effects of toxic parents

The Effects of Toxic Parents and 5 Steps to Healing

By Alison Cook | April 29, 2020

The effects of toxic parents take root in childhood. But, the problems aren’t always identified until well into adulthood. Toxic parents can create situations where a child is overly criticized, devoid of affirmation, explicitly controlled, or put in an unfair role of caring for the adults. You were hardwired to love the people who raised...

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Enmeshed Family

The Enmeshed Family and 6 Signs of Toxic Behavior

By Alison Cook | April 22, 2020

Were you raised in an enmeshed family? Here are some telltale signs. For example, were you taught that it was your job to keep mom or dad happy? Did you feel guilty if you weren’t constantly tuned to a parent’s needs? To this day, do you still feel pressure to do what other family members...

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setting boundaries with friends

Setting Boundaries with Friends

By Alison Cook | April 15, 2020

Question: “Alison, can you give some tips for setting boundaries with friends after a painful experience? My best friend replaced me with someone else she likes better and has started talking behind my back.” (Brandy D.) Answer: Setting boundaries with friends can feel confusing. I empathize with your situation. It’s painful to feel “replaced” by...

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examples healthy boundaries in marriage

Healthy Boundaries in Marriage and How to Tell the Difference

By Alison Cook | April 8, 2020

Question: What are examples of healthy boundaries in marriage? How do I love my spouse, but still express my own voice and needs? (Barbara G.) Examples of healthy boundaries in marriage can be hard to identify. When things are working—whether in your marriage or in someone else’s—it just seems natural. On the other hand, examples...

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Setting-boundaries-selfish

Ask Alison: Is Setting Boundaries Selfish?

By Alison Cook | April 1, 2020

Question: Is setting boundaries selfish? What if taking care of my own needs causes discomfort for somebody else? Isn’t it better to be selfless? (Virginia H.) Answer: Whenever I talk to women about the importance of setting boundaries, I tend to hear push-back in the form of these questions: “But, isn’t it selfish to tell...

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