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Hi! I’m Kelly Donahue, PhD. I have more than a decade of experience in mind-body health as a practitioner, researcher, author, consultant, and speaker. I’m also a recovering Type A perfectionist. I help men and women overcome overwhelm that leads to stress, depression, anxiety, chronic illness, and pain.

During my graduate school training, internship, and post-doc training, I conducted research and worked with clients with a variety of stress-related illnesses. I realized that psychology was a helpful framework, but understanding why you do or don’t do something doesn’t fix it. You have to APPLY what you have learned to your real life every day. Knowledge and insight aren’t enough. The insight has to be APPLIED in life to make REAL, SUSTAINABLE change.


I've struggled with mom guilt, overwhelm, and chronic pain (which was my body's way of reminding me and then screaming at me to take care of myself) compounded by my rejection of sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day doing work that I didn’t find meaningful. As I dove head-first back into this full-time-plus desk job after having a child, my health declined. I developed nearly-debilitating back pain again. I had all of the excuses why I didn't have time for my own self-care: I'm too busy; I have family responsibilities; Self-care is selfish; I have work responsibilities; I don't have the money to spend on self-care, etc., etc., etc. I finally became my own client, examined and changed my thoughts, and used mind-body self-care strategies heal my body and rewire my nervous system. I am now healthier and stronger than I was before.

I started taking small steps to share my passion and mission to help others reduce anxiety, overcome overwhelm, and heal pain and disease to live their optimal life. I started a podcast called Everyday Wellness with my nutrition colleague. I reduced my hours at my desk job to spend more time working with clients, speaking, consulting, and writing. To expand my reach beyond individual work with clients, I started an online 6-week weight loss coaching program. I also wrote a book which started out as a handout for my clients and quickly grew to a 60+ page guide to self-care called Everyday Self-Care: Your Proven, Holistic Guide to Feeling Better Now. I also speak to the community, women’s groups, and in corporate wellness on self-care and lifestyle medicine approaches to healing stress, anxiety, depression, and overwhelm.

Through all of this, I’ve discovered that coaching clients, writing, teaching, consulting, and speaking give me energy and joy. This is my true purpose in life.


  • Certificate in Nutrition for Mental Health

  • Advanced Life Coaching training from Mind Valley University

  • Nutritional Therapy Consultant (NTC) with the Nutritional Therapy Association

  • Licensed psychologist in Maryland

  • Postdoctoral training in health psychology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD

  • APA-certified clinical internship in behavioral medicine at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in Palo Alto, CA

  • M.A. and Ph.D. in Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

  • Stanford Healthy Lifestyles Certified Counselor Stanford University

  • Accelerated Resolution Therapy (Basic and Advanced Courses)

  • Complementary and Integrative Approaches for Mental Health Certified

  • U.S. Army Provider Resiliency Certified Facilitator for the Provider, Resiliency Training Program

  • Franklin Covey POWER Resiliency Program Facilitator Training

  • Benson Henry Institute and the Harvard Medical School Clinical Training in Mind Body Medicine, Boston, MA

  • Center for Mind Body Medicine, Food As Medicine Clinical Training

  • Integrative Restoration, Level I

  • Yoga Nidra Training

  • Center for Mind Body Medicine, Mind Body Skills Instruction Level 1 and Level 2

  • Duke University's Center for Spirituality Summer Workshop


Selected presentations

Donahue, K. (May 2019). Stress Management for Everyday Life. J.E. Richards Electric (Corporate Wellness Talk). Beltsville, MD

Donahue, K. (Jan 2019). Holistic Solutions for Healing Chronic Pain. The Mindfulness Center. Bethesda, MD

Forys-Donahue, K. (2016, Oct). Stress and the Nutritional Foundations of Health. Frederick Community College Guest Lecturer in the Stress Management Course.

Forys-Donahue, K. (2016, Sep). Nutrition 101: The Nutritional Foundations of Health. Transform Center for Wellness. Frederick, MD.

Forys, K. L. (2010, Jun-Sep). Providing Outreach While Enhancing Readiness (POWER). Landstuhl, Baumholder, and Manheim, Germany.

Forys, K.L. (2006, Mar). Stress Management for a Healthier, Happier You. Presented at Uniformed Services University, Department of Family Medicine.

Forys, K.L. (2006, Feb). Mindfulness: Research, Clinical, and Professional Implications. Presented at Uniformed Services University, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Weight Management Lab.


Selected publications

Forys Donahue, K. (2019). Psychological Interventions for Healing Chronic Pain. DC Psychological Association Newsletter.

Pashby, R., Donahue, K., Morris, K (2018). Perspectives on Being a Health Psychologist. Online at:

Forys-Donahue, K. & Brannen, S.B. (Feb 2012). Literature Review of Mind-Body Techniques Used in the Military Population. White Paper

Riordan-Lagana, C., Brannen, S., Forys, K.,Gallaway, M.S., & Millikan, A.M.  (Jan 2012). Combating

Behavioral Health Stigma among Military Service Members and Families. White Paper.

Astin, J.A., Sierpina, V., Forys, K., Clarridge, B. (2008). Integration of the Biopsychosocial Model: Perspectives of Medical Students and Residents. Academic Medicine, 83, 20-27.

Astin, J.A., Goddard, T.G., &Forys, K.L. (2005). Barriers to the integration of mind-body medicine: Perceptions of physicians, residents, and medical students. Explore:The Journal of Science and Healing, 1, 278-283.

Manheimer, E., White, A., Berman, B., Forys, K.L., & Ernst, E. (2005). Meta-analysis: Acupuncture for low back pain. Annals of Internal Medicine, 142, 651-663.

Astin, J.A. &Forys, K.L. (2004). Psychosocial Determinants of Health and Illness:  Re-Integrating Mind, Body, and Spirit. In B. Kligler& R. Lee (Eds.).  Integrative Medicine. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Astin, J.A., Berman, B., Baussell, B., Lee, W., Hochberg, M., &Forys, K.L. (2003). The efficacy of mindfulness meditation plus Qi Gong movement therapy in the treatment of fibromyalgia: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Rheumatology, 30, 2257-2262.

Astin, J.A., Shapiro, S.L., Eisenberg, M.D., & Forys, K.L. (2003). Mind-body medicine: State of the science, implications for practice. Journal of the American Board of Family Practice, 16, 131-147.