Relationships

roadmap-to-you

A Roadmap to You

By Alison Cook | December 26, 2019

Wouldn’t it be nice if you reached a point in life when you could hit cruise and coast along in all of your relationships? You could just sit back, listen to the music and trust that everything will work out fine. Most relationships don’t work that way—not the ones we have with our loved ones,...

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the-most-important-boundary

The Most Important Boundary You Must Set

By Alison Cook | December 18, 2019

The most important boundary you must set might surprise you. It’s not the one you need to set with your kids, your toxic friend, or with your in-laws for that matter—as important as those boundaries are. The most important boundary you must set is the one that protects your most important asset. It’s the line...

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feel-better-fast

3 Hacks to Feel Better Fast

By Alison Cook | December 5, 2019

The day after Thanksgiving, I found myself in a panic. For a moment, I couldn’t figure out why. The oven was off; the dogs were inside. All loved ones were accounted for. Then, I remembered: I was giving a major talk that night. And, a part of me was terrified. Sure, I knew what words...

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healthy-relationships

The Surprising Key to Healthy Relationships

By Alison Cook | November 2, 2019

I was a deer in the headlights. It was the first time I had met with a couple as a counselor in training, and from my vantage point this conversation had gone off the rails. The couple sat back-to-back in my office with their arms crossed glaring at the walls. “I HATE when you talk...

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angry-at-yourself

What to do when you’re angry with yourself

By Alison Cook | October 16, 2019

I was struggling with anger about a relationship recently and processed the emotion with a trusted adviser. She understandably asked me: “Have you forgiven this person?” The thing was, I had. I didn’t sense animosity toward the other person. I’d separated out of the hurtful situation and healthy boundaries were now in place. As I...

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self-care

Why self-care is the opposite of selfishness

By Alison Cook | October 3, 2019

I don’t want to be selfish! Isn’t kindness always best? How can I be Christlike and take time for myself? If I had a dime for every time I’ve heard a woman say these words to me when faced with hard decisions, I’d have a lot of money. If I had a nickel for every...

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asking-for-help

The risk of asking for help and how to do it wisely

By Alison Cook | August 29, 2019

Is there really a risk in asking for help? Recently, I asked a question on Instagram: “Why is it hard for you to ask for help?” I couldn’t believe the number of responses I received, so I copied them into a document and categorized them. Here are some of the main categories that surfaced: Fear...

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how to forgive

How to forgive when no one’s asking for it

By Alison Cook | August 1, 2019

It feels uncomfortable to me when someone says, “Will you forgive me?” In most cases, you pretty much have me at the look in your eye. If you’re big enough to show up to talk about it: we’re good. It’s over. Let’s move on! It’s different for everyone, I know. In fact, Gary Chapman, author...

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parenting styles

3 parenting styles that impact your emotional and spiritual health

By Alison Cook | July 17, 2019

How did your parents nurture you as a child? Were they loving but firm or more firm than loving? Or were they absent, not nurturing you at all? No matter how you respond, the way you were parented has a profound impact on your emotional and spiritual health today. It impacts the way you regard...

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boundaries-with-mom

Boundaries with Mom and Why It Matters

By Alison Cook | July 10, 2019

Does setting boundaries with mom really matter? You may love her dearly, but your relationship can also drive you crazy. Maybe you can relate to the following story. “I love my mom, and I want her to be a part of my kids’ lives,” Nicole told me during our first counseling session. “But I feel...

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healthy-distance

Why healthy distance is so important in relationships

By Alison Cook | July 3, 2019

My mom always used to say, “some people are loved best from a distance.” I never really understood the idea of healthy distance until I started working through my own boundaries issues. As a young adult, I didn’t know how to hold others responsible for their behaviors, nor did I even think it was important....

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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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