Emotional Wholeness

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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self-doubt and desire

When self-doubt battles with desire

By Alison Cook | April 10, 2019

I ripped off some band-aids these past few weeks. Numbing band-aids. Long story short: I had made a decision that was based on fear. I didn’t realize it in the moment, but I had decided to participate in a project to stave off self-doubt. God’s Spirit is funny how it works with us. I knew...

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9 ways to set boundaries with loneliness

By Alison Cook | March 27, 2019

It takes a long time to make an old friend. I learned that the hard way in the first 2 decades of my adult life. Job changes, moves, graduate school, and my family of origin leaving the small, close-knit town of my youth left me struggling with loneliness as I navigated into adulthood. We need...

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What if loneliness was a gift?

By Alison Cook | March 21, 2019

Loneliness gets a bad rap. And for good reason. One of our deepest, most basic human needs is to experience healthy attachment—or in non-psychological terms, to experience loving connection with someone who sees us. When you stop numbing, one of the first painful emotions you may encounter is loneliness. And loneliness is a double-whammy. It often...

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7 vulnerable feelings that surface when you stop numbing

By Alison Cook | March 13, 2019

As you peel back the layers of numbing behaviors, you might notice new feelings that surface—vulnerable feelings that may be uncomfortable or unpleasant. There’s a reason we numb. Don’t be alarmed. Those painful feelings are presenting themselves for healing. Look at these feelings as an opportunity to take a You-Turn and gain insight into your...

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When your shaming inner critic meets gentleness

By Alison Cook | November 7, 2018

What is the club you beat yourself with? Take a moment and consider your internal dialogue. Do you ever notice thoughts like these: You should be more like her. He’s so successful. If you were better, you’d be where he is. You deserve this bad thing that’s happened. You’ll never be as good as other...

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Guest Post at AnnVoskamp.com

By Alison Cook | October 29, 2018

Thanks so much to the lovely Ann Voskamp for featuring my story—adapted from Chapter 5 of Boundaries for Your Soul —on her blog this week. It’s about how my journey to becoming a psychologist was disrupted when I had to face my own overwhelming emotions and learn to befriend them. If you’re anything like me,...

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How to calm your worry

By Alison Cook | October 17, 2018

My client, Nicole, could not calm her worry. She worried about everything: she worried that if she didn’t marry, she would grow old alone—and that if she were to marry, her husband would end up cheating on her. She worried that if she stayed in her job, she would burn out—and that if she left...

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an extreme emotion

How to Identify a Part of Your Soul in Need

By Alison Cook | August 8, 2018

If you’re struggling with an extreme emotion, a hurting part of your soul might need your attention. Typically, an extreme emotion, such as anger or anxiety, or an overwhelming compulsion, such as over-thinking or people-pleasing, is a cue that some other more vulnerable part of your soul needs your attention. Let’s say you’re feeling irritable,...

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Taking a You-Turn with Your Emotions

By Alison Cook | July 17, 2018

There was such a strong response to this devotion I recently wrote for Proverbs 31.org that I wanted to share it here to continue the conversation about coping with our most challenging emotions. Let me know about your own journey in the comments! ~Alison   “The one who gets wisdom loves life; the one who cherishes understanding...

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heal painful emotions

3 Steps to Heal Painful Emotions

By Alison Cook | June 15, 2018

Everyone deals with painful emotions from time to time. You might struggle with anger, envy, fear, or guilt. These emotions might be related to a current experience, or they might be emotions you have struggled with for a very long time. Regardless, it’s possible to heal painful emotions. Learning how to heal painful emotions is...

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