Boundaries

The Hidden Root of Toxic Behavior

By Alison Cook | October 5, 2021

You don’t really care about me. You only care about yourself. These words lingered in Mya’s mind as she came to my office for counseling. Earlier that week, her mother had lashed out at her—again. The truth was that Mya was trying to help her arrange for transportation to and from the hospital. But, her...

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spouse-to-change

How do I get my spouse to change?

By Alison Cook | May 27, 2021

Have you ever felt these ways? “I don’t want to leave my marriage, but I want my husband to stop losing his temper.” “I love my husband, but I wish he would stop working so much and spend more time with our family.” “My marriage isn’t terrible, but I feel like everything we do is...

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showing-up-for-yourself

How to Stop Pleasing Others and Start Showing Up for Yourself

By Alison Cook | May 6, 2021

The most important gift you have to give your relationships is the ability to show up for yourself. When you start showing up for yourself, you learn to see yourself as God sees you. This means that you start to engage yourself from the core, or center, of your heart (1 Sam. 16:7). You learn...

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when-you-find-love-but-lose-yourself

When you lose yourself in love

By Alison Cook | April 29, 2021

It happens all the time. At first, your new love relationship felt great. But, over time, you started to notice cracks in the foundation. Maybe your spouse changed, or started to show true colors that were there, but hiding, all along. Or, maybe you are the one who is changing. Maybe you committed to someone...

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Am I a Bad Person if I Say “No” and Hurt Someone?

By Alison Cook | January 28, 2021

Many of us, if we’re honest, tend to base the criteria for whether we feel good about ourselves on how other people respond to us. Without realizing it, we operate a little like this: I am a good person if I make other people happy. I am a bad person if I hurt other people....

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am-i-supposed-to-let-my-kids-walk-all-over-me

Am I Supposed to Let My Kids Walk All Over Me?

By Alison Cook | January 21, 2021

One of the most common questions that I hear from parents is some version of this one: “Am I supposed to let my kids walk all over me?” The answer is, “No.” But, there’s an important caveat that you must first understand: It’s not your child’s job to give you the respect you have never...

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should-i-turn-the-other-cheek

Should I Turn the Other Cheek?

By Alison Cook | November 18, 2020

Have you ever dealt with a difficult person, such as a bully, a manipulator, or someone who was just downright mean? I’ve counseled hundreds of women in these types of agonizing relationships. Yet, one of the first things these ladies will ask me is: Shouldn’t I turn the other cheek? Isn’t that how we’re supposed...

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fear-of-disappointing-others

How to Get Over Your Fear of Disappointing Others

By Alison Cook | October 21, 2020

I recently experienced a major health scare. As I first started to wrap my mind around what happened to me medically, I knew I was going to have to carve out some time and space to heal. I was going to have to say “Yes” to taking time for myself, which would mean saying “No”...

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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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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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