Ground Breaking Discoveries About Betrayal

Dr. Debi Silber
3 min readMar 11, 2021

Years ago, I was betrayed by my family. Then a few years later, by my husband. I felt so sad, so hurt and so confused, the same way that you might still be feeling now. My hurt and confusion sent me on a quest for answers. I was desperate to figure out how the mind works, why we do what we do and how I could heal. My curiosity and determination led to a Ph.D. program in Transpersonal Psychology. During my Ph.D. program, I specifically studied how we experience betrayal. Is there something that holds us back? Is there something that can help us heal? I wanted to know what happens to us physically, mentally, and emotionally when the people closest to us lie, cheat, and deceive. I knew that I couldn’t be the only one out there that experienced these painful things and I wanted to find a way to help people get past them. That exact same study led to three groundbreaking discoveries:

1.Healing from betrayal is very different than healing from other life crises

The death of a loved one, disease, or natural disaster — with any of these crises, we grieve, we’re sad, we mourn. What’s the difference? A betrayal feels more intentional — we take it so personally. This leads to the whole self having to be rebuilt. Rejection, abandonment, belonging, confidence, worthiness, trust, all have to be rebuilt. That type of healing needed its own name — Post-Betrayal Transformation.

2. There are 5 stages of healing from a betrayal

While we can stay stuck for years, decades, a lifetime — and many of us do. IF we are going to heal, we are going to move through five stages. What’s even more exciting is that now we know what happens at every stage. We also know what it takes (physically, mentally and emotionally) to move at every single step. Now healing isn’t just hopeful or possible, it’s predictable.

I’ll never forget handing over my research to my study chair and she said, “Debi, I believe you’ve discovered a process here.” That’s the moment that I knew that millions of people would find comfort in knowing that there’s a systematic approach to healing from something they thought they would never recover from.

3. There are Post-Betrayal Symptoms

There’s a collection of symptoms, physical, mental, and emotional so common to betrayal that it’s known as Post Betrayal Syndrome. The big misconception? We’ve been taught that time heals all wounds, that’s not true.

I am here to tell you that not only is there a process but there’s a community of people just like you that are healing from their betrayal, together. I am living proof that there’s a way to get out of the hurt that you’re feeling and there’s a way to rebuild a completely new life. You have to think to yourself, am I living the life that I want to live, OR am I letting my betrayal dictate my happiness? I know how difficult healing can be, but you can and you will trust again. Ready to get started? I’d love to join you in your journey to your Post Betrayal Transformation.

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Dr. Debi Silber

Dr. Debi Silber, founder of The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute https://pbtinstitute.com helps people heal from the trauma of betrayal.