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“Hard now, easy later. Easy now, hard later.” Dr. Debi Silber’s groundbreaking findings help betrayed individuals to shift habits, embrace challenge and fully heal

Dr Debi Silber on Speaking of Phenomenal Podcast

According to Dr. Debi Silber, most people who have been through betrayal in life don’t know what healing from this trauma means. She experienced betrayal within her own family and marriage and enrolled in a PhD program at 50 years of age to study healing mechanisms. During her study, she found that the post-shock moment where many people consider themselves to be healed is actually a trap full of repetitious narratives, self-indulging habits and mistrust.

As the founder of the Post Betrayal Transformation (or PBT) Institute, Dr. Debi, together with a team of coaches, educates betrayed individuals on the different stages of healing and guides them to a complete rebuilding of their lives and themselves. She is the author of “Trust Again: Overcoming Betrayal and Regaining Health, Confidence, and Happiness,” “From Hardened to Healed: The Effortless Path to Release Resistance, Get Unstuck, and Create a Life You Love and “The Rebuild Roadmap: A Personalized Blueprint to Heal Yourself and Transform Your Relationships.” In this episode, Dr. Debi describes to host Amy Boyle how the five stages of healing progress, the importance of the spiritual and emotional components in one’s life and her own healing journey.

Her personal experience and rigorous research invite all those suffering from betrayal to courageously examine themselves and identify what prevents them from moving forward. “Many people are afraid to heal because they’re afraid of outgrowing the known familiar, even if it stinks.”

Dr. Debi explains that “Discovery Day” inaugurates what she calls the shock and trauma stage, which is marked by a “breakdown of the body, the mind, and the worldview.” After that, there is the stage where survival instincts emerge: practical decisions, self benefits and attachment to the unfairness of whatever happened in the past. Because individuals feel much better during this stage than in the previous one, it looks like the healing process is complete. But it’s not.

Betrayed individuals still have two other stages to complete, which means leaving behind self-indulging habits, rebuilding trust in other people and reconstructing one’s worldview. In order to do this, one thing is crucial: willingness to adjust to a new normal and expose oneself to a certain discomfort to, eventually, heal completely. For one of her patients, moving past the “survival” stage helped cure a digestive issue that lasted for more than 70 years. For Dr. Debi, it resulted in her re-marrying her husband.

“Betrayal will show you who someone truly is,Dr. Debi told host Amy Boyle. “It can also wake them up to who they temporarily became. Not that you need to do anything with that, but there’s potential if you want to.”

Now, in case you relate to any of this: What stage are you in? Is this the life you want to lead?

Carolina Baldin is a freelance journalist from Brazil. Having worked in law, policy and regulation, she is passionate about everyday stories that illustrate larger issues. She graduated from a master's program at Northwestern University in 2023 and became a guest blogger on the "Speaking of Phenomenal" podcast blog in March 2024.

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