything that changes how we view ourselves or how we view the world, and for most people, what they experienced and survived, they have done alone. I see my role as someone that can provide education about trauma, how it impacts our brains, and how it impacts us later in life, so my clients are better informed and can understand their behaviors, including their eating disorder. But, more importantly, being there, listening, and letting my clients know they are no longer alone, is why I do this work.

My areas of practice include eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma and abuse, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, self-harm behaviors, attachment issues, and suicidal thoughts/behaviors. I work with clients 18 and older via individual therapy as well as family and couples therapy. I provide a safe space for individuals who identify as LGBTQ, and I welcome clients who are looking for a Christian therapist.

Medical interests

  • Eating Disorders
  • Trauma/Abuse/PTSD
  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attachment Issues



Services offered

Behavioral Health Therapy

  • Cognitive - Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Mindfulness Therapy
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Psychological Testing

Behavioral Health Conditions

  • Adoption Issues
  • Alzheimers/Memory Loss
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attachment / Reactive Attachment Disorder
  • Bipolar / Manic Depressive Disorder
  • Cancer Related Issues
  • Chemical Dependency Issues
  • Chronic Pain/Pain Management
  • Clergy Abuse
  • Cults and Mind Control
  • Depressive Disorders
  • Developmental Disabilities/Mental Illness
  • Dissociative Disorder
  • Domestic Violence/ Survivors
  • Dual Diagnosis (MH/CH)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Feeding Problems in Children
  • Fibromyalgia Related Issues
  • Grief and Loss Issues
  • HIV/AIDS Issues
  • Impulse Control Disorder
  • Medical Issues/Chronic Illness
  • Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder
  • Parents with Special Needs Children
  • Personality Disorders
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Reproductive Health Related Issues
  • Serious and Persistent Mental Illness
  • Sexual Abuse Survivors Eval & Treatment
  • Somatoform Disorders
  • Torture Victims
  • Trichotillomania

Culture/Religion Competencies

  • African American Culture
  • Christian Counseling
  • Faith-based Counseling

Behavioral Health Populations

  • Age: Adolescent (13-17)
  • Age: Adult (18+)
  • Age: Child (6-12)
  • Age: Seniors (60+)
  • Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual - Mental Health
  • Gender Identity - Mental Health
  • Men's Chemical Health Services
  • Men's Mental Health Services
  • Military/Veterans
  • Refugees
  • Women's Chemical Health Services
  • Women's Mental Health Services

My background and qualifications

About certification


Professional School
Argosy University/Twin Cities 2008


No Information on Record

Where Kara A. Derner, PsyD, LP practices

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Melrose Center St. Louis Park
3525 Monterey Dr
Saint Louis Park, MN 55416
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  • Melrose Center St. Louis Park

    3525 Monterey Dr
    Saint Louis Park, MN 55416
    Mental Health
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More about me

I knew I wanted to become a therapist when I learned in high school that I could talk to people and help them – as an actual job! I love that I can use what I know to help other people, and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else.

My clients can expect someone warm, caring, funny, and invested in their overall well-being. It is very important to me that my clients don't feel judged and that they leave therapy with a better understanding and greater compassion for themselves. Clients can expect a safe, inviting environment where they will be validated and supported, while also being challenged, to build a better life for themselves.

I am definitely more of a homebody and enjoy my downtime, where I can read, watch some scary movies or play with my cats. I love spending time with family, especially my two nieces and three nephews and I believe I am the best aunt!

I try to focus on getting enough sleep since I know that it is extremely important to my mental and physical health. I also make sure I take time to laugh and make others laugh, take breaks, practice good self-care and be grateful for what I do have in life.

St. Peter, MN

My friends and family would say I am very funny, that I tell good stories, I'm very caring and loyal and a little quirky.

As a kid, I wanted to be a ballet dancer, although I didn't want to wear tights.

A dance teacher I had in college was carefree, lived in the moment and didn't care what other people thought of her. I try to remember this so I don't take myself too seriously.

I love spring! The first days of opening your windows and hearing kids playing and smelling people grilling; there is nothing like it.

I see my biggest achievement as getting my doctorate degree since I am the first person in my family to do this.

In my practice, I do NOT believe I am the expert that knows what is best for you, and I am not someone that will tell you what you “should” do. Instead, I believe therapy is a collaborative relationship in which I bring my expertise and knowledge, and you bring your expertise and previous experiences in life Together we use our combined “expertise” to help you resolve past hurts and big a life that makes you happy and fulfilled. Specialized Trauma Therapies: • Internal Family Systems (IFS), Level 1 Trained • Brainspotting, Level 1 Trained • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Level 1 and 2 Trained Professional Associations: • Binge Eating Disorder Association • International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals