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Boundaries for Your Soul: How to Turn Your Overwhelming Thoughts and Feelings into Your Greatest Allies

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Do your emotions control you or do you control your emotions? Many people let guilt, anger, or self-criticism dominate their lives and negatively affect their relationships. Boundaries for Your Soul shows you how to calm the chaos within. This groundbreaking approach will help you:

know what to do when you feel overwhelmed,understand your guilt, anxiety, sadness, and fear,w
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Thomas Nelson
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is an ideal fusion of psychology and spirituality with a firm foundation in research. There are 1000s of self-help books out there, but this packs a powerful punch. By empowering their readers to strengthen their habits of mindful self-awareness with their Christian faith, they are providing a desperately needed model for inner peace and contentment in contentious times. The first few chapters lay the spiritual framework and background, then they introduce the internal family systems ( ...more
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I have read many books on external boundaries and found them very beneficial. I was intrigued by the idea of establishing internal boundaries. It might offer help for runaway thoughts and feelings.

The authors present a Christian approach to the Internal Family Systems Model of Therapy, integrating it with boundaries concepts. The first third of the book concentrates of helping us understand the parts of our souls, how to identify the parts that need care, and how we can be Spirit-led. The author
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cook and Miller offer a new, evidence-based approach to caring for your soul. The authors skillfully blend the popular Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy with familiar “boundaries” principles to show readers a new way to manage internal thoughts and feelings. The result is a groundbreaking, proven-effective model for pursuing personal potential, improving mental and emotional health, growing spiritually, and enriching relationships. There’s not another book like it!
Anne Tucker
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend "Boundaries for Your Soul..." This book, aimed at Christians, encourages a deep level of self--or soul--awareness as a means to better fulfilling the two greatest commandments--love the Lord your God with all your your neighbor as yourself. Internal Family Systems (IFS) counseling (within the context of Christianity) is central to the book and its recommended practices. The book assumes that we are comprised of a mixed cast of internal "characters," and depending ...more
Create With Joy
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Many of us are familiar with the work of Henry Cloud and John Townsend, who taught us the principles of establishing healthy boundaries with others. Boundaries For Your Soul takes that concept one step further, becoming the first book to focus entirely on applying the concept of boundaries to our internal thoughts and feelings.

Cook and Miller’s approach is ground-breaking. By integrating Cloud and Townsend’s boundaries concepts with a therapeutic model called the Internal Family Systems model an
Rachel A.  Dawson
This one is relatable and helpful, wise and gentle, convicting and calming, and a great tool for all (especially geared toward Christians) who don’t want to be controlled by their emotions. It’s a helpful companion for anyone on a journey toward personal growth, healing, and freedom (and echoed many things my counselor and I have been working on in my therapy sessions). I found it honest and not overbearing, purposeful but not overly preachy, and challenging but not condescending.
Prairie Sky Book Reviews
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading a book that, upon completion, I promptly added to my personal list of most influential non-fiction books. “Boundaries for Your Soul: How to Turn Your Overwhelming Thoughts and Feelings into Your Greatest Allies” was published by Thomas Nelson and written by Alison Cook, PhD, and Kimberly Miller, MTh, LMFT. This book takes the complicated question of “Do your emotions control you or do you control your emotions?” and breaks it down into understandable, do-able, and ultimat ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller's Boundaries for Your Soul: How to Turn Overwhelming Thoughts and Feelings into Your Greatest Allies is an excellent blend of psychology and Christian faith that brings rich insight into the problems that most plague genuine Christian living: Things like anger, fear and shame. Here, practitioners who has assisted countless others in walking through their own lives and dealing with that negativity present a spiritually-healthy perspective that Christians -- particu ...more
Aurelia Mast-glick
How to turn your overwhelming thoughts and feelings into your greatest allies.

I want to preface this whole book review by saying I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist or a counselor or even that great of a listener, though I'm trying to learn to be a listener, so I am not necessarily a good one to comment on some of the aspects of this book. So just keep that in mind as you read my thoughts.

I am a little divided about this book. Some of it seemed strangely weird to me and some of it made sen
André Gorgenyi
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A thoughtful journey of self reflection and learning how to be more intentional on placing Christ at the center of all we do. The distinction of our inner and outer life is a concrete way of overcoming obstacles by turning boundaries into assets. Enjoyed the read.
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Summary: A therapeutic approach to dealing with overwhelming emotions through a process of understanding them as parts of oneself, allowing one's Spirit-led self to befriend and care for these parts, and integrating the parts as a "team of rivals" within one's life.

Some feelings are so powerful that they overwhelm us--anger, fear and anxiety, sadness, envy, shame, and guilt. These unruly emotions break the boundaries that enable us to function in a healthy and productive way. How do we control t
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy.

A great faith based self help book that explores as well as explains to the reader in easy to understand moments. Each section can be read in a short amount of time but you will continue to want to think more about them for a good part of the day. I feel like sometimes for me, if I read too much information it tends to flow through my mind and then I seem to forget most of it, so if you are like me, possibly take more time to really delve into the parts where the
katherine mccray
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread
Wonderful breakdown of the IFS system. I love the process being simplified and layed out step by step. So helpful! Lots of stories to help you catch the feel of the process.

I get it that taking to yourself in "parts" can feel weird. But when you've had them around for such a long time, you might as well make peace with them. 😃 This method helps if you have a good imagination or are visual. I LOVE this method and will be practicing it regularly. I've already found it helpful in diffusing several
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It has been said a villain is a hero whose story has yet to be written. In Boundaries for Your Soul, Cook & Miller ask readers to consider a spiritual parallel—what if emotions like anger, envy, and shame could be redeemed? What if, rather than remain destructive enemies of the soul, unwanted thoughts and feelings could be transformed into some of our most valiant allies? But, how?

Jesus promised to send a Helper who would dwell in us, teaching and reminding us of the truth of God. Sin wreaks cha
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
You can turn your shame to joy, your anger to advocacy, and your inner critic into your biggest champion. Do your emotions control you or do you control your emotions? Many people let guilt, anger, or self-criticism dominate their lives and negatively affect their relationships. Boundaries for Your Soul shows you how to calm the chaos within. This groundbreaking approach will help you: know what to do when you feel overwhelmed, understand your guilt, anxiety, sadness, and fear, welcome God into ...more
Justin Sundberg
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Like the best herbal tea, this book enlivens body and soul and rights your disposition. Hurrah! What most stands out to me is its accessibility. It's so well written and so coherent. Invariably I’m unable to take in most sermons and many books because they have too much going on. This book stays on focus and circles back time and again so that the reader can really understand. It’s concrete. And it’s vulnerable. All of what is shared is given extra weight because the authors tell their own perso ...more
Kimberly Miller
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Alison is an amazing co-author! She writes wonderful personal stories in this book!
Lovely Loveday
Boundaries for Your Soul is an insightful read that is full of scripture and reflection. This self-help book is aimed at empowering readers to strengthen their habits of self-awareness and focus on their Christian faith. A step by step guide to help you live your life with God being the center. A great self-help book that is sure to open your eyes and heart to find better peace with God.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a social worker and someone who is in ministry, this book is awesome! Boundaries for Your Soul is very helpful, practical and great for interpersonal relationships. This book will help you create healthy boundaries with the external world, so you have healthy boundaries within your internal personal life. I love how this book takes the shift on focusing on our internal world for our overall mental, spiritual and emotional health. This book is not just about the internal dialogue, but finding ...more
C.J. Darlington
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not a book to be read quickly, this one would make a great companion to "Boundaries" by Henry Cloud. It delves into the inner work that's needed and necessary in our boundary work, all from a healing, loving Christian perspective. There are many psychology books out there. We need more like this which tackle the difficult subjects through the lens of faith and the knowledge that God loves us, even those hurting parts. Especially the hurting parts.
Becca-Rae Weidel
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it
While I didn't dislike this book, I am also unsure of how I really felt about it. One review I read stated "I am a little divided about this book. Some of it seemed strangely weird to me and some of it made sense. And some of those things were the same things. I think I could come across here as being very confused and there would be some truth there as well." That pretty much sums up my sentiments as well.
The most confusing aspect of the book for me was the concept of "befriending" the parts o
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Using their education, biblical studies, and clinical practice, Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller share how to calm the internal chaos of guilt, anger, and self-criticism. And from there, welcome God into the troubling parts of our souls and move to a place of confidence and peace. They do this through relatable anecdotes, helpful exercises, an engaging quiz, and opportunities for personal reflection.

I picked up this book because I loved Dr. John Townsend's Boundaries. This book takes the concept
Rachel (Words With Rach)
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Do negative emotions like anger or anxiety define and overwhelm you? If so, BOUNDARIES FOR YOUR SOUL teaches you how to create lasting change so those emotions no longer control you.

When I first read that the author utilizes the Internal Family Systems Theory to overcome emotions, I braced myself for something similar to my old college textbooks. However, after reading further, I was pleasantly surprised. This book provides all of the useful information you may find in a college textbook but on
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book for review I “Boundaries For Your Soul” by Alison Cook,PhD and Kimberly Miller, MTh, LMFT. This fall in the genre of religion, Christian life and personal growth.

Does your emotions control you, your life and those around you? A lot of us let guilt, anger, doubt and criticizing ourself that it is all we do and all we know how to do. But we don’t have give up hope in fact we can handle these emotions. This novel shows you how to handle the chaos. It will help you learn to overcome, unders
Oct 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
The healing technique in this book was discredited years ago under the name Theophostics. This book uses a modification of Internal Family Systems therapy, which I use every day to great effect, but it can not be Christianized as the book authors are promoting. The book itself has all the trappings of a successful read, but the “therapy” it teaches has done great damage to numerous people I know. Richard Schwartz’s endorsement of the book is telling. He is thrilled that the authors are “interpre ...more
Hi. I was not sure what to give this book in terms of stars. There is much in it that I found very helpful around the idea of having healthy internal boundaries not just external ones. Plus to befriend and integrate into our lives different emotions.
But at the same time, there was some unease in me with the method being advocated ie a Christianized version of Internal Family Systems Therapy. I have read around about IFS and among other things there seems to be not much emprirical evidence at pre
Heath Salzman
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, counselling
This is an important book for Christian therapists. The authors are able to take the principles of Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy and apply them in a Christian worldview. The authors have a good understanding of the IFS model and they lay a good foundation for any reader seeking to delve into this system of therapy.

That said, the book is not particularly well-written and feels tedious at times. I had to stick with it, but was ultimately rewarded for doing so. Also, the theological exposi
Mandi Ehman
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book, but I am apparently lacking in the "spirit-led imagination" part because it felt a bit Marie Kondo-ish to me. I can't really imagine "sitting down with my feelings" and "asking them for permission to continue" (and then waiting for them to respond in the affirmative) in the way the authors describe.

That said, I do appreciate their descriptions of feelings as managers, firefighters & exiles and the importance of boundaries for your feelings—holding them not too close
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am going to need a lot of time to sit with this book. I probably will need to reread it at least one more time to really grab it the way I want.
My whole life I have had huge feelings. And no one around me has really known how to handle me or help me with them. I genuinely thought I was crazy or broken.
I am so glad that I have some kind of tool, or script, to help me self manage. I love that the authors pulled from my favorite neuroscientists, psychologists and counselors that have such a grea
Victoria Duffoo
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I started seeing a counselor about a month ago and she recommended this book. Reading it was strange and uncommon to me. It's because I'm learning to recognize the different parts of my heart. Overall, well written.

The biggest takeaway I can think of now is - recognizing that emotions are part of God's design in me. There is an "internal family" that wants to be heard, understood, and properly put to work. Learning to navigate this will also help me to be more of a peacemaker and less of a react
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17 likes · 3 comments
“Burdens of shame do not define you. Whereas these lies say you are unimportant, God says you are decidedly well-known and deeply loved. And you can be real because you are his. You are the light of the world—and shame has no place in the light.” 0 likes
“In other words, when you care for your soul, you are reprogramming—or reforming—the contours of your internal life.” 0 likes
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