Healing from betrayal is a complex and challenging process that affects us physically, mentally, and emotionally. The good news is, you can heal from all of it when you move through The Five Stages from Betrayal to Breakthrough.

What’s that?

It was one of the three (and personally, the most exciting) discoveries made during my PhD study. The 5 Stages provide a roadmap, a system, a path to move you through one of the most painful of the human experiences, betrayal. And, because when we’re betrayed we hardly have the bandwidth to get through our day, with a roadmap, we simply need to know which Stage we’re in and do what we need to in order to move to the next.

Understanding these Stages and the transformations they bring can empower you to navigate your healing journey with confidence. In this post, we’ll dive into the profound journey of healing from betrayal, sharing insights into each Stage, and highlight the importance of embracing the transformative power of healing.

Stage One

Stage One: Disproportionately Prioritizing the Physical and Mental over Our Emotional and Spiritual Selves
At the initial stage, we find ourselves leaning heavily on the physical and mental aspects of ourselves, often neglecting the emotional and spiritual dimensions. This imbalance creates a vulnerability. We’re so busy “doing” and not “being.” Like a table with only two legs, it’s easy for that table to fall over. When we’re only focusing on certain areas and neglecting the others, we can crash too. (Note: That’s not to say that if this describes you you’re destined to be betrayed, it was just the typical profile I saw.)

Stage Two

Stage Two: The Breakdown of the Body, Mind and the Worldview
Stage two involves “D-Day” or Discovery Day. It’s the scariest of all of the Stages and marks the shattering of our existing reality. The shocking news or revelation shakes us physically, mentally, and emotionally. We’ve ignited the stress response and we’re headed for symptoms of Post Betrayal Syndrome (a collection of physical, mental and emotional symptoms common to betrayal). Physiologically, our bodies react to the stress response, and mentally, we struggle to comprehend the magnitude of what we’ve just learned. The collapse of our worldview leaves us feeling lost, confused, and desperate for relief. Everyone remembers their D-Day because it was the moment that life radically changed in an earth shattering and heartbreaking instant.

Stage Three

Stage Three: Survival Instincts Emerge
Survival instincts emerge as we navigate the practical aspects of our healing journey. Questions regarding our survival, trust, and next steps dominate our thoughts. However, Stage three is where most of us get stuck. Once we’ve figured out how to survive our experience…we get comfortable there.

We start getting all of these “small self benefits”, and we start attracting people towards us who confirm that this is where we belong. Because we’re not happy but need to get through our day, here’s where we start numbing, avoiding and distracting ourselves too. There are other things we do here as well but this is where the majority of those who’ve been betrayed, land and stay.

It’s also the Stage where we’re getting more and more symptoms of Post Betrayal Syndrome and we’ll start doing all we can to find some symptom relief. So we’ll go to doctors, coaches, healers and therapists to help us with a stress related issue but what’s really driving it? The unhealed betrayal. You can see how this Stage is like quicksand-a place of symptom relief, numbing, avoiding and just surviving.

Here’s where lots of people get stuck in therapy too. Therapy can be wonderful, but if you’re “unpacking” your story over and over again, without a strategic plan to move onto the next Stage, here’s another reason why we’ll stay firmly in Stage three. And, the more familiar this begins to feel, the more comfortable it becomes and the easier it is to settle here.

Stage Four

Stage Four: Finding and Adjusting to a New Normal
In Stage four, we come to recognize that our old normal no longer exists. While we can’t undo the betrayal, we regain a sense of control over our lives and we get to decide what we do with our experience. Acceptance, acknowledgment, and adaptation become key as we adjust to our new reality. It’s during this Stage that we start to implement boundaries, establish new rules, and prioritize our own well-being. This shift paves the way for further growth and transformation.

Stage Five

Stage Five: Healing, Rebirth and a New Worldview
The final stage of healing is a testament to our resilience and personal growth. Here, our bodies begin to heal, and we prioritize self-care as a fundamental aspect of our journey. Mentally, we develop new perspectives and make conscious choices based on our newfound wisdom. By embracing this stage, we experience healing, rebirth, and a profound shift in our worldview. We recognize the progress we have made and the immense potential for a fulfilling future.

What Does all of this Mean?

Healing from betrayal is a predictable journey consisting of five proven and predictable Stages (The Five Stages from Betrayal to Breakthrough). By understanding and embracing each Stage, we empower ourselves to navigate the complexities of healing with purpose and intention. From setting the foundation for healing to experiencing transformation and rebirth, we can emerge stronger, wiser, more resilient…and transformed.

Remember, healing is not only possible but completely in your hands if you’re willing to move through the Stages. Embrace and trust the process, and embark on a transformative journey towards healing and a brighter future.

Healing is a Choice

By recognizing the predictable nature of this journey and understanding the transformations it brings, you can navigate your healing process with confidence and purpose (of course, reach out for support if you need it from someone highly qualified to help move you through the 5 Stages. That’s what our Certified PBT-Post Betrayal Transformation Coaches and Practitioners do) .

The worst of it happened already. You owe it to yourself to do something really good with something so painful and we’re here to help you every step of the way.


Dr. Debi-A Trusted Resource in an Untrusting Niche

Dr. Debi Silber, Founder and CEO of The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute is an award-winning speaker, bestselling author, holistic psychologist, a health, mindset and personal development expert who helps (along with her incredibly gifted Certified PBT-Post Betrayal Transformation Coaches and Practitioners) a predictable, proven multi-pronged approach to help people heal (physically, mentally and emotionally) from the trauma of betrayal.

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