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The Cuckoo Syndrome

The Secret to Breaking Free from Unhealthy Relationships, Toxic Thinking, and Self-Sabotaging Behavior

Published by Forefront Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

IThe 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 Christ 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 Jesus 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.

A respected, professional counselor, published author, and keynote speaker, Andrea Anderson Polk leverages more than a decade of clinical experience, illuminating storytelling, and deep compassion to help people uncover truths, break free of harmful behavior and relationships, and celebrate a newfound freedom. 

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. 
More recently, she launched Illuminating Truth, an educational community designed to bring together truth-seekers around the globe united in their search for authenticity, transformative healing, and meaningful life. Community members have access to information, resources, and tools, connecting them with one another and with inspiring thought leaders, subject matter experts, and motivating trailblazers. 
Andrea lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband and best friend, Dan.

Visit Andrea online at and connect with her on Facebook @AndreaAndersonPolk, Instagram @andreaandersonpolk / @thecuckoosyndrome and Twitter @AndreaAPolk #thecuckoosyndrome #thecuckoosyndromebook


  • Publisher: Forefront Books (May 3, 2022)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781637630426