Discover who you truly deserve to be.
Areas of Specialization
I specialize in areas in which I have both personal and professional experience.
I’ve been there, and I can understand where you’re coming from. But, I’ve let go of the former things and grabbed ahold of a joyful, abundant life! (Isaiah 43:18-19, Philippians 3:13).
I want you to join me here; it's a beautiful place to be!
Explore the menu below to learn more about the modalities I specialize in:
Learn more about my neuro-focused approach here >>
"Dr. Karen has done more for me in the sessions I've had with her than years of therapy for past trauma and months of intensive treatment.
I finally feel like I'm getting myself back the "me" that's free from fear and anxiety. God is working through Dr. Karen in a huge way, transforming my mind in a way I didn't think was possible anymore, and I'm so thankful to the Lord for leading me to her."
Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD
My recovery began in 2008. I realized that nobody was going to change my circumstances, except me. No one was going to save me, give me permission to help myself, to take a day off, to set boundaries, and create peace inside of me.
My process started with one small change, one action that started a chain reaction. And part of that chain was learning how our mind, body, and spirit interacts in ways that heal us, or hurt us further.
My depression, anxiety and PTSD experiences came full blown as a result of marital dysfunction, however the roots went further back, to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that if not healed, would have resulted in more of the same, no matter who I was married to.
There are no life sentences, this is not your fate no matter what genes you inherited, what you have said or done, what patterns you saw modeled, how you interpreted your model of the world, and how even you vibrate or energetically express at the atomic level (for my quantum physics friends).
You can heal, I can heal, we can all heal.
Weight Loss, Addictions, Fitness Psychology
I've had eight kids, and five were conceived within six years! As you can imagine, I was overweight. Stress and weight created pain and fatigue—mind, body, and spirit.
But in 2008, I accidentally discovered how to heal myself and lose forty lbs.
Six months later, I wrote a book about the small changes I consistently made that led to extraordinary results.
Amazingly, it was a best-seller!
I still love the movement and healthy foods that created my health and fitness, but I don’t obsess about it. I occasionally eat old favorites like chips, chocolate, pizza, burgers, fries, and wine, but they’re options, not opportunities for a feeding frenzy. Why?
I eliminated the subconscious triggers that were driving my eating and exercise behavior. I stopped trying to get a feeling I wanted or avoid feeling that I didn’t, through people, food, alcohol, or exercise.
As a result, I’ve discovered life is way more fun when you’re being who you are!
Grief and Loss Including Abortion
If you’re suffering extended grief for any reason, I can help you keep the love and let go of the pain.
We’ll uncover the wisdom, and you’ll keep the gift of finding meaning in what you had and its loss.
I’m well acquainted with grief, loss, and even abortion. My grandparents, mother, fiancé, and two children have died.
I also had an abortion in 1999. It made me so brokenhearted that I finally turned to the only One who could give me the forgiveness and wholeness I desperately needed.
The horror of abortion led me to make a different choice in 2004 when my doctors repeatedly pressured me to abort my baby because they anticipated he’d have congenital disabilities and prematurely die.
Well, my son did die, as we all do at some point, but not in the way the doctors predicted and not because of the lie that I had no other option.
If you have experienced abortion, regardless of the reason, you may be experiencing stress, traumatic anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, or extended grief.
If your symptoms continue beyond two weeks, you may be experiencing Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS). Symptoms include any of the following:
• Suicidal thoughts
I understand, and I want to help.
I spent nearly 21 years married to a man determined to be miserable.
During this time, I experienced various forms of emotional abuse and manipulation. I dialed 911 more than once to get him to leave when I feared for myself or my children. I stayed for many of the same well-meaning but mistaken reasons you might have:
believing the abuse was not bad enough to warrant leaving or to prove to my family, church, or friends that it was indeed abuse,
thinking I was helping my kids by keeping our marriage together,
believing his occasional apology or saying he wanted to change equated to actually taking action toward changing
believing his claims that his mother and every other woman in his life had damaged his self-esteem, cheated on him, abused him, etc., and that I could finally be the one who could give him that love he lacked,
becoming addicted to the high of his praise (love-bombing) and wanting to believe "Dr. Jekyll" was my real man, not "Mr. Hyde.”
I incorrectly believed my duty as a Christian wife was to continue with a man who professed to follow Jesus but showed no evidence of it in his behavior, beliefs, actions, or words.
They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. (Titus 1:16)
For twenty years, God helped me trust Him when I couldn’t trust my husband. He showed me that until I was ready to admit my husband would never change, the best way to help my kids was to change myself, model spiritual and emotional strength, openly call out abuse, and enforce boundaries.
Every situation contains a blessing.
The gift of my marriage is that it provided my precious children and contributed to my ability to understand and help you.
Abuse and Narcissistic Relationships
Anorexia, bulimia, cutting, and other forms of self-harm have become common. It often begins around age eleven but can persist into adulthood without emotional healing.
Self-harm is often associated with shame, self-hatred, blame, perfectionism, or the need for control. Some kids hurt themselves to break through emotional numbness or to demonstrate how bad things are.
The reasons are rooted in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) that result in deep embarrassment, shame, and trauma.
I work with pre-teens through adults using methods that work.
Eating Disorders, Cutting, Self-Harm
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are frequently the root of why and how we continue to produce what we do not want: fear, anxiety, scarcity and lack, depression, addiction, PTSD, being overweight and out of shape, and everything else.
ACEs are potentially traumatic events or aspects of children’s environment that undermine their sense of safety, stability, and bonding.
Examples of ACEs include:
violence, abuse, or neglect
having a family member attempt or die by suicide
family substance misuse
family mental health problems
instability due to parental separation or household members being in jail or prison
ACEs include any event that results in the false beliefs that we are unloved, imperfect, unworthy, not enough, or will always be poor, unwanted, difficult, misunderstood, etc.
The CDC reports that ACEs can have lasting adverse health, well being, and opportunity effects. They are linked to chronic health problems, mental illness, and substance misuse in adulthood and can negatively impact education and job opportunities.
In addition, they can increase the risks of injury, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and child health problems, teen pregnancy, involvement in sex trafficking, and a wide range of chronic diseases and leading causes of death such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and suicide.
ACEs and associated conditions, such as living in under resourced or racially segregated neighborhoods, frequently moving, or experiencing food insecurity, can cause toxic stress (extended or prolonged stress). Toxic stress can change brain development and disrupt attention, decision-making, learning, and adaptations to stress.
Children growing up with toxic stress may have difficulty forming healthy and stable relationships. They may also have unstable work histories as adults and struggle with finances, jobs, and depression. Unfortunately, these effects can also be passed on to their children, who may face further exposure to toxic stress in their homes and lives.
Fortunately, modern neuroscience has unlocked the door to addressing ACE memories so that we process them as we were designed to - learning what helps us to make positive future choices, keeping the wisdom while releasing the pain, and adopting the truth that we are worthy, acceptable, loved, and have the opportunity to access abundant resources.
Inner Fitness for Bodybuilders and Athletes
In November 2020, I set a goal to compete in the 2021 Mr. & Ms. Minnesota Pro North America Natural BodyBuilding Competition.
I’d never professionally trained, and had no idea if I could do it, but as World Champion BodyBuilder Donita Knaus told me, "You'll never know if you don't."
I hesitated because, honestly, I didn’t want a participation medal. I wanted to train hard with the expectation that I had the potential to win!
In doing so, I wanted to earn the credentials and opportunities to help athletes and those in the fitness community improve their overall health and achieve their goals.
I especially have a heart for women and mothers like me, who need encouragement and hope that they can regain their health and feel good in their bodies again. That’s why I wrote my first book.
So, I took a leap of faith and engaged a professional trainer. Then, I did everything every other competitor did, and followed my coaches instructions but added a few tweaks of my own.
I prayed over every workout, declaring that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
I asked God to prosper the work of my hands (Deuteronomy 30:9).
And I asked Him to bless me and to use this victory as a platform to reach hearts and minds in the fitness and health community!
Each day, I retrained my brain.
I asked myself, what would stop me from achieving my goals? How might I sabotage my outcome? What would prevent me from gaining muscle and doing my absolute best?
Spiritually, I took authority over those thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and parts of me. I also intentionally removed anything negative or disempowering, replacing it with what empowered and encouraged me - decreasing stress and inflammation while increasing the internal resources for health and muscle growth!
And…I won three first-place trophies in Novice Physique class, the 40 Plus Master's Physique class, and the 50 Plus Master's Physique class!
I’m here to help you achieve your health, fitness, weight, or competitive goals. Brain Retrain™ is a complementary supplement to your training and health coaching.
“She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms” (Proverbs 31:17, KJV)
“And if someone likewise competes as an athlete, he is not crowned as victor unless he competes according to the rules” (2 Timothy 2:5, NASB).
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1, NASB).
"Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8, NLT).