In The Cuckoo Syndrome, Andrea Anderson Polk, a licensed professional counselor, helps us fend off the cuckoos—unhealthy relationships, toxic thinking, and self-sabotaging behavior—in order to find our identity in God and discover new purpose, vision, and meaning in our lives.
We know the cuckoo bird as a colorful wooden figurine that pops out of a clock and chirps the hours of the day to the delight of children and adults alike. In reality, the cuckoo bird is a parasite—invading the nest of other birds, destroying the eggs already present, and fooling the family into raising an ever-demanding, never-satisfied cuckoo chick.
Polk, a licensed professional counselor, compares cuckoo birds—nature’s infamous imposter—to the human experience, situations, and relationships demonstrating haunting confusion and unnecessary suffering. Cuckoos can invisibly sabotage our most intimate relationships, our ministries, and our careers—our deepest desires.
In The Cuckoo Syndrome, Polk gives us new insight and ways to fend off these cuckoos that invade our “nests” with their devious disguises. Cuckoos can take many forms. There is the cuckoo of avoiding emotion, the fear cuckoo, the stress cuckoo, the shame cuckoo, the unresolved grief cuckoo, the perfectionism cuckoo, the counselor cuckoo, and probably the most insidious cuckoo of all: the religion cuckoo.
Drawing from a depth of study in scripture, science, and psychology, Polk breaks us free from the cuckoo’s snare by teaching us to embrace the desires of our heart as we uncover the truth of who we are, who others are, and who God is. We can learn to establish great joy in our identity by committing ourselves to discover meaning in suffering and understanding how our pain is the genuine catalyst for purpose.
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About the Author
She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, is Nationally Board Certified, and has served as president and vice president of the Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors (NVLPC). She is a registered supervisor for the Virginia Board of Counseling, where she works with counseling candidates pursuing their professional licenses. Additionally, Andrea holds a ministerial diploma and has a deep understanding of theology.
More than a decade ago, Andrea started a private practice, Andrea Anderson LPC, LLC & Associates, counseling individuals and couples. It was her clients who encouraged her to bring her thoughts about the cuckoo bird syndrome into print because of the difference it has made in their lives.
Andrea lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and best friend, Dan.
Visit Andrea online at andreaandersonpolk.com and connect with her on Facebook @AndreaAndersonPolk, Instagram @andreaandersonpolk / @thecuckoosyndrome and Twitter @AndreaAPolk #thecuckoosyndrome #thecuckoosyndromebook
Table of Contents
Author's Note 11
Introduction: Are Cuckoos Real Birds? 13
Chapter 1 The Cuckoo in Your Nest 19
Do Your Relationships Resemble Cuckoos?
Chapter 2 Stuck in Cuckoo Land 47
How to Deal with the Cuckoos in Your Life
Chapter 3 The Cuckoo of Not Feeling Your Feelings 73
What Happens When You Avoid Emotions?
Chapter 4 The Cuckoo of Loss 91
The Paradox of Grief
Chapter 5 What Feeds a Cuckoo? 101
Lies We Believe and Defenses We Use
Chapter 6 The Fear Cuckoo 127
A Subtle Cuckoo in Disguise
Chapter 7 The Perfectionism Cuckoo 149
When Passions Become Obsessions
Chapter 8 When You Become a Cuckoo 165
Making Yourself a Project to Fix
Chapter 9 Cuckoo Counsel 177
Who Hurts You and Who Can Help You
Chapter 10 The Religion Cuckoo 199
Twisters of God's Word
Chapter 11 A Protection against Cuckoos 223
The Gift of Anger
Chapter 12 The Antidote to Cuckoos 237
Discovering Your Purpose
Chapter 13 How to Live a Cuckoo-Free Life 251
Embracing Desire, Pursuing Passion, Creating Vision
Chapter 14 Let Your Eggs Hatch! 271
Treasures from Darkness