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124: Alison Cook, PhD

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This week on the Thriving Beyond Belief podcast: Alison Cook, PhD

Alison Cook, MA, PhD is a counselor, speaker, and writer who helps people become comfortable in their own skin and fully live out their God-given potential. She is the co-author of Boundaries for Your Soul (Thomas Nelson, 2018). Alison is uniquely gifted at helping people learn how to:

  • Develop confidence from the inside out
  • Transform anxiety and loneliness into peace and connection with others
  • Turn off the internal negative voice and experience the true loving God who isn’t trying to beat you up
  • Heal lingering trauma from childhood wounds or abuse
  • Forge healthy relationships with safe individuals

For over 20 years, Alison has helped create transformative results for women, ministry leaders, couples, and families. Alison’s Christian adaptation of the fast growing, evidence-based Internal Family System (IFS) model of therapy provides a step-by-step approach to managing emotions in partnership with God. Prior to her work in counseling, Alison was a congressional aid on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and taught at Phillips Exeter Academy, Denver Seminary, and the Wyoming State Girls’ School for adjudicated teens. Some of Alison’s most valuable life lessons were discovered while stage acting as a hobby.

Originally from Wyoming, Alison obtained a degree in history from Dartmouth College. She then earned her M.A. in counseling from Denver Seminary and a Ph.D. in religion and psychology from the University of Denver. Alison’s doctoral dissertation centered on the relationship between religion and prejudice. She is certified in Internal Family Systems Therapy.

Alison maintains a counseling practice in the greater Boston area that specializes in the integration of faith and psychology. She and her husband, Joe, have two teenage children and enjoy spending time with extended family in New England and Wyoming where they ski, hike, and fly-fish as often as they can.

So can I really turn my emotions into allies?

  1. Do we all have overwhelming thoughts and feelings?
  2. How do I deal with negative emotions?
  3. How do I know an emotion has gotten extreme? How do emotions affect my actions and behaviors and the people I love?
  4. What does it mean to set boundaries with thoughts and feelings?
  5. In your book, you walk through 5 steps to turning your overwhelming thoughts and feelings into your greatest allies. Briefly, what are they?
  6. You mention turning anger into an ally. How can this be? What does that look like? Sound like?
  7. What about anxiety?  fear? envy? etc?
  8. How can I communicate with my loved one (spouse, child, friend) about what I’m feeling without blowing up the relationship?



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100: Alex Seeley

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Super excited to welcome Alex Seeley back again on the Thriving Beyond Belief podcast this week!

Alex Seeley was born and raised in Australia and spent seventeen years pastoring there. It is also where she met and married her husband, Henry. After relocating to Nashville in 2012, they founded The Belonging Co., a church where they minister together to thousands of people each week. She is a passionate teacher of the Word with the unique ability to reveal how the Word of God is applicable to our everyday lives.

In our constant search for a life filled with abundance, we often follow our human instinct, and then wonder why we come up short. God always has a better idea. And it most often requires us to move in the opposite direction.

We talk at length about Alex’s new book: The Opposite Life!

So what does it mean to embrace “The Opposite Life?”

“It means acting in a way that is contrary to what is expected in our world. The Holy Spirit living in us allows us to react positively, which is contrary to the negativity coming our way.”

Why is this book relevant now?

There is a desperate longing for goodness in the face of overwhelming anger, pain, and confusion in our society. We all want the blessed life but sometimes go about it in the wrong way. We are reactive, and not proactive. We can eliminate problems before they even become problems by opposite life principles.

Also, as Alex explains, we have become a body known for what we are against instead of what we stand for. The church has it all wrong… we should be talking the Gospel less and living it more. Rather than living an opposite life and changing the world, we’ve been filling up our time with knowledge from the Bible without going the next step of applying it to our everyday lives.


  • An insightful, biblical approach to how God calls us to live
  • Unpacks twenty opposite-life principles that lead readers to living out what Alex refers to as the blessed life
  • Real-life testimonies of ordinary people who decided to do things in the opposite realm, and resulted in incredible miracles and blessings



  • There is a desperate longing for goodness in the face of overwhelming anger, pain, and confusion in our society.
  • In our constant search for a life filled with abundance, we often follow our human instinct, and then wonder why we come up short.
  • The church has it all wrong… we should be talking the Gospel less and living it more.

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Lysa TerKeurst

067: Lysa TerKeurst

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I am thrilled to have Lysa Terkeurst with me on this episode of Thriving Beyond Belief!

And why am I thrilled…….let me count the ways:
1. We have a similar stories and the same Redemptive God
2. We both have had serious marriage struggles, but God still Reconciled
3. Both marriages have hurts, pains, resentments and anger, but God still Restored
4. Trust has to be rebuilt with time and consistency, and God never leaves us or forsakes us
5. Vulnerability happened for both of us, & God desires intimacy with all of us! He wants our heart!
Lysa just published a new book, “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” and it has resonated so deeply with me and I hope you each receive an opportunity to read it. One of Lysa’s goals with this book is to make sure others don’t feel alone in their journey, which so closely correlates with the ministry Jeff and I have given our life to.

The amazing thing is how Lysa has seen how the circumstances in her life have led to deep and painful times before the Lord, which leads further to deeper understanding of the Word of God and to be an even more reliable teacher of the Word.

We talk about the deep, difficult questions of who God is and how He could allow life-altering painful situations happen to His children. Lysa dives into her own journey of emotional healing through the church and Christian counseling and how that led so much to the content in her book.

We also discuss the redemption and restoration of the hard times, mainly with the Lord and then with others in our lives. From Lysa sharing her story, the Gospel is being shared and there has been so much healing for so many just by knowing that they are not alone, even in the valley. And what joins each of us in the valley is the truth of God’s Word and His character.

Lysa shares with vulnerability what she now has to work through because of what has happened in life, and beautifully clarifies the healthy difference between vulnerability in sharing and the importance of privacy. We even talk about no longer taking things for granted, but taking every situation to the Lord. We take our situation out of the center of our lives and replace that with the Lord. He is the only one that can bring peace and remove fear.

“God loves us too much to answer our prayer in any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way.”

This is one episode you will not want to miss. I hope you join me!


Tune In


Social Media Links

Instagram: @LysaTerkeurst


Facebook: @OfficialLysa




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