Kimberly Esau, MA, LMFT

Kim enjoys working with children (ages 4+), adolescents, women, men, seniors and their families. Since 1999, she has worked in a variety of clinical settings including outpatient, and inpatient programs as well as home based counseling.  Her passion is helping people to heal within the context of a safe, grace-filled environment where they feel heard and understood. Kim works with clients on a variety of issues, including, but not limited to, those listed below:

  • Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual)
  • Attention Difficulties (ADHD/ADD)
  • Anxiety, Depression & Perfectionism
  • Codependency
  • Creativity and Creative Blocks, Feeling Stuck in Life
  • Eating Disorders
  • Grief & Loss
  • Parenting and Family Issues
  • Relationship Issues
  • Self-Injurious Behaviors
  • Shame
  • Self-Esteem and Low Self-Worth
  • Spiritual and Religious Concerns
  • Stress Management
  • Trauma, Dissociation and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Women’s Issues

Philosophy

I am passionate about helping people heal by listening closely to their stories, helping them to identify patterns woven throughout their life that may be contributing to the problems or symptoms they are experiencing. I draw from a wide range of resources to assist my clients in the healing process.  Some of these are: psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, family systems theories, solution focused therapy, mindfulness and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). I also utilize Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is a form of therapy that helps to heal various forms of trauma or painful life experiences. I use a whole body approach to healing– body, mind, and spirit and seek to understand and support healing on all three levels. In my work with children, I use directive and non-directive play therapy approaches as well as traditional talk therapy to help resolve and heal core concerns. Having spent the past several years studying art and expressive art therapy, I enjoy integrating creative methods into the healing process.

My approach to therapy is very collaborative and I enjoy working with clients to tailor the therapy process according to their unique needs.  I work with clients to provide practical suggestions and tools they can utilize in their everyday life that will facilitate healing as well as help them delve into past and present life experiences that may be impacting their life today. My desire is to provide a safe, supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere where clients can heal.

Licenses & Certifications

  • MN Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Education & Additional Training

  • Saint Mary’s University, Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Saint Mary’s University, MA, Counseling & Psychological Services
  • University of Minnesota, BS, Family Social Science
  • Anoka Ramsey Community College, Associate of Arts
  • Level II EMDR Trained Clinician
  • DBT Training (Basic & Advanced, 2007)

Professional Associations

  • The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • The Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Minnesota Women in Psychology

Selected Links

Selected Books

Relationships

  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert, by John Gottman
  • 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, by John Gottman & Julie Schwartz
  • The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships, by John Gottman
  • Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, by Harville Hendrix
  • The Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships, by Harriet Goldhor Lerner
  • The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work, by Terrence Real
  • Living Non-Violent Communication: A Language of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg

Men & Women’s Issues

ADHD

  • ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life, by Kathleen Nadeau & Judith Kolberg
  • Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood, By Ned Hallowell & John Ratey
  • ADHD According to Zoë, by Zoë Kessler

Abuse & Trauma

  • The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse, by Dan Allender
  • The Emotionally Abused Woman: Overcoming Destructive Patterns and Reclaiming Yourself, by Beverly Engel
  • Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and Overcome Your Shame, by Beverly Engel
  • Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Domestic Abuse to Political Terror, by Judith Herman
  • The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, by Bessel van der Kolk
  • Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy by Francine Shapiro

Art, Creativity and Play

  • The Creativity Cure, by Carrie Barron & Alton Barron
  • Brave Intuitive Painting, by Flora Bowley
  • Play: how it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul, by Stuart Brown
  • The Gift of Play: Why Adult Women Stop Playing and How to Start Again, by Barbara Brannen
  • The Creative Journal: The Art of Finding Yourself, by Lucia Capacchione
  • The Art of Emotional Healing, by Lucia Capacchione
  • The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron
  • The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain: A Course in Enhancing Creativity and Artistic Confidence, by Betty Edwards
  • An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators, and Designers, by Danny Gregory
  • The Art Therapy Sourcebook, by Cathy Malchiodi
  • The Soul’s Palette: Drawing on Art’s Transformative Powers for Health and Well-Being, by Cathy Malchiodi
  • Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God by Sybil Macbeth
  • Daring Expressions in Paint, by Mati Rose McDonough
  • Ideas & Inspirations for Art Journals & Sketchbooks, by Suzanne McNeil
  • The Artist’s Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom, by Christine Valters Paintner
  • The Magic of Mess Painting: The Creativity Mobilization Technique, by Virigina Barclay Goldstein
  • Life,  Paint, Passion, by Michele Cassou

Eating Disorders and Body Image

  • Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful: How to End Your Struggle with Mindless Eating and Start Savoring Food with Intention and Joy, by Susan Albers
  • Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating & Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food, by Susan Albers
  • Are You Hungry? A Completely New Approach to Raising Children Free of Food and Weight Problems, by Jane Hirschmann & Lela Zaphiropoulous
  • How Did This Happen? A Practical Guide to Understanding Eating Disorders—for teachers, parents and coaches, by the Institute for Research and Education
  • Am I Hungry: What to Do when Diets Don’t Work, by Michelle May
  • It’s not about Food: End Your Obsession with Food and Weight, by Carol Normandi & Laurelee Roark
  • Reviving Ophelia Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, by Mary Pipher
  • Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating, by Geneen Roth
  • Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too, by Jenni Schaefer & Thom Rutledge
  • Intuitive Eating: Make Peace with Food. Free Yourself from Chronic Dieting Forever. Get to the Natural Weight that Fits You, by Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch

Shame & Wholehearted Living

  • Beyond Codependency: And Getting Better All the Time, by Melody Beattie
  • Codependent No More, by Melody Beattie
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown
  • The Gift of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are, by Brené Brown
  • Tired of Trying to Measure Up: Getting Free from the Demands, Expectations, and Intimidations of Well-Meaning People, by Jeff VanVonderan

Spirituality

  • Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence. by Ruth Haley Barton
  • Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy, by Larry Crab
  • When the Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions, by Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Ragamuffin Gospel: Embracing the Unconditional Love of God, by Brennan Manning
  • Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging, by Brennan Manning

Parenting, Child & Teen

  • Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children, by Dr. Thomas Gordon
  • The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children, by Ross Greene
  • The Mindful Child: How to Help Your Kid Manage Stress and Become Happier, Kinder, and More Compassionate, by Susan Kaiser Greenland
  • Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys, by Dan Kindlon & Michael Thompson
  • Kids, Parents and Power Struggles, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  • Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for parents whose child is more intense, sensitive, perceptive, persistent, energetic, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  • Raising Your Spirited Child Workbook: A companion workbook to help parents create families where spirit thrives, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka
  • The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, by Daniel Siegel

Books for Kids 

ADHD:

  • Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention: A book for Kids about ADD, by Kathleen Nadeu & Ellen Dixon.
  • A Walk in the Rain with A Brain, by Edward Hallowell

Abuse & Trauma

  • My Body is Private, by Linda Walvoord Girard

Emotions

  • When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry, by Molly Bang
  • Llama Llama Mad at Mama, by Anna Dewdney
  • You’re All My Favorites, by Sam McBratney
  • When I feel Angry, by Cornelia Maude Spelman
  • The Very Cranky Bear, by Nick Bland
  • The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain
  • How are you Peeling? Foods with Moods, by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers
  • Friends, by Helme Heine
  • Zen Shorts by Jon Muth
  • A Mom of Many Hats, by Debbie Fink and Lisa Perea Hane
  • I like me, by Nancy Carlson
  • Sheila Rae The Brave, by Kevin Henkes
  • Yes We Can, by Sam McBratney
  • Bear Feels Scared, by Karma Wilson

Early Childhood

  • Sam’s Potty, by Barbro Lindgren
  • Baby, Come Out by Fran Manushkin
  • McDuff and The Baby, by Rosemary Wells-Susan Jeffers
  • I wish I was the Baby by DJ Long