Toxic Messages

gaslighting-in-the-bible

Gaslighting and the Bible: How to Respond When Someone is Manipulating You

By Alison Cook | July 22, 2021

Have you ever felt trapped in the web of somebody’s words? No matter what you say, this person takes your words, spins them into something else, and uses them to get you to doubt yourself or do things you do not want to do. For example, a conversation might go something like this: You: “I’m...

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spiritual-gaslighting

Gaslighting and The Importance of a Good B.S. Detector

By Alison Cook | April 1, 2021

We live in a culture of gaslighting. That is, we live in a culture where people are adept at manipulating the truth to serve their own ego. It cuts across political parties, media, and even faith communities. It might have permeated your family. In today’s blog post, I will help you understand gaslighting, how it...

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does-god-want-me-to-stay-small

Does God want me to stay small?

By Alison Cook | March 18, 2021

Have you ever been told you are too much, too emotional, or too intimidating? For that matter, maybe you’ve felt too ambitious or too strong. This word, “too” comes up all the time in my conversations with women. Maybe it’s the men in your life who have suggested you dial it back. Or, maybe it’s...

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pray-my-stress-away

Can I pray negative thoughts away?

By Alison Cook | February 17, 2021

Many people struggle with negative thinking, without even realizing it. It’s not good for your mental or emotional health, and it doesn’t lead you toward the loving relationship God wants with you. Negative thoughts can lead you down a road toward helplessness, increase stress chemicals, and contribute to depression and anxiety. At the same time,...

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time-to-leave

What is Healthy Faith vs. Spiritual Bypassing?

By Alison Cook | February 3, 2021

Events in the world have been hard. And, when things get hard, our faith gets tested. So, what does healthy faith look like when it feels like the world is falling apart? According to Hebrews 11:1 faith is the “the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we...

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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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trust-yourself

Are You Supposed to Distrust Yourself?

By Alison Cook | September 2, 2020

I was taught not to trust myself. After all, the heart is deceitful and wicked. For years, I second-guessed my every thought, feeling, or inkling. It felt wrong to listen to—let alone trust—my own instincts. Instead, I did one of two things: 1.) I prayed for God to “just tell me” clear answers. 2.) I...

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die to yourself

Are You Really Supposed to Die to Yourself?

By Alison Cook | August 26, 2020

For years, there has been a silent message that most of us have been taught to accept. It is based on an idea that is portrayed as Biblical. The message is that in order to be a good Christian in any situation, no matter how hard, you must die to yourself. This message has been...

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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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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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