June 21, 2019

Dealing with Life’s Uncertainties with Mindfulness Meditation

Posted in Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , at 1:52 pm by kellyfdennis

mountains near body of water panoramic photo*

Saturday, July 20, 2019 9-11am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Suite A, Millersville, PA

Whether coping with small annoyances or full-blown catastrophes, this 2-hour workshop leads you through a mindfulness meditation process to strengthen the response flexibility innate in your brain and your being. We will explore how to find calm, clarity and courage in the midst of any adversity.

 In this workshop you will:

-Learn/participate in three practices to return the nervous system to its range of resilience
-Learn practices to cultivate the positive emotions that counteract the brain’s negativity bias
-Participate in guided meditations that create new resources of support in your brain

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC; Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited. Kelly@kelyfdennis.com Cost: $75.00

*Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

March 17, 2019

Using Self-Compassion to Increase Resilience

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , at 3:39 pm by kellyfdennis

sunset hands love woman*

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 9-11am. Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA

Resilience is the ability to recover readily from adversity. This 2-hour workshop will help you create more adaptive coping strategies, create the shifts that can change your behaviors, and help you learn how to rewire your brain thereby increasing your resilience.

In this workshop you will learn self-compassion strategies to help you:  Manage stress more effectively; heal toxic shame and rewire the inner critic; strengthen and foster resilience; deal with feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, and guilt; come to more clarity with decision making; prime your brain for learning and growth

Each session will be a combination of practice, lecture, and group discussion. Each session is taught in a supportive environment with no more than 8 people.

Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC is the Facilitator.

Contact Kelly@kellyfdennis.com to reserve your space.  Cost: $75.00

*Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

October 24, 2018

Mindful Self-Compassion Workshop

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , at 9:14 am by kellyfdennis


art beach beautiful clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Saturday, December 1, 2018 9-11am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Suite A, Millersville, PA

This 2-hour workshop will help you learn the skills of self-compassion so you can respond to difficult times in your life with kindness and care.

Self-compassion is the heart of mindfulness. Self-compassion skills help us be kind and caring toward ourselves rather than being critical and judgmental. It allows us feel connected to others when we suffer, rather than feeling isolated and alone. Unlike self-esteem, the good feelings of self-compassion do not depend on being special and better than other people; instead, they come from caring about ourselves and recognizing that we all go through difficult times and it’s only human to get distressed on occasion.

You will learn how to:

  • Practice self-compassion and kindness in your daily life
  • Decrease stress and anxiety
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism
  • Handle difficult emotions with greater ease
  • Support yourself during those times when you suffer, fail, or feel inadequate.
  • Learn how to appreciate yourself

A large and growing body of research, much of it conducted by Dr. Kristen Neff, suggests that self-compassion reduces anxiety and depression, enables us to develop healthy habits such as diet and exercise, and more satisfying personal relationships, makes us more resilient in the face of challenges, and improves overall wellbeing.

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC; Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited. Kelly@kellyfdennis.com

Cost: $75.00

October 20, 2018

Update: self Compassion Workshop

Posted in Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , , , at 11:35 am by kellyfdennis

aquatic bloom blooming blossomPhoto by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The first Self compassion workshop was well received. Thanks to those who attended. Self compassion is such an important topic right now, but it can be misunderstood. I think the research done by Kristin Neff and colleagues has brought to light that we will experience less depression, anxiety, stress, and a decrease in many negative behaviors if we learn to talk to and treat ourselves as we would a good friend (that’s self compassion).

Join me on my journey to offer a series of workshops on this topic. Each workshop will be unique, so even if you’ve attended one, you will benefit from the others as well.

Next up: Intro to mindfulness meditation: 11/3/18 & 11/10/18.

October 3, 2018

Self-Compassion Workshop

Posted in Compassion, Mindfulness, Well-being tagged , , , , at 11:49 am by kellyfdennis

aquatic bloom blooming blossom

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

October 20, 2018 9-11am

Counseling office: 304 N. George St., Millersville, PA 17551

Take time to nourish yourself during this 2-hour workshop. Join us as we explore the importance of self-care through compassion and meditation. Some topics we will cover include:

  • How cultivating self-compassion enhances our inner and outer life experience
  • How self-compassion leads to greater compassion for others and enhanced relationships
  • Ways we can “nourish” ourselves for an enriching life experience
  • Deepening our connection with ourselves and others
  • Exploring various meditations that cultivate self-compassion, connection and inner peace

Facilitator: Kelly F. Dennis MS LPC; Contact Kelly to sign up, space is limited.


Cost: $75.00

August 12, 2018

Why Am I Still So Depressed?

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Mindfulness, Self Image, Well-being tagged , , , , , , at 2:55 pm by kellyfdennis

alone anime art artistic

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Major Depressive disorder has been identified by the World Health Organization as the most debilitating illness worldwide. There are many therapies, medicines, treatments and it still remains the most debilitating illness. One reason for this is that it seems that depression is subjectively experienced differently by each person it affects. One form of treatment that touches on most of the aspects of depression is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (MBCT).
•Combines cognitive behavioral techniques with mindfulness strategies in order to help individuals better understand and manage their thoughts and emotions in order to achieve relief from feelings of distress.
•Helps clients learn how to recognize their sense of being and see themselves as separate from their thoughts (inner critic) and moods. This disconnect can allow people to become liberated from thought patterns in which the same negative messages may be replayed over and over.
•During MBCT, I help the person acknowledge that even though these thoughts feel like “truths” in those  moments of feeling low, in fact they are just the symptoms of depression.
•Becoming aware, through mindfulness, that the thoughts are “just the depression voice talking” allows them to step back from the thoughts and decide how seriously they need to take them.
•Perhaps, learning to just notice them, acknowledge them, and let them go.
Schedule an appointment today to talk about using this therapy to help you to feel better!

June 12, 2018

Coping with the Symptoms of PTSD

Posted in cognitive behavioral therapy, Post Traumatic Stress, Well-being tagged , , , , , , at 8:15 am by kellyfdennis

person wearing blue jeans sitting on bench

Photo by Bas Masseus on Pexels.com

Here are some direct ways to cope with these specific PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) symptoms, your doctor or therapist will help you with these:(ptsd.va.gov)

Unwanted distressing memories, images, or thoughts

  • Remind yourself that they are just that, memories.
  • Remind yourself that it’s natural to have some memories of the trauma(s).
  • Talk about them to someone you trust.
  • Remember that, although reminders of trauma can feel overwhelming, they often lessen with time.

Sudden feelings of anxiety or panic

Traumatic stress reactions often include feeling your heart pounding and feeling lightheaded or spacey. This is usually caused by rapid breathing. If this happens, remember that:

  • These reactions are not dangerous. If you had them while exercising, they most likely would not worry you.
  • These feelings often come with scary thoughts that are not true. For example, you may think, “I’m going to die,” “I’m having a heart attack,” or “I will lose control.” It is the scary thoughts that make these reactions so upsetting.
  • Slowing down your breathing may help.
  • The sensations will pass soon and then you can go on with what you were doing.

Each time you respond in these positive ways to your anxiety or panic, you will be working toward making it happen less often. Practice will make it easier to cope.

Feeling like the trauma is happening again (flashbacks)

  • Keep your eyes open. Look around you and notice where you are.
  • Talk to yourself. Remind yourself where you are, what year you’re in, and that you are safe. The trauma happened in the past, and you are in the present.
  • Get up and move around. Have a drink of water and wash your hands.
  • Call someone you trust and tell them what is happening.
  • Remind yourself that this is a common response after trauma.
  • Tell your counselor or doctor about the flashback(s).

Dreams and nightmares related to the trauma

  • If you wake up from a nightmare in a panic, remind yourself that you are reacting to a dream. Having the dream is why you are in a panic, not because there is real danger now.
  • You may want to get up out of bed, regroup, and orient yourself to the here and now.
  • Engage in a pleasant, calming activity. For example, listen to some soothing music.
  • Talk to someone if possible.
  • Talk to your doctor about your nightmares. Certain medicines can be helpful.

Difficulty falling or staying asleep

  • Keep to a regular bedtime schedule.
  • Avoid heavy exercise for the few hours just before going to bed.
  • Avoid using your sleeping area for anything other than sleeping or sex.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. These harm your ability to sleep.
  • Do not lie in bed thinking or worrying. Get up and enjoy something soothing or pleasant. Read a calming book, drink a glass of warm milk or herbal tea, or do a quiet hobby.

Irritability, anger, and rage

  • Take a time out to cool off or think things over. Walk away from the situation.
  • Get in the habit of exercise daily. Exercise reduces body tension and relieves stress.
  • Remember that staying angry doesn’t work. It actually increases your stress and can cause health problems.
  • Talk to your counselor or doctor about your anger. Take classes in how to manage anger.
  • If you blow up at family members or friends, find time as soon as you can to talk to them about it. Let them know how you feel and what you are doing to cope with your reactions.

Difficulty concentrating or staying focused

  • Slow down. Give yourself time to focus on what it is you need to learn or do.
  • Write things down. Making “to do” lists may be helpful.
  • Break tasks down into small do-able chunks.
  • Plan a realistic number of events or tasks for each day.
  • You may be depressed. Many people who are depressed have trouble concentrating. Again, this is something you can discuss with your counselor, doctor, or someone close to you.

Trouble feeling or expressing positive emotions

  • Remember that this is a common reaction to trauma. You are not doing this on purpose. You should not feel guilty for something you do not want to happen and cannot control.
  • Make sure to keep taking part in activities that you enjoy or used to enjoy. Even if you don’t think you will enjoy something, once you get into it, you may well start having feelings of pleasure.
  • Take steps to let your loved ones know that you care. You can express your caring in little ways: write a card, leave a small gift, or phone someone and say hello.

May 31, 2018

Hydrate for Mental Wellness

Posted in Well-being tagged , , , at 8:34 am by kellyfdennis


While it’s tempting to load up on coffee and soda during the workday to stay alert (err…caffeinated), research shows that even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and mood changes, as well as physical effects like thirst, decreased or dark urine, dry skin, headache, dizziness and/or constipation. Furthermore, too much caffeine can trigger symptoms of anxiety.

Mental Health America says “Drink a gallon of water today (don’t chug it all at once!)”.

May 29, 2018

Food for Thought

Posted in Well-being tagged , , , , at 8:27 am by kellyfdennis

food healthy vegetables potatoes

Photo by Stokpic on Pexels.com

You’ve probably heard the sayings, “You are what you eat,” or, “Garbage in, garbage out.” Today’s TastyTuesday (Mental Health America) challenge will be to look at the types of foods we are used to eating.

Certain foods provide the nutrition your brain and body need to function at their best. Diets that incorporate omega 3 fatty acids, b vitamins, folic acid, vitamin D, prebiotics and probiotics help improve mood, reduce inflammation, and reduce signs of depression; while diets high in processed, sugary, and fatty foods do the opposite. How’s your diet shape up for your mental well being?

May 27, 2018

Stay Mentally Healthy

Posted in Compassion, Well-being tagged , , at 8:23 am by kellyfdennis

cat sleeping

Photo by Fabricio Trujillo on Pexels.com

It’s SleepWellSunday says Mental Health America.

A good night’s sleep can often be the first thing we sacrifice to make sure all of our daily demands are taken care of, but sleep is about so much more than just shutting your eyes. When we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies don’t have time to repair organs and flush toxins from our brains, which can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and symptoms of mental health disorders.

In fact, people with mental health disorders experience sleep problems at a much higher rate than those without mental health disorders. Depending on your age, the amount of sleep you need varies, but good sleep is a good thing!

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