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The Best of You

English, Fitness / Keep-fit, 1 seasons, 83 episodes, 2 days 11 hours 6 minutes
Join counselor and author, Dr. Alison Cook, as she guides you through some of your toughest challenges with wisdom, kindness, and grace. Together with friends and experts we'll unpack the best of psychology from a faith-based perspective. You’ll discover how to break free from painful patterns, mend your past, and discover what brings out the best of you.
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Episode 80: Navigating Emotions—2 Essential Steps to Bring Calm to the Chaos Within

What if your emotions aren&#39;t your enemies afterall? What if they actually help? This holiday season, I&#39;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&#39;ll walk through the first 2 steps that are crucial to developing a healthy relationship with your emotions. Here’s what we cover: 1. 3 truths about emotions (5:19) 2. A counterintuitive (but essential!) first step (9:38) 3. How to speak on behalf of an emotion vs. from it (17:21) 4. The surprising solution to negative emotions (21:58) 5. How to finally move from self-condemnation to self-compassion and why this is central to the message of Christ (32:40) Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ <a href="
30/11/202336 minutes 25 seconds
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Episode 79: Surviving Trauma & A Path to Forgiveness—Finding God In the Hardest Parts of Your Story With Esau McCaulley

I was thrilled to have this conversation about a book that&#39;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 new book, How Far to the Promised Land, is a gripping, powerful story of one man’s journey of survival and hope. This conversation is packed with so much incredible insight all the way through to the end. Here’s what we cover: 1. Esau&#39;s early experiences with trauma (6:59) 2. How being a dad has been part of Esau’s healing (11:48) 3. Racial trauma (18:08) 4. How to integrate different parts of yourself (28:53) 5. Why we have to tell our stories (31:18) 6. Esau’s thoughts on forgiveness (40:35) Check out <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopene
16/11/202348 minutes 22 seconds
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Episode 78: Grace, 3 Types of Forgiveness, & Why Forgiveness and Boundaries Go Hand in Hand

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&#39;s what we cover: 1. The difference between grace &amp; forgiveness (2:20) 2. Personality type &amp; forgiveness (7:11) 3. 3 types of forgiveness (11:03) 4. How to forgive (15:15) 5. Max’s personal story of grace (23:28) 6. Clear words of wisdom about toxicity (37:38) Check out Max Lucado&#39;s new book, God Never Gives Up On You: What Jacob&#39;s Story Teaches Us about Grace, Mercy, and God&#39;s Relentless Love Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener norefe
09/11/202344 minutes 56 seconds
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Episode 77: The Dark Night of the Soul—Why It Happens & What It Means

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 to shove them aside or stigmatize them. In today’s episode, here’s what we cover: 1. What is a dark night of the soul? 2. How is it different from depression? 3. Why does God allow us to feel far from Him at times? 4. How a dark night of the soul can bring us together Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ Leave them here. Want to receive free bonus content? ⁠⁠Sign up for my free weekly email here<
02/11/202335 minutes 54 seconds
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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

I read country music singer Granger Smith&#39;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. Granger tried everything to cope with the trauma, including numbing and every self-help hack. It didn&#39;t work. This is an incredible story of what happens when self-help fails and God shows up. Here’s what we cover: 1. The traumatic “slide show” that ran through Granger&#39;s mind for months 2. Why we numb 3. Granger&#39;s rock bottom moment and what happened after 4. What grief looks like when transformed 5. How self-help messages gaslight us This episode contains discussions about suicide which may be distressing for some listeners. Please prioritize your well-being and proceed with caution. If you or someone you know is struggling, call or text 988 for free, confidential support. Find a full transcript and list of res
26/10/202348 minutes 23 seconds
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Episode 75: Your Secret Weapon Against Stress & Anxiety—How to Transform Your Mind Through the Power of Prayer

Prayer is where self-awareness meets God-awareness. I’ve come to cherish it as an intimate, deeply grounding practice. But I haven’t always felt that way. It used to evoke anxiety and activation inside of me as I worked to earn God&#39;s favor. That’s why I love this conversation with Kayla Craig, author of the new book Every Season Sacred. In this candid conversation, we talk about prayer in a fresh new way that will transform how you practice it. Here’s what we cover: 1. Scientific research into the effectiveness of prayer (3:57) 2. What prayer is (11:19) 3. How to pray when your emotions are chaotic (38:43) 4. Calming your nervous system (37:25) vs. hail mary prayers (10:44) 5. Different types of prayer (33:02) Check out Kayla&#39;s new book <a href="
19/10/202346 minutes 15 seconds
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Episode 74: The Neurobiology of Hope and How to Find Hope in Hard Times

I am so thrilled to have my friend, Dr. Curt Thompson, on the podcast today. I have been deeply transformed by Curt’s work, and in today&#39;s conversation, Curt breathes fresh life into a topic that is too easily tossed around and oversimplified—Hope. We take a deep dive into the intricacies of hope from a neurobiological, relational, and spiritual perspective. It&#39;s a must listen for anyone going through hard times. Here&#39;s what we unpack in our conversation: * What&#39;s happening inside our brains when we hope? (11:59) * Steps you can take in daily life to foster hope (17:55) * The link between hope and secure attachment (15:35) * How we embody and become hope for one another (21:04) * Reimagining hope in today’s world (22:41) Check out Curt&#39;s new book <a href="" target="_blank" rel=
12/10/202342 minutes 21 seconds
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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

If you’ve ever struggled to feel like you belong, this episode is for you. I’ve struggled with belonging for decades. I couldn&#39;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 personal, hopeful, and practical. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. The myth of belonging (9:08) 2. The 2 roads to isolation (5:36) 3. What about social anxiety? (9:50) 4. The surprising path to belonging (20:19) 5. 3 easy steps you can take TODAY (29:50) Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ Leave them here. Want to rece
05/10/202340 minutes 48 seconds
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Episode 72: Overcoming Failure, Handling Adversity, and Telling Yourself the Truth

We all feel defeated by the challenges we face from time to time. I have talked with so many people recently who are facing what feels like impossible mountains to climb. I recorded today&#39;s episode as a result of these conversations—I wanted to encourage you personally as you face what&#39;s hard in front of you. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. The phrase I lean on for resilience (6:58) 2. The 2 pitfalls that tempt us when we face challenges (15:06) 3. Scripts for parenting yourself through a hard time (19:51) 4. How to develop mental &amp; emotional strength (23:07) Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ Leave them here. Want to receive free bonus content? ⁠⁠
28/09/202337 minutes 34 seconds
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Episode 71: All About Therapy—Do I Need a Therapist, How Do I Find One, and What Type of Therapy Works Best?

Today, we’re talking allll about therapy. I&#39;ve gathered up the big questions people ask and we&#39;re tackling them head-on. Remember, therapy isn&#39;t just for crises—it&#39;s for clarity, growth, and understanding. So if you’re curious about the process or wondered how in the world to get started, this episode is for you. Here’s what we cover: 1. The most important predictor of success in therapy (18:36) 2. Different types of therapy (29:33) 3. How to find a therapist (12:35) 4. Breaking up with a therapist (42:42) 5. My top tips for finding affordable therapy (12:59) Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ Leave them here. Want to receive free bonus content? ⁠⁠Si
21/09/202347 minutes 18 seconds
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Episode 70: Mastering the Art of Emotional Intelligence—How to Harness the Power of Your Emotions to Improve Your Relationships

Get ready to level up your emotional intelligence! In this week&#39;s episode, we&#39;re diving deep into the heart of emotional intelligence, revealing why it&#39;s an absolute game-changer. We&#39;ll break it all down: 1. Fascinating research on emotional intelligence 2. 3 powerful strategies for mastering your emotions 3. 5 ways to express your emotions effectively 4. My all-time favorite technique for nurturing empathy 5. 2 unexpected gems of emotional intelligence in the Bible 6. A powerful real-life story of emotional intelligence in the fiery furnace of marriage Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ Leave them here. Want to receive free bonus content? ⁠⁠S
14/09/202351 minutes 46 seconds
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Episode 69: Your Future Self—8 Challenges to Resolve As You Become the Person You Were Meant to Be

We are all creating the future version of ourselves every single day. We&#39;re either moving toward wholeness—or we&#39;re moving toward fragmentation. In this brand-new September series, I&#39;m walking you through the most important steps you can take to cultivate resilience, embrace authenticity, and nurture intimacy. Today&#39;s episode kicks us off with an overview of the key challenges we all face throughout the course of our lives. Here&#39;s what you’ll learn: 1. The 8 challenges we face from childhood to old age 2. The #1 challenge most of us are still working to resolve 3. Why identity precedes intimacy 4. A proven exercise to help you become your ideal self Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ <a href="
07/09/202337 minutes 48 seconds
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Episode 68: How Not to Lose Yourself—Remaining You While Raising Them with Alli Worthington

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 &quot;parenting book trauma&quot; to bad advice about friendships, we’ve got you covered. You&#39;ll learn practical tips &amp; fascinating research from Alli&#39;s new book, Remaining You While Raising Them. Alli’s a business owner, podcast host, and the mom of 6 kids. Here’s what we cover: 1. The #1 source of mom guilt 2. The most important question to ask yourself each day 3. How parenting failures actually help kids 4. The surprising research on which relationships are happiest 5. Which friends to keep, and which ones to release Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ Leave them here. Want to r
31/08/202344 minutes 34 seconds
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Episode 67: The Inextricable Link Between Faith & Emotional Healing—Gen Z, College Life, & A Hidden Search for Meaning

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 going to love her too. This episode is raw and inspiring. It’s packed with insight into faith, mental health, and Gen Z. Here’s what we cover: 1. The phrase Cindy Googled in a moment of desperation &amp; what she found 2. What to do—and not do—when a young person expresses interest in faith 3. Why emotional healing &amp; faith cannot be separated 4. The core belief that almost kept Cindy from faith 5. The challenges &amp; longings of Gen Z Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ <a href="h
24/08/202350 minutes 28 seconds
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Episode 66: The Truth About Anxiety & How to Become a Worry Free Parent with Sissy Goff

I am thrilled to be back this week, diving into an incredible conversation with beloved therapist, Sissy Goff! We&#39;re tackling the topic of anxiety and its ripple effect on our kids and on our parenting styles. With 30 years of experience guiding kids and parents, Sissy brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Plus, she&#39;s sharing tips from her latest book, The Worry Free Parent. We cover so much in this episode, including: 1. A parent’s most important job 2. Why we are seeing more anxiety in kids &amp; parents 3. 5 parenting traps 4. Your parenting superpower 5. Sissy’s moment of hope in the Covenant School shooting aftermath Connect with Sissy on Instagram or at Pre-order <a href="
17/08/202348 minutes 12 seconds
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Episode 65: Vulnerability, Parenting, and Letting Go of Control—Inside A Guy’s Perspective With Our Friends From Dadville

Research shows that many men are struggling and not sure how to get support. So I asked our friends from the Dadville podcast to come on and talk about how to encourage the guys in your life! What a joy to host this insightful and fun duo! Jon McLaughlin and Dave Barnes are best known for their careers as musicians and song writers, but on their off-time, they encourage and inspire us on their popular parenting podcast, Dadville. You’ll find so much wisdom in this conversation, including: 1. How to find joy in the dream vs. the destination 2. Guys and vulnerability 3. The true goal of parenting 4. Why we all have to face our own blind spots 5. A beautiful picture of letting go of control with our kids Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ <a href="
03/08/202359 minutes 45 seconds
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Episode 64: Women’s Health—Menopause, Hormones, Depression and How to Advocate for Yourself Through Your Body’s Changes

This episode is an absolute must-listen! If you&#39;re a woman journeying through your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond, or if you&#39;re parenting a daughter, you don&#39;t want to miss this conversation. We dive into women&#39;s health, including menopause, perimenopause, hormone shifts, reproductive health, and ways to empower young women and girls. Dr. Leslie Appiah is a nationally-acclaimed OB/GYN who has helped women and girls for decades. Her practical and insightful approach is such a needed voice for all women. Here’s some of what we cover: 1. The impact of hormones on mental health 2. How to get relief for perimenopause and menopause symptoms 3. When to consider an anti-depressant 4. Why your physician might not have a clue 5. How to find one who will! 6. How to empower your daughters to live free of body shame Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode <a href="" target="_blank"
27/07/202349 minutes 57 seconds
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Episode 63: Spiritual Direction, the Power of Listening, & How to Attune to Yourself and to Others

Imagine if someone sat with you and listened to you attentively for as long as you needed. That’s what I experienced through a series of spiritual listening retreats. And today, I invited the Rev. Dr. Stephen Macchia and spiritual director in training, Rowena Day to talk with us about the practice of spiritual direction and deep listening as one component of your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. This episode is so rich, so soothing, and so deeply nourishing. As a therapist, I have found spiritual direction to be a powerful part of my own mental health practices. It’s also taught me how to become a better listener in my relationships with others. Here’s what we discuss: 1. The deepest need we all have 2. How to attune to your own soul 3. The neurobiology of presence 4. What to do if quiet is hard for you 5. The links between spiritual and mental health Connect with Dr. Stephen Macchia and Spiritual Formation resources <a href
20/07/20231 hour 6 minutes 12 seconds
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Episode 62: Listener Questions—Testing New Relationships, Managing Expectations, and the Importance of Self-Friendship for Personal Growth

Today we&#39;re trying something new! We&#39;ve gathered up your most-asked questions about friendship and discuss them on the podcast. These are such thoughtful and real questions, and I love thinking through them with you. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. The mother wound and female friendships 2. Managing expectations through your own healing season 3. Assessing trust in a new friend 4. Navigating a terminal diagnosis with friends 5. What about helping others who can&#39;t reciprocate friendship? For communication scripts check out, ⁠⁠check out The Best of You⁠⁠. Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?
13/07/202349 minutes 27 seconds
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Episode 61: Reconnecting With Old Friends—Healing the Past, Naming Regret & Bringing Your Whole Self into the Future

This episode is so special! I sit down with my 3 childhood friends, including my older sister, as we describe what happens when you bring your past self into your present. We were close all through high school, but life took us on different paths, to different cities, and through different experiences of faith, marriage, and family life. Over 2 decades later, we reconvened and replayed the tape of our lives—each one of us bearing witness to the other. Today, we share with you what we discovered about the power of reclaiming your past. I pray this episode sparks your imagination and ignites your desire as you consider pulling in old and new friends as companions on your journey toward wholeness. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. Why 4 childhood friends reconnected to each other—and our past selves 2. How diverse perspectives strengthened, not divided, our rekindled friendships 3. Confronting &amp; overcoming regret 4. How revisiting my sister’s te
06/07/20231 hour 6 minutes 32 seconds
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Episode 60: How to Make New Friends, Overcome People Pleasing, Identify Red and Green Flags, & Extract Yourself From an Unhealthy Situation

Making new friends is hard as an adult! We’ve been hurt. We’ve changed and outgrown old ways. So how do we find new friends? And how do we learn to trust after trust has been broken? Today, I’m joined by 2 of my new friends, Aundi Kolber and Dr. Monique Gadson, as we discuss how to overcome past hurts and brave the work of finding new friends. This episode is packed with practical tips, and I was so touched by the raw emotion that surfaced at the end as we each reflect on our own experiences. Here’s what we cover: 1. Friendship red flags 2. Green flags that indicate safety 3. The impact of trauma on friendships 4. Breaking free from people pleasing 5. How to “break up” with a potential friend 6. Is friendship about quality or quantity? Connect with Aundi Kolber and <a href="" targ
29/06/202350 minutes 28 seconds
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Episode 59: Finding Your People, Overcoming Past Hurt, & Deepening Friendships Through Intentional Community

I loved this beautiful and honest conversation about friendship with Jennie Allen, bestselling author of Find Your People and founder of IF:Gathering. She shares candidly about a painful season where she felt alone and how she’s learned to lean into deep community, even when it&#39;s messy. If you’ve ever struggled with feeling lonely, misunderstood, or like it’s hard to trust other people, please listen to this episode. There are so many gems in it, including: 1. Our greatest fear in friendship 2. How to say “that hurt” to a friend 3. What prompted Jennie to close off to friendship for a season 4. How she found her way into trusting relationships again 5. The healing power of knowing others &amp; being known by them Order Find Your People here</
22/06/202350 minutes 57 seconds
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Episode 58: Friends on Friendship—How to Find Friends Who Bring out the Best of You, Why it Matters, and How a Good Friend Can Transform Your Life

I&#39;m so excited to announce our brand-new series, &quot;Friends on Friendships&quot;! Join us over the next 5 weeks as we learn together how to forge transformative, healing, and life-giving friendships. We are kicking things off with an incredible conversation with Dr. Curt Thompson, Amy Cella, and Pepper Sweeney, who are real life friends and hosts of The Being Known Podcast. We laughed so much during this episode, and at least 2 of us also cried 🙈 . You don&#39;t want to miss all the gems about friendship throughout this conversation. Here’s what we cover: 1. Why friendship is a risk worth taking 2. The most important ingredient for safe friendships 3. The physics of “taking your friends with you” (even when they can&#39;t be with you). 4. Laughter as a form of intimacy 5. Why 3 is most definitely not a crowd 6. Glimmers vs. Triggers Check out Curt’s brand new book The Deepest Place, available for <a href="http
15/06/20231 hour 14 seconds
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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

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&#39;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. You&#39;ll discover a completely different picture of what it means to turn the other cheek. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. What &quot;turn the other cheek&quot; really means 2. What the Bible has to say about toxic behavior 3. Why it doesn’t work to “love people” into change 4. Examples of toxicity &amp; how to protect yourself 5. How to be shrewd when dealing with gossip, cruelty or manipulation Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode <a href="
08/06/202344 minutes 56 seconds
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Episode 56: Am I Really Supposed to Deny Myself? How to Claim The Life You've Been Given, A Guided Exercise, and Thoughts on Wholeness

We’re hitting hard today on this question “Am I really supposed to deny 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. Why it matters that you are an image-bearer 2. The surprising goal of self-denial 3. 3 different psychological contexts 4. What about denying a “part” of you? 5. A practical exercise to apply to your own life 6. Are we healing for this life or saved for the next? Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ Leave them here. Want to receive free bonus content? ⁠⁠Sign up for my free weekly email <a hre
01/06/202346 minutes 43 seconds
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Episode 55: Am I Supposed to Distrust Myself? Why Trusting Yourself is Necessary to Establishing Healthy Relationships With Other People

This week we&#39;re talking all about self-trust—how we develop it, and why it&#39;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&#39;s what we cover: 1. The surprising foundation for trust 2. The role of attachment 3. 3 relationships that contribute to trust 4. What to do if you are too trusting of others 5. A first step toward building self-trust Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode ⁠here⁠. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ ⁠Leave them here.⁠<
25/05/202347 minutes 49 seconds
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Episode 54: Can I Pray My Anxiety Away? A Surprising Approach to the Anxiety Pandemic & How to Walk Yourself & Your Kids Through It

Today’s conversation is pure fire! We&#39;re talking all things anxiety with Curtis Chang, author of a brand new book, The Anxiety Opportunity. This is such a fresh take on anxiety, unlike anything you’ve heard at church or in the secular culture. We also touch on the problem of how most of us have been taught to view heaven, and how recasting that vision has everything to do with anxiety. If you’ve struggled with anxiety or if you have kids who struggle with anxiety, please do not miss this episode. Here’s what we cover: 1. The problem with the “prayer” or “pill” approach to anxiety 2. The anxiety pandemic 3. The most important thing we can do to help our anxious kids 4. Did Jesus experience anxiety? 5. Curtis’s experience with crippling anxiety 6. The surprising discovery he made in therapy 7. Why heaven is not what you think it is &amp; how that changes everything Pick up your copy of The Anxiety Opportunity
18/05/202354 minutes 13 seconds
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Episode 53: StrengthsFinder—How to Claim Your Strengths, Lean On Others & Thrive at Home and Work

We are talking all about finding our strengths today with my friend, Laura Cootsona, an accomplished coach, consultant, and non-profit executive. She walks us through StrengthsFinder, a tool that helps you identify and lean into your strengths and uncover the strengths of others. Research shows that leaning into your strengths at work and in life is absolutely life-changing. Here’s what we cover: 1. How to identify strengths to unleash your potential 2. The link between strengths and enjoying your work 3. Understanding the downside of your strong points 4. How to team up with other strengths 5. How to build a strength-based family Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here. Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ <a href="htt
11/05/202353 minutes 49 seconds
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Episode 52: The Enneagram—9 Ways to Uncover the Best (and Worst) of Who You Are, Get Honest With Yourself, & Improve Your Relationships

What a rich conversation with Enneacast hosts Jesse Eubanks and Lindsey Lewis about the 9 types of the Enneagram! We talk everything from mistyping women to Jesus, Kevin Hart, and the Apostle Paul. This is a great episode to share with your family, small group, and friends—it&#39;s an opportunity for honest conversations about your areas of brilliance. . .and the blind spots we all have. Here’s what we cover: 1. The 9 different types 2. Your Enneagram number as one part of who you are 3. The Enneagram and narcissism 4. Why celebration is a discipline we all need to practice 5. How to love types that trigger us 6. The difference between comfort and shalom 7. What type was Jesus? Paul? Peter? Tom Brady? Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode <a href="
04/05/20231 hour 2 minutes 14 seconds
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Episode 51: The 12 Common Thinking Traps, Mind Reading, Mental Filters, and How To Stop Taking Things Personally

Do you catastrophize? struggle with taking a compliment? Are you a mind reader? A minimizer? Or do you tend to take things personally? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you do not want to miss today&#39;s episode. We&#39;re discussing 12 common thinking traps, what psychologists call cognitive distortions. These are ways of thinking that trip up every single one of us. The messages you tell yourself have a direct impact on the health of your relationships, so this is a great one to share with your family or friends. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. 12 common thinking traps 2. How to avoid toxic shame spirals 3. The problem with mind reading 4. How to stop taking things personally 5. The trap of emotional reasoning 6. Why we all need to learn how to take a compliment Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode <a href="
27/04/202348 minutes 34 seconds
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Episode 50: 9 Types of Intelligence, the Trap of Comparison, and How to Connect More Authentically with God

This week we&#39;re digging into intelligence. And believe me, it&#39;s not what you were taught! If you&#39;ve struggled with comparing yourself to others, feeling inadequate, or unsure of your unique gifts (and that&#39;s pretty much all of us), you don&#39;t want to miss this episode! Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. What is intelligence? 2. Why it&#39;s different than what you were taught 3. 9 different types of intelligence 4. 2 toxic consequences of comparing ourselves to others 5. 9 ways to connect with God Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here Do you have questions for Dr. Alison?⁠ Leave them here</
20/04/202330 minutes 47 seconds
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Episode 49: Personality, the Big Five Traits, and Why Are We So Obsessed With Personality Types?

This week marks the launch of our brand new series, My Favorite Psychology Tools, and we&#39;re kicking things off with a deep dive into the fascinating world of personality types. With so many fads and trends out there, it can be hard to know what&#39;s actually backed by research. That&#39;s why we&#39;re here to separate fact from fiction and give you the inside scoop on what personality really is and what the latest research tells us about it. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. What is personality and why we&#39;re so fascinated with it 2. The benefits and pitfalls in personality tests 3. The 5 most researched personality traits 4. The mysterious H Factor and why it&#39;s so important 5. How personality traits show up in the Bible Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode <a href="
13/04/202348 minutes 4 seconds
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Episode 48: Loving Your Body as a Spiritual Practice, Why the Flesh Isn't the Body, and 3 Heresies We Kind of Believe

Gosh, it can be hard to live in a body, let alone learn to love it. We have so many demands that compete for our attention, not to mention all the mixed up messages we get as women— how in the world are we supposed to honor these bodies God has given us? In today&#39;s episode, we&#39;re honoring these long-suffering bodies of ours. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. Why so many of us bypass the body 2. 4 insights from psychology about the body 3. 3 ancient heresies that sneak into our modern thinking 4. The difference between what the Bible calls &quot;flesh&quot; and &quot;body&quot; 5. How to honor your body as part of spiritual practice 6. Why I am learning to dance again (but definitely not in public) Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode <a href="" target="_bla
06/04/202342 minutes 49 seconds
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Episode 47: Spiritual Bypassing vs. Embodied Faith & How Not to Harm Those Who Are Hurting, Including Yourself

This week on the podcast, we&#39;re kicking off a mini 2-episode series on loving our bodies as a spiritual practice. Today, I dig into the problem of over-spiritualizing and how that does harm to ourselves and to others. Here&#39;s what we cover: 1. What is spiritual bypassing? 2. Does every problem have a spiritual solution? 3. How we spiritually bypass ourselves 4. How not to be a &quot;friend of Job&quot; 5. The antidote to spiritual bypassing 6. An example of spiritual bypassing from the Bible Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here Related episodes: Episode 46: Pe
30/03/202338 minutes 10 seconds
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Episode 46: People Pleasing as Survival, How Jesus Regulated Emotions & the Problem With Toxic Positivity and Spiritual Bypassing with Aundi Kolber

Phew! Buckle up. Part 2 of my conversation with Aundi Kolber is out today, and it is absolute 🔥🔥🔥! We set aside the script and got real about our own experiences , including. . . 1. How people pleasing becomes a survival response 2. The shame we feel when we start to change 3. Alison&#39;s unexpected experience of comfort in a crisis 4. Jesus and the Nervous System 5. Did Jesus ever get &quot;activated&quot;? 6. The problem with toxic positivity &amp; spiritual bypassing Find a full transcript and list of resources from this episode here Check out Aundi Kolber&#39;s new book, <a href="
23/03/202334 minutes 45 seconds
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Episode 45: Strong like Water—Finding the Freedom, Safety, & Compassion to Move through Hard Things & Experience True Flourishing with Aundi Kolber

What an honor to have my friend and fellow therapist, Aundi Kolber on the podcast today! You do not want to miss Part 1 of our two-part &nbsp;conversation on her brand new book, Strong like Water: Finding the &nbsp;Freedom, Safety, and Compassion to Move through Hard Things--and &nbsp;Experience True Flourishing Aundi and I connected through social &nbsp;media, and she has become the dearest real life friend. It was my &nbsp;absolute honor to have this conversation with her about her personal &nbsp;story and her new book, Strong Like Water, available for pre-order now. &nbsp;Here's what we cover. . . 1. Why it's unsustainable to always be &nbsp;the "strong one" &nbsp; 2. The brave decision that led to her to reimagine strength 3. 3 different types of strength and how to move between them 4. How to find safety when you need it the most 5. The difference between information and whole body transformation 6. How Aundi
16/03/202347 minutes 54 seconds
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Episode 44: Why It's Wise To Befriend Anger, What Happens When You Don't, and How to Create Space for Healthy Expression of Anger in Your Family

Today's episode is all about anger. It's an emotion that can do great harm and one that also has great benefits. &nbsp; Whether you thrive on anger or try your best to bury it, one thing's for sure—we all have to reckon with it. When you learn to work with your anger, it can become a powerful force for good in your life and in the lives of the people you love. Today, my friend Rowena Day (see Episode 31) returns to the podcast as we discuss how we've learned to create space for healthy anger in our lives. Here's what we cover: &nbsp; 1. Practical strategies to befriend and build trust with anger&nbsp; 2. The guilt and fear we feel about having anger&nbsp; 3. How to manage anger while parenting 4. &nbsp;Examples of speaking on behalf of anger vs. from it 5. The problem with comparing our pain to the pai
09/03/202348 minutes 50 seconds
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Episode 43: How to Tame Your Inner Critic, Why All Parts are Welcome, and How to Resolve Conflict in Your Relationships

Today, I am joined by my friend and co-author of Boundaries for Your Soul, Kimberly Miller, to discuss the almighty inner critic, how to get space from it, and how to bring this work into your relationships. Kim describes how she first encountered Internal Family Systems (IFS) and how combining it with Christian faith and practice changed her life. We discuss: 1. How Kim finally healed the ache in her heart 2. The most ubiquitous part of the soul 3. Why self-acceptance is better than self-condemnation 4. How to differentiate from painful emotions 5. A real-time exercise for quieting your inner critic 6. How this work translates into marriage Connect with Kimberly Miller at or on <a href=";utm_medium=live_stream_share&amp;_branch_match_id=1159631567006127062&amp;utm_campaign=w
02/03/202351 minutes 34 seconds
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Episode 42: How to Honor Sadness, Set Boundaries with Loneliness, and What to Do When You Don't Have Time for this Work

You need your pain. Grief makes you real, and disappointment can inspire creativity, change, and growth.&nbsp; Sadness brings texture to the joys we experience. And yet, it's also not wise to let sadness take us over. In today's episode, we discuss how to set healthy boundaries with emotions like sadness and loneliness.&nbsp; Here's what we cover: —The surprising benefits of sadness —3 types of grief —The science of tears and how they help us —What loneliness needs to heal —Childhood play and how it informs your adult dreams —What to do when you just don't have the time for the pain Be sure to pick up your 3 free Boundaries for Your Soul resources here. &nbsp; Thanks to our sponsors: Go to <a href="// Be sure to pick up your 3 free Boundaries for Your Soul resources here. Thanks to our sponsors: Organifi —Go to
23/02/202345 minutes 32 seconds
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Episode 41: Boundaries With Fear And Anxiety—How to Calm the Chaos Within and the Joy of Internal Boundaries

So many of us live at war with ourselves. We hate our anxiety or battle with fear. We beat ourselves up or try to get rid of these parts of us. But this approach only makes things worse.&nbsp; One of the most surprising ways to calm your anxiety is to stop waging war against it. In today's episode we discuss how to honor your fear and soothe your anxiety so that you are in charge of them, not the other way around. Here's what we cover: 1. A picture of healthy internal boundaries 2. How anxiety tries to protect us 3. The surprising truth about fear 4. How to establish healthy boundaries with both fear and anxiety&nbsp; 5. Fear and the Bible 6. 5 Steps to work through fear and anxiety Be sure to pick up your 3 free Boundaries for Your Soul resources here. &nbsp;&nbsp; Thanks to our sponsors: &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Organifi —Go to <a href
16/02/202346 minutes 12 seconds
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Episode 40: 5 Steps to Healing Painful Emotions & Why Parts of Us Get Stuck in the Past

Do you ever feel like a part of your soul is trapped in the past, holding you back from fully embracing the present and moving forward? Pain, fear, worry, or even bitterness can weigh heavy on our hearts and minds. This is a common experience for all of us at times. In today's episode, I guide you through a 5 step process of healing and growth. We'll discuss how to mend the parts of your soul that are causing you distress. Here's what we cover: &nbsp; 1. 5 Steps to healing painful emotions&nbsp; 2. How to overcome criticism, shame, and judgment&nbsp; 3. 4 Questions to grow in self-discovery&nbsp; 4. A surprising way to pray throughout the day&nbsp; 5. Why parts of us struggle to experience God's love Remember, this journey is a process, not a one-time event. With the right tools and guidance, you can learn to make peace with the parts of yourself. Be sure to <a href="" tar
09/02/202343 minutes 7 seconds
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Episode 39: Boundaries for Your Soul—How to Navigate Your Overwhelming Thoughts & Feelings

We all need a map to our soul. A way to understand the emotions, the wounds, the areas that feel broken. &nbsp; That's what I love about the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of therapy—it provides a map that everybody can incorporate into their daily spiritual practice. &nbsp; It's your guide to navigating overwhelming thoughts and feelings. &nbsp; Today on the podcast, I'm walking you through this map, including the following: &nbsp;&nbsp; 1. A picture of wholeness &nbsp; 2. &nbsp;The cost of not tending your inner life &nbsp; 3. A map of the parts of your soul &nbsp; 4. The 3 types of parts we all have &nbsp; 5. How Jesus relates to each part 6. What it means to have healthy boundaries inside your soul Get your 3 free Boundaries for Your Soul resources here. Thanks to our sponsors: &nbsp; Organifi —Go to<a h
02/02/202340 minutes 19 seconds
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Episode 38: Taking a Risk on God—How to Stay Standing with Alli Patterson

Today on the podcast, I'm talking with my friend and teaching pastor at Crossroads Church in Cincinnati, Alli Patterson, about her new book, How to Stay Standing.&nbsp; In this powerful and practical episode, Alli shares her own story of hitting rock bottom when the scaffolding of her life collapsed, and how she rebuilt the foundation from the ground up. We discuss the following: 1. How tiny decisions can lead us toward devastating realities 2. What kept Alli from making eye contact for over 6 months 3. How shame sneaks in, even when you know you’ve been forgiven by God 4. The power of telling your story in safe places 5. 3 practical ways to build a strong foundation 6. How to take risks on God Thanks to our sponsors: &nbsp; Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today! &nbsp; Hiya Health— Visit<a href="https:/
26/01/202351 minutes 36 seconds
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Episode 37: The Problem With Toxic Thinking & How to Name, Tame, and Transform the Messages You Tell Yourself

Today, we're discussing how to detox from the false beliefs that keep us stuck in unhealthy patterns of relating to other people.&nbsp; These hidden messages are sneaky. They might sound true in the moment, but they keep us from the healthy two-way relationships we need. Here's what we discuss: 1. Examples of toxic thinking 2. How it contaminates our relationships 3. An example of toxic thinking from the Bible 4. How to re-frame toxic thoughts Plus, I answer your questions: —How do I communicate with other people about what I'm going through?&nbsp; —Can spiritual bypassing become a form of numbing? Thanks to our sponsor: Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today. Resources in this episode: For more on
19/01/202342 minutes 2 seconds
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Episode 36: An Update on My Social Media Detox & How to Create Boundaries With Toxic Distractions, Numbing, & Unhealthy Coping Tactics

Today's episode is a real-time update on my own social media detox and how what started as a pause revealed a deeper need. I also lay out a practical framework for you to use in identifying the distractions, numbing, or unhealthy coping tactics in your life and how to replace them with the life-giving, soul-nourishing things you actually crave. We cover: 1. What my own detox revealed about my use of social media 2. A roadmap for how to pinpoint areas in your own life that might need a detox 3. Healthy ways to escape, soothe, or find comfort 4. What is the difference between a fast and a detox?&nbsp; 5. Can I find a healthy balance with certain "distractions"? Thanks to our sponsors: &nbsp; Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today. Brooklinen—Visit <a href="
12/01/202335 minutes 55 seconds
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Episode 35: Change is Hard: Why We All Need to Detox From Unhealthy Dependencies From Time to Time

Today, we're digging into the hidden dependencies that creep in and keep us from the good things we need. The New Year tends to be a time of hope. We sense the possibility of change and are energized to set goals. But so often we move forward without first addressing the hidden dependencies that thwart our best efforts.&nbsp; Here's what we discuss in today's episode: 1. Why we all need to “detox” from time to time 2. Examples of “good things” we can start to depend on in unhealthy ways&nbsp; 3. The role of pleasure, comfort, and healthy escape 4. The essential question to ask yourself before you consider introducing any change&nbsp; 5. What I learned by going offline for 6 weeks&nbsp; Thanks to our sponsors: &nbsp; This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp —Go to&nbsp; and use code BESTOFYOU for 10% off your first mont
05/01/202335 minutes 44 seconds
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Trailer: 3 Ways to Detox Your Heart, Soul, and Mind: How to Stop Numbing and Start Coming Alive to the Good Things You Need

This New Year, I'm trying something new: I'm going to respond to your questions as we move through a series. Please leave your questions about this topic here: Detox Question Doc&nbsp; Sign up for The Best of You Book Club here: Get 2 books free + free shipping when you buy 3 here: Check out Episode 3: What is self love and should I really love myself? for the MEPS Exercise referenced in this trailer.
29/12/20226 minutes 47 seconds
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Episode 34: Why We Avoid Our Own Power & How God Calls Us to Step Into It

So many of us have had negative experiences with power. It feels like something to fear, something bad, or something to avoid all together. But what if God wants us to step into our power in a healthy way? And what if understanding the power we have is at the core of building healthy connections with other people? &nbsp; Today's episode is straight from my heart and from my own tenuous relationship with power. Here's what I cover: &nbsp; 1. What is power? 2. Why we think of power as bad 3. What healthy power looks like&nbsp; 4. The problems that arise when we do not claim our own power&nbsp; 5. Different ways power is abused 6. Why women in particular tend to avoid their own power&nbsp; 7. The paradigm-shattering example of power in the birth of Jesus Thanks to our sponsors:&nbsp; Organifi —Go to and use code BES
22/12/202238 minutes 22 seconds
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Episode 33: People Pleasing & Developing Your Own Inner Compass: Thoughts on Depression, Mental Health & the Church, and Finding Hope in Dark Places

Were you subtly conditioned to please others at the expense of yourself? I loved talking with my friend and fellow therapist, Dr. Monique Gadson, on today's episode of the podcast. We met through an IG Live prayer session! She's since become the best sort of real-life friend—someone whose wisdom, empathy, and realness breathes life into weary souls. If you've struggled with depression or felt overlooked—even as you constantly show up for others—please lean in close. Dr. Monique is candid about her own journey through depression and how she lost herself in all the voices around her. In a powerful turn of events, Monique began to bring mental health directly to the center of the church, where she's practiced as a counselor for decades.&nbsp; We cover so much in today's episode, including: 1. A key moment from childhood when she learned to please others 2. Monique’s experience as a PK 3. The burden of always attuning to others when you're disconnected
15/12/20221 hour 7 minutes 41 seconds
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Episode 32: Productivity and the Never Ending To Do List: How to Stop Hustling & Embrace the Joy of Enough

Are you that person who gets the job done, no matter the cost to yourself? You're productive, you bring the results. But sometimes you don't realize how exhausted you are—you just know there's still work to be done. If your inner task manager tends to take you (or someone you love) over, do not miss this episode with my friend and fellow therapist, Rebecca Ching. It's all about the blessing and the cost of being a highly productive, can-do person. Rebeca speaks candidly about managing childhood trauma through becoming extremely productive—a survival skill she took with her deep into her adult life. You'll also hear more about our friendship, including the opposite ways we operate in order to protect ourselves. 1. The moment Rebecca, as a young girl, walked out on a family therapy session 2. The story of being mugged together in our early 20’s 3. How to re-org your inner circle to protect the health of your family 4. The shaming voice that su
08/12/202257 minutes 1 second
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Episode 31: Peace-Keeping, Anger Avoidance, and How to Start Using Your Voice

You want to keep the peace at all costs. The problem is sometimes anger is warranted. Sometimes conflict is needed. What do you do when everything in you does not want to be the one to speak up? On today’s episode, I am joined by my dear friend Rowena Day. This is a powerful conversation for anyone who has struggled with conflict, avoided anger, or stayed quiet to get along. The second half of this episode is a WHOLE WORD. Listen in for deep wisdom on how to come out of that protective peacekeeping shell and start using your voice.&nbsp;Do not miss the end, when Rowena describes what she’s learning about finding her voice from parenting 4 young children. And check out the shownotes on my website where we have listed all of the amazing books, videos, music, and devotionals mentioned in this episode! Here’s what we touch on: <p
01/12/202259 minutes 13 seconds
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Episode 30: Protecting What's Good Without Denying What's Hard at the Holidays

Today's episode of The Best of You Podcast is in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, and the holiday season in general. If you're dealing with a mixture of emotions today, this episode is for you. Holidays are complicated, and in today’s episode, I walk you through how to honor what’s hard, even as you give thanks for what’s good.&nbsp; We'll discuss: &nbsp; 1. Why it's normal for mixed emotions to show up on a holiday&nbsp; 2. How old ways of managing kick in—and leave us exhausted 3. How to take brave steps to honor vs. manage hard emotions&nbsp; 4. The myth of the perfect family, the perfect holiday, or the perfect experience of gratitude&nbsp; 5. What we can learn from 5 characters in my favorite children's book Thanks to our sponsors:&nbsp; Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today! This episode is sponsored by
24/11/202232 minutes 32 seconds
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Episode 29: Perfectionism and Proving Your Worth: How to Stop Chasing Approval and Start Living the Life You Actually Want

OK, buckle up, today's conversation on The Best of You podcast goes deep, and we both get really honest about own struggles. I could have talked with Mary for hours about how to get off the treadmill of perfecting and proving your worth—and start claiming the life you actually want. You do not want to miss the end where we get into social media, the curse of comparison, and the approval chain from which no one is immune. We touch on so much in this episode including: 1. The hidden fears that drive us to perfect and prove our way into belonging 2. If we let go of working to earn the approval of others, then what?&nbsp; 3. The moment Mary discovered that chasing gold stars was not leading her to what she actually wanted 4. The pitfalls and perils of social media 5. &nbsp;How to get out of comparison traps 6.&nbsp; The voice in our heads t
17/11/20221 hour 6 minutes 17 seconds
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Episode 28: The Pain of Performing For Others and How to Claw Your Way Out with Toni Collier

On today’s episode of The Best of You podcast, I’m talking with the wonderful and wise Toni Collier who shares bravely about finding herself stuck in the performance trap, and how she clawed her way out. Toni's capability &amp; high capacity helped her survive, but she also wound up exhausted, broken, and numbing. As Toni says, “I had a source, which is God, but the resources I did not have.” And she had to learn to discover a more authentic, wholehearted way. Here's what we discuss: 1. &nbsp;How capability, strength, and achievement can turn into survival strategies 2. Why we turn toward numbing as a way to cope with pain 3. What finally drove her to get help&nbsp; 4. How she started to find healthy relationships and find her way out of the pain 5. Practical ways she keeps the performer part of her in check now 6. What she would say to her young performer's heart now (Be ready for some tears on this one. . .)
10/11/202237 minutes 57 seconds
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Episode 27: 7 Ways We Manage Perceptions Instead of Forging Real Connections

We’re kicking off a new series on The Best of You Podcast as we move into the last 2 months of the year. How do you shift from managing the perceptions of others to showing up more authentically? In today’s episode, I cover the 7 ways we tend to manage perceptions and why it doesn’t get us the real connections we crave. I also walk you through an exercise you can do NOW (as in, before the holiday haze sets in) to help you make brave decisions this holiday season. Here’s what we cover: 1. What does it mean to manage perceptions and why do we do it? 2. The 7 ways we tend to manage perceptions 3. The 2 main problems with managing perceptions 4. Why we have to “retrain” people (&amp; their expectations of us) 5. Examples of steps you can take to honor yourself &amp; your relationships 6. How to create your own “Yes/No List” to help you make brave decisions 7. The courage it takes to say ‘no’ and how to honor th
03/11/202237 minutes 22 seconds
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Episode 26: Types of "No" Part 2—How to Say "No" to Toxicity, The Real Meaning of Turn the Other Check & How to Form a Boundaries Committee

This week on The Best of You podcast, we're getting into how to say No to toxic behaviors—including practical strategies, scripts, and misconstrued bible passages. There’s no one-size fits all when it comes to setting healthy boundaries. A strategy that might work in a healthy releationship won't work with toxicity. It's important to understand the difference. This is a packed episode. Here’s what we discuss: 1. Why toxic behaviors require an entirely different type of "no"&nbsp; 2. An overview of toxic behaviors &nbsp; 3. Extreme toxicity and when to cut off a relationship all together&nbsp; 4. 5 steps to implement a boundary with toxic behavior&nbsp; 5. 3 scripts for 3 different situations&nbsp; 6. What about turning the other cheek?&nbsp; 7. How to form a boundaries committee Thanks to our sponsors:&nbsp; Organifi —Go to
27/10/202253 minutes 13 seconds
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Episode 25: Types of No Part 1—How to Say "No" in Healthy Relationships

This week and next week on The Best of You podcast, we're getting into 3 types of "No"—including practical strategies, and scripts, for how to say No in different situations.&nbsp; First up is how to say no in healthy relationships. This episode is for you if you struggle to set a boundary, state a preference, or honor your own limits **even with people you know would respect you if you did.** It's hard to disappoint people. It's hard to assert honest needs, wants, and preferences when you've been conditioned to please others, fawn, or always put others first. So today we're focusing on how to exercise your "no muscle" even with people you love. Here's what we discuss: 1. Why learning to say “no” is vital for the the ongoing health of your relationships 2. 5 steps to develop your “no” muscle&nbsp; 3. Why criticism is tempting and how to avoid it 4. How to use “I statements” (and when not to) 5. Scripts for 3 different situation
20/10/202234 minutes 53 seconds
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Episode 24: Boundaries, the Spectrum of Toxicity, and a Note About Evil

Today on The Best of You podcast, we’re diving into how to discern toxic vs. healthy patterns of behavior. There is no one-size fits all when it comes to setting healthy boundaries. It requires discernment and wisdom; strategy and skill. I discuss what I call the Spectrum of Toxicity and the topic of evil (a topic so many of you have asked me about!) Here’s what we cover: 1. What is toxicity? How does it relate to what the Bible calls evil?&nbsp; 2. What about people who are consistently choosing to do harm?&nbsp; 3. The spectrum of toxicity&nbsp; 4. Behaviors that show up on the healthy side of the spectrum&nbsp; 5. Behaviors that show up on the toxic side of the spectrum&nbsp; 6. The key ingredient that distinguishes health from toxicity&nbsp; 7. The best way to become a discerning, wise (&amp; healthier) person.&nbsp; 8. What does the Bible say about toxicity? Thanks to our sponsor Organ
13/10/202234 minutes 17 seconds
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Episode 23: Am I wounded or am I sinful?

Today on the podcast, we're diving into this question I keep bumping up against: Am I wounded or am I a sinner? On one hand we go to church, and we’re told you're sinful; you need to repent, you need to die to yourself. On the other hand, we go to therapy, and we're told you're wounded; you've had trauma. You need to heal, so you can become more of your true self. So which one is it? In today's podcast episode, we discuss: 1. What is woundedness and how does it impact our behaviors?&nbsp; 2. What is sin?&nbsp; 3. The problem of shame&nbsp; 4. What about "the other side of sin" - the wounds of the sinned against?&nbsp; 5. What about repentance?&nbsp; 6. An application from the Bible&nbsp; 7. A next step you can take Thanks to our sponsor Organifi —Go to
06/10/202236 minutes 12 seconds
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Episode 22: How to Build Trust with Yourself

On this week’s podcast we’re talking all about building trust with yourself. This *internal* work is so important to the work of setting healthy external boundaries. I share with you an example from my own life and walk you through a process of connecting more deeply to what’s actually happening inside of you. As you connect more deeply to yourself, the boundaries you set with others will flow from a calmer, clearer place within. Here’s what we cover: 1. A promise I made to myself and how it went&nbsp; 2. What to do when you’re activated by someone or something&nbsp; 3. The importance of understanding your own areas of wounding&nbsp; 4. What is a You-Turn?&nbsp; 5. Meeting &amp; honoring the protective parts of you (before acting out of them)&nbsp; 6. How to get to the root of your own hurt (before taking action)&nbsp; 7. Learning to find your voice from that place of clarity deep within Thanks to our sponsor
29/09/202229 minutes 11 seconds
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Episode 21: Making and Keeping A Promise to Yourself

Today on The Best of You podcast, we're starting a new series on Boundaries and the Bible. And we're starting with what I call the Yes Side of No. So many of us struggle with setting external boundaries because we keep the focus on the other person. But the work of setting boundaries starts inside of you. In today's episode, I walk you through how to build to trust with yourself from the inside out. Here's what we cover: 1. Why I don’t believe boundaries start with No&nbsp; 2. Can I really learn to trust myself?&nbsp; 3. What about sin?&nbsp; 4. What is an internal (vs. external) locus of control and why does it matter?&nbsp; 5. Examples of promises you can make to parts of you carrying pain&nbsp; 6. Examples of promises you can make to your body&nbsp; 7. A challenge to you that we'll circle back to next week. Thanks to our sponsor Organifi —Go to
22/09/202235 minutes 32 seconds
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Episode 20: Making Peace with Yourself (& Facing Your Fear of Disappointing Other People)

Sometimes living at peace with other people, means living at peace with disappointing them. It’s incredibly important to balance your responsibility to other people with a deep sense of responsibility to your God-given self. It’s not only good for you. It’s good for other people. &nbsp;&nbsp; Living at peace with yourself is a process of figuring out that balance. Here's what we cover in today's podcast episode: 1. How to make peace with yourself&nbsp; 2. Making friends with yourself&nbsp; 3. Living at peace with others&nbsp; 4. Facing your fear of disappointing other people&nbsp; 5. How Jesus disappointed people&nbsp; 6. How to disappoint people with integrity Thanks to our sponsor Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today! <a href="
15/09/202228 minutes 42 seconds
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Episode 19: My Stroke, A Process of Healing, and How I Began to Write The Best of You

At the exact moment I began to bring The Best of You to life, I encountered a &nbsp;trauma that would literally knock me off my feet, forcing me to test everything I hoped to write about. This week is the 2-year anniversary of that trauma. It’s unbelievable to me that this book is coming out next week on 9/13. &nbsp;&nbsp; In today’s episode, I read this very personal story from the introduction of The Best of You, along with some added commentary. It’s a tender story. Thank you for holding it with me. &nbsp; Thanks to our sponsor Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today!&nbsp; Preorder The Best of You and take advantage of all the bo
08/09/202217 minutes 11 seconds
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Episode 18: Selfhood vs. Selfishness

This week on the podcast, we’re talking about selfhood. Many of us have been taught that "self" is bad. But there’s a big difference between selfhood and selfishness. Furthermore being selfless is not always the right choice. Reclaiming a healthy sense of self is not opposed to faith. In fact, learning to honor yourself goes hand-in-hand with honoring the One who made you. I get personal this week, because this journey is deeply personal for me. We discuss: 1. My own story of loving God but not having a self&nbsp; 2. What is the difference between selfhood and selfishness?&nbsp; 3. Why is selfhood key to healthy relationships?&nbsp; 4. How selfhood is the missing first step to setting healthy boundaries&nbsp; 5. What does the bible have to say about selfhood?&nbsp; 6. Jesus’s example of selfhood Thanks to our sponsor Better Help —Go to www.b
01/09/202233 minutes 56 seconds
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Episode 17: What is Church Hurt and How do I Heal?

Today’s podcast episode is all about church hurt. A church is a family—at its best it’s a place to learn about God, a place to heal, and a place to give &amp; receive in community. But just like any family, when leadership turns toxic the results are devastating. You have so many questions for me about the pain that comes at the hands of a church family. I enter into today’s episode with a spirit of reverence and a prayer for all who have been hurt in this way. 1. What is church hurt?&nbsp; 2. The problem with the term church hurt&nbsp; 3. Why anyone with power (pastors, leaders, parents, and yes, even therapists!) hold great responsibility&nbsp; 4. Examples of church hurt&nbsp; 5. 3 Red Flags for toxic church cultures&nbsp; 6. The problem with groupthink&nbsp; 7. How do I heal from church hurt? Key Point:&nbsp; God doesn't force, control, or manipulate you. God meets you where you are tenderly, and He wants to restore t
25/08/202239 minutes 57 seconds
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Episode 16: What are attachment styles and why does it matter?

Today’s podcast episode is one of your top requests: it’s all about attachment. Be sure to listen to the end for my thoughts on how attachment wounds impact our human relationships and our experience of a loving God. Here’s what we discuss: 1. Why I think we’re not just one attachment style 2. What are 4 different attachment styles? 3. Can your attachment style change? 4. The key ingredient that creates attachment 5. How to create secure attachment with your own children 6. Why our attachment styles create confusion in our adult relationships 7. A picture of healthy attachment from a favorite old movie 8. My thoughts on God and attachment Thanks to our sponsor Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today! Find a list of resources and the full transcript for this episode <a href="https://www.dral
18/08/202238 minutes 28 seconds
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Episode 15: CPTSD—The Pain of A Million Paper Cuts

Today’s podcast episode is packed. Phew! You wanted to talk CPTSD (or complex trauma) so that’s where we’re going, with a side note on trauma &amp; faith communities and some thoughts on what it *really* means to find safety in other people. 1. What is CPTSD?&nbsp; 2. What are the symptoms of CPTSD?&nbsp; 3. How does it impact healthy self-trust &amp; an experience of safety in other people?&nbsp; 4. Why I don’t believe you are a label&nbsp; 5. My thoughts on trauma and faith communities&nbsp; 6. 4 key ways to heal from CPTSD Thanks to our sponsor Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today! <a href=";keywords=the+best+of+you+alison+cook&amp;qid=1660172849&amp;sprefix=the+best+of+you%2Caps%2C281&amp
11/08/202238 minutes 22 seconds
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Episode 14: The Fawn Response & The Hidden Root of People Pleasing

Psychology Buzzwords are back, only this time you picked the topics! This week we're focusing on the 4 Fear Responses, often called Survival Responses or Trauma Responses, with a special look at the Fawn Response. 1. What are 4 common fear responses?&nbsp; 2. What is the freeze response?&nbsp; 3. What is disassociation?&nbsp; 4. How are these responses helpful?&nbsp; 5. What is this Fawn Response?&nbsp; 6. What are the hidden fears underneath it? 7. Why doesn't talking myself out of a fear response work?&nbsp; 8. What *does* work to help me return to calm? Thanks to our sponsor Organifi —Go to and use code BESTOFYOU for 20% off your order today! Find a list of resources for this episode <a href="
04/08/202228 minutes 58 seconds
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Episode 12: Overcoming the Pain of Divorce

Divorce is so rarely discussed yet it touches all of us—whether you've gone through a divorce or love someone who has. That’s why I’m so grateful that Eryn Eddy bravely went there with me today. This is such an honest conversation about the pain of divorce—and the compounded pain that comes afterward. She speaks with nuance &amp; humility about the loneliness of a distant marriage, and how discovering the secrets that led to that distance didn’t come out until after she’d shouldered most of the blame. She is upfront about owning her own stuff, even as she *finally* realized it was not her job to own his. Before we dive in, I want to highlight 2 points: &nbsp; —If someone is telling you: “If you were more godly or if you were more loving, then HE wouldn’t do XYZ (porn, cheat, drink. . .)” &nbsp;that’s called *blame shifting* and it’s toxic. &nbsp; —If your spouse is narcissistic, couples therapy likely won’t work. And it could end up hurting you. (See this
21/07/202257 minutes 18 seconds
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Episode 11: How to Start Loving Your Body

If you struggle with body image or how to make wise decisions on behalf of what you *actually* want out of your life, please do not miss this episode. Christy Meeks provides such grounded, thoughtful, and focused insight into how she overcame the pain of weaponizing her body and learned to work with her body as a beautiful and unique gift. She is a wife, a mom of 5 children, and a body image coach. 1. How one painful moment in childhood changed the way she viewed her body for decades&nbsp; 2. The way exercise can be both a weapon and a superpower&nbsp; 3. How to find ways to physicalize emotional pain, so that it flows through our bodies&nbsp; 4. The pain of miscarriage&nbsp; 5. Why she decided to leave social media&nbsp; 6. How to translate self-awareness to action, so that we’re living our lives with intention.&nbsp; 7. How true freedom comes from the inner conviction that you are living the life that is right for YOU. <p
14/07/202257 minutes 7 seconds
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Episode 10: What are limiting beliefs and how do I overcome them?

This podcast is a gold mine of rich, hopeful nuggets for anyone who has struggled to overcome limiting beliefs. My guest, Mary Marantz, is so gentle and thoughtful and wise as she reflects on the challenges of her childhood and the life she went on to create. It’s a beautiful tribute to the power of “both—and.” &nbsp; We discuss these topics and more: &nbsp; 1. Different types of poverty&nbsp; 2. How the messages our parents give us and the desires of our own hearts can create painful inner conflict&nbsp; 3. The limiting beliefs we pick up without even realizing it—and how to break free from them&nbsp; 4. How to honor a parent while also disagreeing with them&nbsp; 5. The 10 scripts we all have to confront in our minds&nbsp; 6. The temptation—and the danger—of being the woman who always come through &nbsp; Connect with Mary at, or on Instagr
07/07/202250 minutes 5 seconds
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Episode 9: Hidden Pain and the Power of Facing Your Fear

This conversation is an absolute gift. Bianca is a powerhouse of wisdom who talks honestly about the hidden pain that both motivated her and almost got the best of her. She shares about the moment she passed out on her dorm room floor from carrying so much hidden pain—and how she began to face the fears that drove her. &nbsp;&nbsp; You do not want to miss her encouragement for listeners with mother or father wounds and the commitment she made to herself to “die empty."&nbsp;We discuss these topics and more: &nbsp; 1. Will I struggle with feeling pain forever?&nbsp; 2. Why trying to “just be happy” doesn’t work.&nbsp; 3. How her first trip to counseling was a bust&nbsp; 4. How fear can motivate us in both positive and negative ways&nbsp; 5. The burdens of generational trauma that can add to our pain&nbsp; 6. The pressure she put on herself to heal so she wouldn’t pass on pain to her own children&nbsp; 7. How she learned to advoc
30/06/202245 minutes 17 seconds
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Episode 8: Overcoming Addiction and Learning to Ask for Help

We are launching a new series on the podcast this week: Real People Overcoming Real Problems!&nbsp; You do not want to miss this very first episode with author, speaker, podcaster, and new friend of mine, Ashley Abercrombie who shares with me her story of overcoming addiction and learning to ask for help. &nbsp; Ashley speaks candidly about the pain in her life, how she tried to numb it, and the divide that nearly shattered her until she learned to ask for help. And do not miss the last part of this interview where Ashley talks about how she's been getting through a period of extended isolation and loneliness these past few years. &nbsp; We discuss SO MUCH in this episode—here are just a few highlights: &nbsp; 1. The various big “T” and little “t” traumas that can lead to addiction and painful patterns of self-soothing.&nbsp; 2. Why carrying your pain silently doesn’t work.&nbsp; 3. How Ashley finally found healing in
23/06/202249 minutes 25 seconds
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Episode 7: Why are boundaries so hard to set?

The #1 question I get asked about is how to set boundaries. &nbsp; They are so important and so powerful, and yet they are so hard to set.&nbsp; We dive into the power of boundaries in this episode and I guide you through a real time exercise on taking that first step no matter what you are facing. &nbsp; 1. Why is it so hard to set boundaries?&nbsp; 2. What is the primary purpose of boundaries?&nbsp; 3. What 2 skills does boundary setting require?&nbsp; 4. What is the first step to setting boundaries?&nbsp; 5. What does the Bible have to say about boundaries?&nbsp; 6. An exercise to help you take a first step. &nbsp; Key Take Away: Boundaries are not primarily about saying no to other people. Boundaries are first and foremost about safeguarding the heart, mind, soul, and body God has given you. &nbsp; You can find a list of all the resources mentioned in this episode at <a href
16/06/202228 minutes 18 seconds
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Episode 6: Do I really have an inner child?

What is this “inner child” we see everywhere on social media and in pop psychology trends? Do I really have one? Is this just woo-woo psychology or is there science behind it? Why does it matter? We’ll get into all of this today, including the power of memory in shaping who you are. &nbsp; Here’s what we’ll discuss: &nbsp; 1. What is an inner child and do I really have one?&nbsp; 2. Is there any science behind it?&nbsp; 3. What is an internal family?&nbsp; 4. Who is the wise parent inside of you?&nbsp; 5. What does the Bible have to say about our inner child?&nbsp; 6. A 10 minute guided reflection to help you connect to a young part of yourself. &nbsp; Key Takeaway: Like a wise parent, we can learn to parent the young parts of us. We can bring them to Jesus who invited the children always to come to him—without shame or judgment. &nbsp; You can find a list of all the resources mentione
09/06/202229 minutes 25 seconds
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Episode 5: What is codependency and why does it matter?

Do you get so consumed with the needs of others, that you lose sight of your own?&nbsp; Do you struggle with focusing on caring for yourself? &nbsp; There's no shame in codependency—I've struggled with it for years. And I believe nearly everyone struggles with it on some level. Learn the surprising antidote to codependency and how to take steps toward healthy dependence. &nbsp; 1. What is codependency?&nbsp; 2. What’s the difference between being kind and being codependent?&nbsp; 3. What are some examples of codependent behaviors?&nbsp; 4. 5 signs that you might have codependent tendencies. &nbsp;&nbsp; 5. 2 indicators you might be in a codependent relationship&nbsp; 6. 3 practical ways to move toward healthy dependence &nbsp; Key Takeaway: There’s a difference between being kind—and caring for someone else while causing harm to yourself. &nbsp; Questions for reflect
02/06/202231 minutes 3 seconds
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Episode 4: What do I need to know about trauma?

Trauma is a bigger player in our lives than you might think. It's the unacknowledged guest at every gathering of humans.&nbsp; And if we could learn to understand it better, we'd create a kinder, more compassionate world. &nbsp;&nbsp; In today's episode we discuss trauma: &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 1. What is trauma? &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 2. What are Big T and little T traumas? &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 3. How does trauma impact your relationship to yourself, others and God? &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 4. The shaming messages that often sneak in as a result of trauma &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 5. What does the Bible say about trauma and healing? &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; 6. How do you begin to heal? &nbsp; Questions to consider:&nbsp; What if what happened wasn’t your fault?&nbsp; What if you didn’t deserve that treatment?&nbsp; What if there’s not something wrong with you?&n
26/05/202234 minutes 14 seconds
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Episode 3: What is self-love and should I really love myself?

Do you shove yourself aside?&nbsp; Do you think it's selfish to love yourself—or even wrong? &nbsp; Learn practical steps you can take toward improving one of your most important relationships, your relationship with YOU.&nbsp; We'll cover:&nbsp; 1. My story of shoving myself aside&nbsp; 2. What does self-love really mean?&nbsp; 3. Can I love myself and love God?&nbsp; 4. 2 reasons you don’t love yourself&nbsp; 5. 4 messages that teach you *not* to love yourself&nbsp; 6. An exercise you can do each morning to start loving yourself. &nbsp; Questions for Reflection: &nbsp; —What messages have you heard about loving yourself?&nbsp; —What is one action you can take toward honoring yourself this week?&nbsp; —Try the MEPS exercise mentioned at the end of this episode. What did you notice? Were you surprised by anything? &nbsp; Key takeaway: The way you trea
19/05/202227 minutes 21 seconds
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Bonus Q&A: A Gaslighting Spouse & Narcissistic Parents

In this special bonus episode, I answer two of your questions: 1. My spouse used to gaslight me, but has shown meaningful change. I'm still angry. What should I do? 2. My parents were narcissistic and now I constantly seek validation from others. How do I stop? You can find a list of all the resources mentioned in this episode at Visit to sign up to receive Dr. Cook’s weekly email and receive 2 free e-books and a guided prayer reflection.&nbsp; Music by Andy Luiten&nbsp; Sound editing by Kelly Kramarik
17/05/202221 minutes 59 seconds
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Episode 2: What should I know about gaslighting?

What should I know about gaslighting?&nbsp; In this episode we'll discuss: &nbsp; 1. What is gaslighting?&nbsp; 2. What are some examples of it in real life?&nbsp; 3. Why do people do this?&nbsp; 4. What does the Bible have to say about gaslighting?&nbsp; 5. The #1 question I get from people who are dealing with a gaslighter&nbsp; 6. How do I protect myself with someone who gaslights? &nbsp; Questions for Reflection:&nbsp; —Are there any relationships in your life where gaslighting is occurring?&nbsp; —Who are the people you trust?&nbsp; —Who are the people who help you move toward the best of who you are?&nbsp; —Are there any areas in your life of dishonesty or deception? Key takeaway: The more you get honest with yourself and with God, the more you detect honesty and health in others.&nbsp; You can find a list of all the resources mentioned in this episode at <a href="//ww
12/05/202240 minutes 21 seconds
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Episode 1. What is narcissism really?

You’ve heard the word narcissist, but what does it really mean? In this episode we’ll discuss:&nbsp; 1. What narcissism is— how it’s presented in the Bible and the criteria psychologists use to diagnose it&nbsp; 2. The difference between labeling people vs. naming behaviors&nbsp; 3. Different types of narcissism&nbsp; 4. What it feels like if you’re in a narcissistic relationship&nbsp; 5. How do I know that I’m not a narcissist?&nbsp; 6. The antidote to narcissism &nbsp; You can find a list of all the resources mentioned in this episode at Sign up to receive Dr. Cook’s weekly email at and receive 2 free e-books and a guided prayer reflection.&nbsp; Music by Andy Luiten
05/05/202238 minutes 30 seconds