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feel-better-fast

3 Hacks to Feel Better Fast

By Alison Cook | December 5, 2019

The day after Thanksgiving, I found myself in a panic. For a moment, I couldn’t figure out why. The oven was off; the dogs were inside. All loved ones were accounted for. Then, I remembered: I was giving a major talk that night. And, a part of me was terrified. Sure, I knew what words...

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healthy-relationships

The Surprising Key to Healthy Relationships

By Alison Cook | November 2, 2019

I was a deer in the headlights. It was the first time I had met with a couple as a counselor in training, and from my vantage point this conversation had gone off the rails. The couple sat back-to-back in my office with their arms crossed glaring at the walls. “I HATE when you talk...

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angry-at-yourself

What to do when you’re angry with yourself

By Alison Cook | October 16, 2019

I was struggling with anger about a relationship recently and processed the emotion with a trusted adviser. She understandably asked me: “Have you forgiven this person?” The thing was, I had. I didn’t sense animosity toward the other person. I’d separated out of the hurtful situation and healthy boundaries were now in place. As I...

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what-to-do-with-negative-emotions

The hidden reason why negative emotions are helpful

By Alison Cook | October 8, 2019

Imagine yourself as a child. When you’re hungry, you cry and someone feeds you a nutritious meal. Or when you fall and hurt yourself, you scream and someone runs to your side, lovingly trying to help. As you grow older, negative experiences occur, such as a friend turns on you and gets other kids to...

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self-care

Why self-care is the opposite of selfishness

By Alison Cook | October 3, 2019

I don’t want to be selfish! Isn’t kindness always best? How can I be Christlike and take time for myself? If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard a woman say these words to me when faced with hard decisions, I’d have a lot of money. If I had a nickel for every...

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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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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 setting...

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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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