Relationships

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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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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why-are-relationships-hard

Why are relationships so hard?

By Alison Cook | April 22, 2021

Most things worth having are challenging at first. Think about any hobby that you love, such as sports, painting, woodworking, or playing a musical instrument. How did you learn to do it well? Someone likely taught you the key skills. Then you started practicing. At first, your efforts were probably a little messy. If you...

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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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how-to-set-boundaries-with-your-mom

Are You Supposed to Meet Your Mother’s Needs?

By Alison Cook | January 13, 2021

I see you. I’m proud of you. I’m grateful for who you are. Imagine these words being spoken directly to you by your mom, with no ulterior motive or hidden agenda. What is that like for you? What emotions does it stir up? Is it hard for you to imagine your mom speaking words of...

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how-do-i-find-safe-people

How Do I Find Safe Relationships?

By Alison Cook | January 7, 2021

If you’ve been hurt by a destructive relationship, you are not alone. I am constantly amazed by how often I hear stories such as these: A wife who faces the fact that her husband is emotionally abusive A loyal person who discovers that her best friend has been manipulating her A daughter who finally understands...

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healthy-relationships

The Benefits of Self Awareness: A Tool Every Couple Needs

By Alison Cook | October 29, 2020

“Why can’t he just pick up his clothes for once?” you mutter under your breath. You’re not sure why, but you feel annoyed today for some reason. You continue to go through the motions of your day. The work gets done somehow, and you hold it together. Over dinner, when your husband  strikes up a...

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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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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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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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