Toxic Messages

Episode 81: Finding God Through Your Feelings—How to Practice the Presence of God No Matter What You’re Feeling

By Alison Cook | December 7, 2023

If you’re struggling to feel connected spiritually or stuck in negative emotions, you’re in good company. Research shows that 9 out of 10 people struggle with stress during the holidays. In today’s episode, I walk you through my simple but life-changing strategy for unlocking spiritual connection and experiencing more of God’s loving presence. Here’s what...

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Episode 80: Navigating Overwhelming Emotions—2 Essential Steps to Bring Calm to the Chaos Within

By Alison Cook | November 30, 2023

What if your emotions aren’t your enemies afterall? What if they actually help? This holiday season, I’m taking you on a deep dive into my proven 5-step method for finding joy and peace by bringing harmony and wholeness to your inner world. Today, we’ll walk through the first 2 steps that are crucial to developing...

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Episode 79: Surviving Trauma & A Path to Forgiveness—Finding God In the Hardest Parts of Your Story With Esau McCaulley

By Alison Cook | November 16, 2023

I was thrilled to have this conversation about a book that’s easily one of my favorites this year. The brilliant author, professor, and public theologian, Esau McCaulley is here to share his personal experience with the many faces of trauma and how he stayed connected to the goodness of God through all of it. Esau’s...

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Episode 78: The Mental Health Benefits of Forgiveness & Thoughts on Grace with Max Lucado

By Alison Cook | November 9, 2023

Today’s episode is packed! First, I walk you through some practical, research-backed thoughts on forgiveness and grace. Then I invite you into a conversation I had with none other than Max Lucado about how God’s forgiveness and grace played out in his own life. Here’s what we cover: 1. The difference between grace & forgiveness...

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Episode 77: The Dark Night of the Soul—Why It Happens & What It Means

By Alison Cook | November 2, 2023

Have you felt far from God? Do you find yourself wondering what in the world God is doing amidst all that is hard? I would argue that a dark night of the soul is a healthy response to pain, brokenness, or suffering. We need to create space for these seasons of wrestling with God-not try...

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Episode 76: When Self-Help Isn’t Enough—Finding the Faith & Strength to Move Forward after Loss & Heartache With Granger Smith

By Alison Cook | October 26, 2023

I read country music singer Granger Smith’s new book in one sitting and cried my way through it. It’s a powerful story of the unspeakable loss of his 3-year old son and what happened in the aftermath as he attempted to cope. Granger tried everything to cope with the trauma, including numbing and every self-help...

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Episode 73: True Belonging vs. Groupthink, Cliques, & Trying to Fit In—How to Belong to Others While Staying True To Yourself

By Alison Cook | October 5, 2023

If you’ve ever struggled to feel like you belong, this episode is for you. I’ve struggled with belonging for decades. I couldn’t understand how other people seemed to find large groups of friends. But I’ve figure out how to belong on my own terms. And, paradoxically, I realized-that’s exactly what belonging is. Today’s episode is...

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Episode 68: How *Not* to Lose Yourself—Remaining You While Raising Them with Alli Worthington

By Alison Cook | August 31, 2023

I absolutely loved this conversation with Alli Worthington. We get so real about the toxic traps all around and how to stay sane as a parent. From “parenting book trauma” to bad advice about friendships, we’ve got you covered. You’ll learn practical tips & fascinating research from Alli’s new book, Remaining You While Raising Them....

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Episode 67: The Inextricable Link Between Faith & Emotional Healing—Gen Z & A Hidden Search for Meaning

By Alison Cook | August 24, 2023

Today’s episode is straight up . I got to know Cindy Gao last year, when she reached out to me about an internship. As a student at Harvard College, she experienced a crisis of meaning and found her way to faith-and-to emotional healing. I have loved getting to know Cindy, and I know you are...

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Episode 57: Should I Turn the Other Cheek? Why It’s the Opposite of Being a Doormat & How to Stand Firm in the Face of Gaslighting, Manipulation, and Toxicity

By Alison Cook | June 8, 2023

Phew! Today’s episode gets fiery 🔥🔥🔥! Many of us were taught to “turn the other cheek” as a call to be a doormat or to naively “love someone” into change. In today’s episode, I’m not holding back as I paint a picture of what I think the Bible really teaches about standing firm against toxicity....

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Episode 56: Am I Really Supposed to Die to Myself? Misconstrued Messages and How to Disentangle From Them

By Alison Cook | June 1, 2023

We’re hitting hard today on this question “Am I really supposed to die to myself?” So many have been encouraged to misapply the message of self-denial in ways that are not healthy. So what does the Bible really say about it? Here’s what we cover: 1. What “deny yourself” really means 2. 3 different types...

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Episode 55: Am I Supposed to Distrust Myself? Why Trusting Yourself is Necessary to Establishing Healthy Relationships With Other People

By Alison Cook | May 25, 2023

This week we’re talking all about self-trust-how we develop it, and why it’s so crucial to the health of our relationships with other people. We also talk about how trusting God is a process that develops in the context of healthy relationships. Here’s what we cover: 1. The surprising foundation for trust 2. The role...

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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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