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Church hurt

Church Hurt and 4 Steps for Healing

By Alison Cook | May 20, 2020

Have you ever experienced “church hurt”? As a counselor, I’ve seen the various wounds that people experience from unhealthy leaders while attending church. Here are some examples of church hurt: • A single mom whose church promised to stand by her, then disappeared after she got a divorce from her abusive husband • A kind-hearted...

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how to control anger outbursts

How to Control Anger Outbursts in 5 Steps

By Alison Cook | May 13, 2020

Nothing can improve your relationship more than learning how to control anger outbursts. For example, do you find yourself losing your temper with your loved ones? Do you yell at your kids more often than you’d like to admit? Or, do you get resentful towards your spouse and lash out with sarcastic remarks? You might...

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Signs of Bad Church Leadership

3 Signs of Bad Church Leadership

By Alison Cook | May 6, 2020

What are the signs of bad church leadership versus church leaders who are healthy? A church is like any family. It’s comprised of wounded people. The presence of wounds does not make or break a church or a family. It’s what we do with them that makes the difference. In healthy families, each member manages...

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effects of toxic parents

The Effects of Toxic Parents and 5 Steps to Healing

By Alison Cook | April 29, 2020

Toxic parenting creates situations where a child does not get the understanding, nurturing, and care that he or she needs. We tend to think of toxicity in terms of physical or verbal abuse. But, the truth is, it can show up in even more subtle ways. For example, if you were overly criticized, neglected, ignored,...

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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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Boundaries Close Quarters

Ask Alison: How do I set boundaries in close quarters with others?

By Alison Cook | March 25, 2020

Question: How do I set boundaries while living in close quarters with other people? Answer: Hello, dear friends. I’ve heard from many of you over the past week about the various ways you’re dealing with the Covid-19 crisis and facing the reality of living in quarantine. Here’s a sample of questions I’ve received: How do...

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how-to-forgive-and-move-on-in-a-relationship

How to Forgive and Move On in a Relationship

By Alison Cook | March 4, 2020

Question: People keep telling me that I need to forgive and move on in my relationship. I want to forgive, but does that mean I have to pretend like nothing happened? (Julie W.) Answer: I’m so glad you asked this question. How to forgive and move on in a relationship is often misunderstood. The short...

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Ask Alison: Will Setting Boundaries Make Me Seem Like a B**ch?

By Alison Cook | February 26, 2020

Question: I’m nervous that setting boundaries with other people will make me seem like a b**ch. What do I do? (Samantha W.) Answer: I hear this question often and it reveals a double standard that women face when it comes to setting boundaries. For example, when a man says, “No, thanks. I’m not interested.” His...

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Boundaries Bad Friends

Ask Alison: How do I find new friends when I say “No” to unhealthy friendships?

By Alison Cook | February 19, 2020

Question: I decided to stop spending time with some friends who didn’t reciprocate interest in me and my life. But, now I feel lonely. What should I do? (Irene B.) Answer: I’m so glad you asked this question, because your situation is a common experience for many women who start setting new boundaries. First, I...

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While Dr. Cook is a counselor, the content of this website and any of the products provided by Dr. Cook are not specific counseling advice nor are they a substitute for individual counseling. The content and products provided on this website are for informational purposes only.

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