I was introduced to Dr. Alison Cook not through her book first, but the social media content she was sharing online. If you have not, you need to go check out her Instagram as she is constantly sharing counseling wisdom that integrates Christian faith into it with nuggets of Instagram images. So naturally I needed to read her book Boundaries for Your Soul.
I will say up front that my clinical counseling modality is not the same as hers. Alison makes it quickly known that she subscribes to Internal Family Systems (IFS) which she explains the model well along with how she integrates faith. In contrast, I myself am an Integrationalist therapist that primarily sit with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Solution Focused Therapy, but very much Trauma Informed, Systems therapy informed, and Client-Centered Informed. Because of these differences, I’m not going to speak on the the actual treatment modality with regards for Christian counselors or for pastors how may or may not agree with different parts of IFS theologically.
Healing The Whole Self
Alison does a great job of discussing how one can integrate faith into their counseling. Of all of the counseling models, Christian counselors most easily could do so with IFS whereas many other counseling models struggle with identifying is it primarily about counseling or faith but struggling to fully integrate.
The goal is not to eradicate parts of your soul carrying anger, fear, sadness, envy, or shame, but to lead them with curiosity and compassion.
My biggest inspiration in this book as a counselor, Jesus can heal our cognitive and emotional wounds. We see it in Scriptures beyond the physical wounds healed and we need to invite Jesus to our whole selves, not just the Sunday church practices. I think many times we see Jesus as the Savior but forget the Redeemer and Healer or simply do not offer that part of ourselves to him because of shame and pain.
Many books talk about the faith and counseling, but fail to address how to integrate the two, Alison does not miss this. With that, we give it a 4 out of 5 and highly encourage you to check it out now.
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