Dr. Alison Cook

The Best of You

Craft and Character | 052 | Dr. Alison Cook


In Christian circles, thinking about yourself is often labeled selfish. Psychologist and theologian Dr. Alison Cook pushes back on this assumption, explaining why caring for yourself is actually the best way to care for others. It’s the oxygen mask principle you always see in airplane safety videos: put on your own mask so you can assist those around you. 

With jolting clarity, Dr. Cook debunks the narratives we use to justify self-neglect: 

  • We tell ourselves it’s all about them, but actually we just want to be needed.
  • We tell ourselves we’re being sacrificial, but actually we lack healthy boundaries.
  • We tell ourselves they are the problem, but actually we’ve trained them to be codependent.
  • We tell ourselves we must solve every issue, but sometimes it’s ok to walk away.

Many of us want to care for ourselves, but years of bad habits have atrophied our self-awareness and self-care. Dr. Cook offers a simple yet profound model called “the MEPS,” which involves taking a regular inventory of your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual condition.

This episode is a must-listen for every pastor, spouse, parent, friendevery human!

Episode Links

Dr. Cook’s new book: The Best Of You

Other books: Boundaries For Your Soul

Dr. Alison’s website


Who Is Dr. Alison Cook?

Dr. Alison Cook is a psychologist, podcast host, and the author of two books, including her new book, The Best of You (Thomas Nelson 2022) and Boundaries for Your Soul (Thomas Nelson, 2018). For 20 years, Alison has helped women, ministry leaders, couples, and families learn how to heal painful emotions, develop confidence from the inside out, forge healthy relationships, and fully live out their God-given potential.


“The path forward is to become your true self. Become the self God made you to become. That’s what heaven will be like.” 

“Any relationship includes two people… and you are one of those people.”

“Codependency is a betrayal of self.”

“The opposite of codependency isn’t rugged individualism; it’s healthy dependence.”

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About the Host

Steve Carter is a renowned pastor, speaker, author, and the former lead teaching pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago.

As host, Steve sits down with ministry leaders to talk about the art of mastering communication while growing in personal character.

Steve Carter

Your Host

Steve Carter

Craft & Character
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