Posts by Alison Cook

spiritual-bypassing

The danger of bypassing your emotions

By Alison Cook | September 11, 2019

Have you ever stuffed your emotions because you thought they couldn’t be trusted? I did, for most of my young adult life. In fact, I stuffed my emotions because I thought it was the “Christian” thing to do. I would tell myself things like: I’m not lonely. I have Jesus. I don’t need therapy. I...

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risk-of-asking-for-help

The risk of asking for help and how to do it wisely

By Alison Cook | August 29, 2019

Is there really a risk in asking for help? Recently, I asked a question on Instagram: “Why is it hard for you to ask for help?” I couldn’t believe the number of responses I received, so I copied them into a document and categorized them. Here are some of the main categories that surfaced: Fear...

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how-to-set-up-a-support-network

6 ways to set up a support network and why it matters

By Alison Cook | August 14, 2019

I can’t tell you the number of people who write to me looking for help in the midst of a full-blown crisis. They have no idea how to set up a support network—and no ready-made shelter now that the storm has hit.  Finding a good counselor can be hard. And it’s even harder when you...

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how to forgive

How to forgive when no one’s asking for it

By Alison Cook | August 1, 2019

It feels uncomfortable to me when someone says, “Will you forgive me?” In most cases, you pretty much have me at the look in your eye. If you’re big enough to show up to talk about it: we’re good. It’s over. Let’s move on! It’s different for everyone, I know. In fact, Gary Chapman, author...

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parenting styles

3 parenting styles that impact your emotional and spiritual health

By Alison Cook | July 17, 2019

How did your parents nurture you as a child? Were they loving but firm or more firm than loving? Or were they absent, not nurturing you at all? No matter how you respond, the way you were parented has a profound impact on your emotional and spiritual health today. It impacts the way you regard...

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boundaries-with-mom

Why boundaries with your mom matter

By Alison Cook | July 10, 2019

“I love my mom, and I want her to be a part of my kids’ lives,” Nicole told me, during our first meeting. “But I feel so much guilt. She would spend every second with us if she could. And I feel terrible telling her no.”*   Nicole felt she was abandoning her mother by...

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healthy-distance

Why healthy distance is so important in relationships

By Alison Cook | July 3, 2019

My mom always used to say, “some people are loved best from a distance.” I never really understood the idea of healthy distance until I started working through my own boundaries issues. As a young adult, I didn’t know how to hold others responsible for their behaviors, nor did I even think it was important....

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boundaries-with-heartache

Boundaries can help heal a heartache

By Alison Cook | June 17, 2019

I’ll never forget the first time I discovered that boundaries can help heal a heartache. Decades ago, I drove home a few weeks after a painful break-up. As I parked in front of my apartment, a favorite song came on the radio. Suddenly, the tears I’d been holding back for weeks came pouring out. In...

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boundaries-with-guilt

Why you should pay attention to guilt

By Alison Cook | May 29, 2019

Do you feel guilty all the time? If you do, please know you’re not alone. A constant sense of guilt is one of the most common challenging emotions I come across in people. Sometimes guilt is a subtle feeling—a nagging sense of all the things you’ve done wrong. Sometimes it’s not so subtle—a sense of...

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friends with fear

How to make friends with your fear

By Alison Cook | May 15, 2019

I’ve learned to make friends with my fear. I know that may sound strange. But after years of denying it—and having it pester me from afar—I’ve learned that befriending fear is the far better way. Many of our teachers and leaders tell us to watch out for fear. They say it holds us back and...

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4 steps to befriending your anger

By Alison Cook | April 30, 2019

The other night I felt angry. I noticed it deep within, way down at gut level. It welled up within me, and it was all I could do to hold it in. And I took notice. Because it took me years to understand the importance of listening to anger. Instead, I used to bury it....

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fun therapy with Mike Foster

Alison Cook on Fun Therapy with Mike Foster

By Alison Cook | April 24, 2019

Check out this episode of the Fun Therapy podcast, where I talk with the wonderful Mike Foster about emotions, boundaries, safe people, curiosity, and the lost art of listening well. I love what Mike is doing over at Fun Therapy and was so happy to be a part of it! You can listen to my...

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