~Mary Crocker Cook~



Addiction Counselor Codependency

by Mary Crocker Cook, D.Min, LMFT, LAADC, CADCII

Time to put the oxygen mask on!

I have spent more than 25 years training chemical dependency counselors and they are my favorite people. For the most part, they’re either in personal addiction recovery or they are family members who have been touched by the chaos of addiction. The very passion that brings us to this work is the potential foundation for burnout and relapse if those issues are not identified and addressed throughout a counselor’s career.

I plan to address codependency from early attachment disruption perspective, which results in both codependent behaviors as well as immune system damage. When I see counselors relapse or abruptly leave a career they trained to enter I always wonder about the triggers they faced that they couldn’t manage without imploding. Our clients and co-workers can put their finger on our unhealed wounds on a regular basis due to our ability to identify with them. In fact, our identification is a mixed blessing. I can draw compassion from my ability to identify. I can also step into my own blind spots and reactivity that may go unchecked without proper support and awareness.

Working with a cognitively impaired, emotionally reactive and defensive population with profound trust issues is a challenge that only people with a calling will enter and remain. This book addresses the challenges and offers tools to help talented counselors remain in the addiction counseling profession. We need you.

78 pages, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-61170-225-5
Published by: Robertson Publishing (RP)
Purchase "Leaking" from Ingram Books or from any of the following links:

Leaking ~ Table of Contents

Into Solution

Daily Support
for Recovery Treatment Center Staff

by Mary Crocker Cook, D.Min, LMFT, LAADC, CADCII

Into Solution is a daily support
written by a chemical dependency counselor
for recovery treatment center staff

Mary Crocker Cook brings 25 years of addiction treatment experience to offer quotes and commentary addressing a range of topics including:

  • Self-Acceptance
  • Perspective
  • Compassion
  • Patience
  • Resentment
  • Clinical Alliance
  • Wounded healers
  • Loving the Unlovable
  • Resilience
  • Courage

Insightful quotes are drawn from individuals ranging from Steve Jobs to Virginia Satir to Ghand and commentary linking these valuable insights to our work as counselors is provided by Mary Crocker Cook. This book of daily reflections is destined to become a recovery classic!

Into Solution
380 pages, 5" x 8"
ISBN: 978-1-61170-201-9
Published by: Robertson Publishing (RP)
Purchase "Into Solution" from Ingram Books or from any of the following links:

From Into Solutioin~ Copyright Material

"This mediation journal is a labor of love. It is designed for personal use, counselor support groups, as well as counselor training.

I have spent 25 years working in the addiction field and educating addiction counselors. As much as I love the recovering addict, I love their counselors even more. Then again, they’re usually the same people!" ~ Mary Crocker Cook

January 1 January 2

The Work Goes On

Another week in the life of a substance abuse coordinator

by Mary Crocker Cook, LMFT, LAADC, CADCII

Learn more about
what really happens in rehab!

The Work Goes On follows up Welcome to My World! and offers another peek into substance abuse counseling as we continue to follow Janet and her team through their week. Meet another set of clients who challenge the team as they struggle to assist clients to make sense of their addiction through counseling groups and personal counseling.

As you follow this warm and talented staff, and you will find yourself rooting for them AND their clients as they take on this challenging and deadly disease.

Ricardo has a new life change, we learn the back stories for Keisha and Jorge, and the Clinical Director continues to offer his ham-handed advice! The week roles out with the same silliness and poignancy that the first week offered. Join us!

This book is a “must read” for:

  • People considering entering the addiction field as a counselor
  • Family members of those in addiction treatment
  • Current substance abuse treatment staff who will recognize and laugh at themselves, as well as pick up some great psychoeducation material

Over the course of a rapidly unfolding week of treatment, readers will participate in women’s groups, clinical staffing, community groups, psychoeducation groups, family groups, and individual and family counseling sessions.

The Sequel to "Welcome to My World!"The Work Goes On
150 pages, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-61170-197-5
Published by: Robertson Publishing (RP)

Purchase "The Work Goes On" from Ingram Books or from any of the following links:

From The Work Goes On~ Copyright Material


Janet’s voice is muffled by the pillow, “I don’t understand what you’re asking me.”
Her therapist thinks a moment. “What’s the payoff for hanging on?”
Janet peeks an eye up through the pillow fringe, “You want to know what’s in it for me to stay stuck – to stay dead inside.”
The room is quiet.
Janet covers her chest with the pillow as she sits up. “I’m afraid – what if this happens again? I don’t think I could do this again… there are so many bimbos in the world. I can’t compete.” Janet says with tears in her eyes.
“What if you didn’t have to? What if you choose someone who would never compare you? Would feel blessed to have you?”
“I can’t picture that.”
“I wonder if you’re willing to HANDLE that?” her therapist challenges.
Janet just stared at her, and the start of a grin flitted across her face.
“So maybe I’m using David’s abandonment as an excuse – I chose someone emotionally unavailable so I never had to fully ante up?”
“It’s something to think about,” her therapist mulls aloud.


Janet, the lead counselor, continues to struggle with the loss of her long-time partner who dumped her for a bimbo. Even several years later Janet continues to be weighed down by a deadness inside. “She may be right,” Janet ponders as she heads to work. “Thank God I can go do something useful with my cowardly ass,” she thinks as she pulls into the treatment center.

As she enters the office she sees Keisha shepherding the clients into breakfast, and dragging the dawdlers out of bed so they’ll be on time for morning Mindfulness. Janet watches her from the doorway, and is struck by Keisha’s bearing. “She’s so graceful,” she thinks. “She carries herself with such dignity, such a quiet presence. No wonder the clients respond so well to her, even when she pushes them to follow the structure they fight.” Janet waves to her and receives a glowing smile.

Her clients have spotted her arrival, and begin to cluster around her desk. She pokes her head through the group to greet Ricardo who is managing his own client line up. “Morning Bubba!” she grins. “Mamacita!” he nods.

Jason is first up, anxious about the letter he will need for court next week. Janet reassures him that there is plenty of time and that he will have what he needs. One of the challenges of working in residential treatment is the chronic presence of poor impulse control. So many of the clients display the arrested development of early alcohol and drug use and so function in the moment. The executive functions of long term planning, impulse control and organization are often impaired in early recovery and there’s an urgency to their thoughts and needs that one would normally see in an adolescent...

The Author:Mary Crocker Cook

Mary Crocker Cook, D.Min., LMFT, LAADC, CADCII has over 20 years experience providing counseling to addicts and their families through Connections Counseling Associates in San Jose, California. She has a doctorate in Interfaith Ministry, and is a certified Alcohol and Drug counselor. She is the developer and coordinator of the San Jose City College Alcohol and Drug Studies Program and is an adjunct instructor with JFK University.

For more information about Mary’s counseling services or presentation topics visit: www.marycrockercook.com

Feel free to contact her:

    Mary Crocker Cook
    1710 Hamilton Ave. #8
    San Jose, CA 95125.
    Phone: (408) 448-0333
    Email: marycook@connectionscounselingassociates.com


Don't Leave !!!!

Codependency and Attachment

by Mary Crocker Cook, D.Min, LMFT, LAADC, CADCII


Don't Leave was written as a “lay-person” version of Awakening Hope. A Developmental, Behavioral, Biological Approach to Codependence. Awakening Hope is used as a textbook in Alcohol and Drug programs in the United States. This is the “fun” version, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. —Mary Crocker Cook

60 pages, 8.5" x 8.5"
ISBN: 978-1-61170-187-6
Published by: Robertson Publishing (RP)

Don't Leave !!!
Purchase "Don't Leave" from Ingram Books or from any of the following links:
page 3page 4


Welcome To My World!

A week in the life of a substance abuse coordinator

by Mary Crocker Cook, LMFT, LAADC, CADCII

Have you ever wondered what really happens in rehab??

Welcome to My World was written by psychotherapist and chemical dependency counselor, Mary Crocker Cook, to answer the question, “What really happens in rehab?” from a counselor’s perspective. A veteran of multiple substance abuse program staffs, Mary Crocker Cook has created an engaging and realistic cast of characters; a composite of chemical dependency counselors she has respected and loved over the years. While quirky and challenged by their own issues, the clinical work and interventions reveal a solid and realistic approach to addiction treatment that is both ethical and effective.

This book is a “must read” for:

  • People considering entering the addiction field as a counselor
  • Family members of those in addiction treatment
  • Current substance abuse treatment staff who will recognize and laugh at themselves, as well as pick up some great psychoeducation material

Over the course of a rapidly unfolding week of treatment, readers will participate in women’s groups, clinical staffing, community groups, psychoeducation groups, family groups, and individual and family counseling sessions.

This is the first of two novels that follow this warm and talented staff, and you will find yourself rooting for them AND their clients as they take on this challenging and deadly disease.

Welcome To My World
146 pages, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-61170-169-2
Published by: Robertson Publishing (RP)

Welcome to My World is a product of my imagination and in no way depicts specific counselors and staff from my treatment center experience. The characters are a composite, and I suspect will be familiar to those who share my love of treatment and alcohol and drug counselors.

I have provided a weekly schedule for readers who may be unfamiliar with the day-to-day structure of treatment. As you are reading you might be struck by the pace of the day, and I assure you this pace is very real! I have also illustrated specific groups that take place during the week to provide a window into the treatment world. — Mary Crocker Cook

Purchase "Welcome To My World" from Ingram Books or from any of the following links:

From Welcome To My World~ Copyright Material


Janet leans forward, resisting her instinct to brush Matt’s hair out of his eyes, and says, “I know you think you have a handle on this. And I am afraid for you, because guys like you die if you don’t let us help you.”

Matt is quiet a moment, gives her a reassuring smile, and says, “You don’t need to worry. I love my family and I would never let that happen.”

Two months later Janet receives notice that Matt died of alcohol poisoning. She sighs, then goes to the door to meet the next client.


As Janet, the lead CD counselor, enters her office on Monday she checks the weekend log notes for any issues left over from family group or incidents between residents that need follow-up. She notices there is a note about the new admit, Karen, on Sunday. The staff log is the written record of day to day activities that each shift uses to communicate with each other. They report comings and goings, drops offs, new admissions, client incidence reports, client consequences, and left over tasks to be completed from the previous shifts. The log is a key document and the focus of a lot of client speculation, because clients count on poor communication between staff in order to run game and manipulate the system.

When she feels caught up, Janet listens to her voice mail and picks up a message from her primary counselor, Ricardo, who is calling in late with his usual ‘Jerry Springer’ drama. This leaves his clients hovering around her desk, vying for attention with her own caseload. She stuffs down her resentment with a donut as she signs Andrew’s medical pass and makes a quick phone call to Karen’s probation officer. She notices the clock ticking quickly toward Women’s group, and hears the impatient footsteps of the Clinical Director who has arrived early to cover Men’s group in Ricardo’s absence.

Women’s Group
Janet looks around the circle during the women’s group and notices Karen, the new group member. As she introduces herself, she sees the tension in Amanda’s torso as Amanda bends forward slightly and wraps her arms protectively across her abdomen.

“Amanda, you seem to be having a hard time,” Janet notices.

Amanda appears to have trouble catching her breath, and the tears begin to slide down her face as she slowly begins to rock. Fighting the urge to hug Amanda (which would interrupt her) Janet gently coaxes, “Amanda, honey. How can we help you?”

Through a curtain of hair Amanda cries, “My mom called and my CPS worker has denied my reunification because I needs to be clean from meth longer before I can get Joey back.”

Janet knows Amanda has put all of her hopes in this decision, and this is a crucial point in Amanda’s recovery. Janet can feel the rustle of the other addicted mothers in the room as they resonate with Amanda’s grief and disappointment.

Josie, next in the circle, puts her arm around Amanda, who leans in to cry on her shoulder. This is especially powerful because Josie lost her 3 children to a custody battle 15 years ago and has drowned her grief in drugs and alcohol ever since. Amanda’s mother died when she was very young, and she was raised by a resentful grandmother and distant father. Amanda desperately needs nurturing, and Josie’s ability to care for the younger woman is balm for her grieving soul. Josie is able to provide the soothing that Janet’s professional role does not allow, even though Janet knows this is what the young woman needs most right now.

The other women gently take turns sharing their experience with Amanda, encouraging her that being clean and sober will eventually restore her family. “It just seems so slow, and feels so hard to have supervised visits and to have to leave him when he’s crying for me!” she says against Josie’s shoulder.

“And the worst part...” Amanda sputters though her tears, “it’s my fault Joey’s sad! Sometimes I wish I could use again just for a while so I can forget the sad look on his face when I leave.”

The women around her nod in recognition of this feeling. Janet points out, “People, like the women in the program, can also be part of the solution, Amanda. You don’t have to handle this pain all by yourself, even though you always have. You can take a chance and trust us to support you, just like you are trusting Josie right now.”

Amanda begins to sit up and stops rocking. Josie has snot all over her shirt from Amanda’s sobs, and doesn’t notice and doesn’t care. It will dry. For the moment, the crisis has been averted by the kindness of the other women. This is why chemical dependency counseling is so often a group process—it is powerful medicine.


Codependency & Men

Where Early Attachment, Gender Role,
and Adrenal Fatigue Meet

by Mary Crocker Cook, D.Min., LMFT, LAADC, CADCII

Is Codependency Different for Men?

Codependency & Men was written out of curiosity.

  • “Is Codependency experienced differently by men?”
  • “What role does gender play in the way Codependency ‘looks’ for men?”
  • “Should Codependency treatment be different for men?”

I have treated Codependent men for over two decades. The men in my practice have difficulty resonating with the term “codependency,” frequently as a result of the largely female-oriented terminology used to describe it. This led me to wonder if gender role created a resistance to recognition of their condition.

In addition to the early attachment issues that set up relationship challenges, there is the powerful impact of chronic stress on the adrenal system. Again, gender role and gender role stress play a role in a man’s self-care and self-abandonment patterns. Detachment from his physical and emotional self can cost him his health and ultimately his life.

Codependency & Men utilizes stories, self-evaluation tools and practical strategies to interrupt and heal patterns that have derailed many men’s relationships and recovery attempts for years. Here, at last, is a comprehensive understanding of Codependency specifically for men.


Codependency & Men

124 pages, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-61170-147-0

Published by: Robertson Publishing (RP)

Purchase "Codependency & Men" from Ingram Books or from any of the following links:

Table of Contents from Codependency & Men

Afraid to Let Go

For Parents of Adult Addicts
and Alcoholics

by Mary Crocker Cook, D.Min., LMFT, CADCII

You are not Codependent simply because your adult child is an addict or alcoholic.

All parents of addicted children of any age or terrified, confused, feel out of control, lose sleep, dread the phone calls at 3:00 in the morning.

This book is for parents who are Afraid to Let Go because they do not know how to set boundaries with their adult children without feeling crippling anxiety, or walling themselves off to make separation possible.

You can’t “let go.” You can’t “detach with love.” You can’t let them “hit bottom.” You can’t seem to implement the strategies you have learned when you are faced with your adult child’s chaos and anxiety. When you try to do this, it makes you physically and emotionally ill, and the anxiety and fear becomes unbearable.

If you are struggling with Codependency, your relationship with your child is not be the only relationship where you experience a loss of self, over-reactivity, adrenalin rushes when you feel “out of control,” or behave intrusively or impulsively to “help” in situations even when your assistance has not been requested. If you are Codependent, this is not the first relationship in which you have “over-given” and then felt resentful, or sacrificed yourself to give someone what you decided they “needed” because if you don’t, “who will”?

Afraid to Let Go explores the developmental origins of Codependency that lead to painful behavioral reactivity in response to our addicted adult children. Afraid to Let Go then connects the chronic stress of the chaos of addiction with adrenal system damage, and points you toward concrete behavioral changes you can make to heal regardless of the sobriety of your adult child.

Afraid to Let Go

190 pages, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-61170-092-3

Published by: Robertson Publishing (RP)

Purchase "Afraid to Let Go" from Ingram Books or from any of the following links:

5 starsA Must Read, by Mark
Let me start by saying I do not like self help books. This book is the one book I have recommended highly through my ordeal with a drug dependent child. I pray that every parent that reads this book has a positive outcome. We all wait and pray that our children have learned the lessons we have taught them. Thank you for the piece of mind that it was not my fault that my children have addictions. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves someone struggling with addiction. It is a heart and eye opener that can not only help save your loved ones life... but yours as well. Get this book.

5 starsLoved this book!, by SS
I will be referring back to this book many times, I'm sure! This book taught me a lot about myself and gave me some great tools to keep myself healthy and create better boundaries within my family, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone that is dealing with an addict of any kind.


Note to Parents

Awakening Hope
(Revised 2012)

A Developmental, Behavioral, Biological Approach to Codependency Treatment

by Mary Crocker Cook, D.Min., LMFT, CADCII

New Evolution in Codependency Treatment

Mary’s revised edition of Awakening Hope. A Developmental, Behavioral, Biological Approach to Codependency Treatment (2012) offers a three-pronged solution to a serious disorder traditionally viewed from one perspective (behavioral). Awakening Hope is the result of a devastating relationship loss by the author, Mary Crocker Cook, who relates her experience with a candor and humor unusual for a therapist. Supported by solid research, Awakening Hope presents a comprehensive model that includes:

  • An in-depth examination of the early attachment disruptions which lay the foundation for adult codependency
  • The anxious and avoidant relationship behaviors we develop due to lack of trust
  • The link between early attachment disruption and adrenal/immune system damage
  • Strong, clear treatment guidelines for codependents and their treating clinicians

This text includes additional vignettes illustrating key concepts as well as new insights from Mary’s personal recovery. From basic theory to unflinching reality, Awakening Hope is that rare balanced blend of digestible information for those of us who want to know “why,” and practical strategies for those who simply want to stop crying.

Awakening Hope
Revised Edition
230 pages, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-61170-031-2

Published by: Robertson Publishing (RP)

Wow, what a powerful book! Based on her own personal experiences of learning and healing, Mary offers all of us this opportunity.  Be prepared – this is a textbook with serious research balanced by fascinating real stories and practical applications. Well done!

—Rosemary Tisch, M.Ed.
Director Prevention Partnership International


Awakening Hope is both academically sound and incredibly readable. Mary has translated key developmental theory into easily understandable and applied language. It is a vital resource for counselors treating this painful and potential deadly disorder.

—Debbie Miranda, CADCII, LAADAC
Director, Parisi House on the HillProgram

Purchase "Awakening Hope"from Ingram Books or any of the following links:
Kindle edition also available
Nook edition

5 starsEasy to understand and apply ~ V. Ballantyne
This book is a brilliant explanation of attachment disorders and quite an easy read if you're interested in human behavior and have some background in psychology or codependency issues. I will read this book again and again to practice recognizing signs in myself and to create long term awareness for myself. This book also helps you to understand others as well...

5 starsHighly recommended! ~ AM
I have found this book to be very informative and useful. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to improve their understanding of inner self and those around them.

4 starsAwakening Hope ~ Dale Lindseth
Mary Cook, in Awakening Hope, explores the roots of Codependency. She defines Codependency as a set of behaviors developed to manage the anxiety that comes when our primary attachments are formed with people who are inconsistent or unavailable in their response to us. Cook does an excellent job of bringing out the numerous facets of Codependency in a concise and direct manner. A few common examples of this include addictive attachments, fear of intimacy, and compulsive self-reliance.

I believe that both psychology and authentic spiritual practice are integral to the healthy development of a secure relationship both with others and the external world. I find it extremely interesting that the field of psychology supports the idea of keeping the ego in place while building a healthy image of self or perhaps, knowing the self, or avoiding a false sense of self. This contrasts with eastern and western thought, both of which preach the giving up of the self, or "ego transcendence." Mary sticks with the psychological perspective; however she successfully skirts the conundrum in her discussion of the well-adjusted adolescent. Here, the adolescent has balanced both perspectives of "What have I got?" and "What am I going to do with it?" and has thus established his or her identity. In this example, the adolescent is no longer searching or becoming, but is content with just being. In this sense, he or she has transcended the individual self, or ego.

All Codependency is rooted in the ego. For this reason, the diminishment of ego identity through authentic spiritual practice is essential in developing secure attachments. On the other hand, the study of psychology is equally essential in understanding the many facets of Codependency. Cook strikes a good balance by offering the spiritual path as a ready and available alternative for the treatment of Codependency.

Cook defines Codependency is a chronic stress disease, which can devastate our immune system and lead to systemic and even life-threatening illness. Chapter 12, Stress and the Adrenal Glands, treats this subject admirably and concisely, while stressing the importance of taking steps to reduce stress. This includes moderate exercise, taking time for yourself, and getting sufficient rest.

4 starsAwakening Hope, ~ Diana Reed
By Mary Crocker Cook, licensed therapist and public speaker.  In the prologue, Cook explains her particular interest in codependency. She briefly tells the story of her personal experience as a codependent, which she refers back to throughout the book. Her purpose for writing this book is her determination to not only fill in the blanks that counselors have missed in attempting to treat codependency, but to also give guidance to codependency sufferers.
      Awakening Hope is divided into four parts; in its first two parts, Cook breaks down the psychological aspects of codependency, particularly Attachment Theory and codependency symptoms. Cook devotes the entirety of part three to describing the physical consequences of codependency, largely ignored by counselors, and to explaining their connection to what goes on in the mind.
       In Part Four, the book comes full circle and ends with the treatment of codependency. Just as Cook discussed the individual symptoms in previous chapters, she returns to this outline and provides methods for recovery. These methods guide the codependent away from the self-destructive patterns in their relationships and give the sufferer a basis for forming healthy relationships. Cook also discusses the treatment of codependency--how it has changed, what has worked, and how codependency should be approached both clinically and by the sufferer.
       Through this book, Cook seeks to educate and speak both to the codependent and to the therapist, and she balances this well. Cook relates her own experience and observations, as well as case studies, and matches it with her extensive research of the topic. In her book, Cook proclaims her wish to redefine codependency, and puts herself well on the road to doing so. While it may seem her target audience is mainly other professionals, her sights are set largely on codependency sufferers and giving them the knowledge and guidance to take control of their lives and their recovery.

Table of Contents from Awakening Hope


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