Episode 77: The Stages of Betrayal and Post-Betrayal Healing with Dr. Debi Silber






Brief summary of show:


Are you aware of the stages of betrayal?


Did you know that low energy, gut issues, weight gain, and more can be attributed to the impact of betrayal, even from situations more than 20 to 30 years ago?


Betrayal is an important topic, and we’re exploring the stages of betrayal and how to heal from it in this episode with Dr. Debi Silber.


Dr. Debi Silber is the founder of the PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute and is a holistic psychologist, a health, mindset and personal development expert, the author of Trust Again, and is a 2-time #1 International bestselling author of: The Unshakable Woman AND From Hardened to Healed. Her podcast: From Betrayal to Breakthrough is also globally ranked within the top 1.5% of podcasts.


Her recent PhD study on how we experience betrayal made 3 groundbreaking discoveries that change how long it takes to heal. In addition to being on FOX, CBS, The Dr. Oz Show, TEDx (twice) and more, she’s an award-winning speaker and coach dedicated to helping people move past their betrayals as well as any other blocks preventing them from the health, work, relationships, confidence, and happiness they want most.


Listen in as we talk about:

  • [3:30] Why Debi decided to study betrayal

  • [5:00] What betrayal can look like

  • [6:45] The three discoveries of betrayal

  • [9:10] Statistics around betrayal

  • [12:30] The stages of betrayal

  • [17:35] How to get out of the effects of betrayal


Resources mentioned in this episode:


Notes from Natalie:


Connect with Debi


Connect with Me





View Transcript for this Episode

[00:00:00] Natalie Tysdal: Hi everyone. It's Natalie. This week's podcast is so important on many levels. Betrayal is something that can hold your life back physically and mentally. It can keep you from a life of happiness and health, but betrayal is more than just hurt.

[00:00:15] It's deep. Sometimes we don't even know that what we're struggling from is something that may have happened to us as a child, Or it could be something more recent could be personal, could also be professional. My guest and expert is Debbie silver. She's a holistic psychologist, a health mindset and personal development expert.

[00:00:36] She's also the author of trust again and is a two time number one, international best selling author of the unshakeable woman and from hardened to heal. Love the title of her books. Her podcast from betrayal to breakthrough is also globally ranked within the top 1.5% of podcasts. Her recent PhD study on how we experienced betrayal, made three groundbreaking discoveries that changes how long it takes.

[00:01:05] To heal. And we're gonna talk about all of that today. In addition, she's been on a lot of shows that you've maybe heard of from the Fox network, CBS, the Dr. A show TEDx twice, by the way, and so much more. She's amazing. She's also an award-winning speaker and coach she's dedicated to helping people move past betrayal.

[00:01:26] Thank you so much, by the way, for being here, this. And listening to this podcast. I am so grateful for your love, your support and your continual inspiration as listeners let's get started.

[00:01:38]

[00:01:40] Natalie Tysdal: Debbie. Thanks so much for taking the time today. This is a topic I've been wanting to talk about, and I'm, I'm really excited to get deep into this because so many people have a sense of betrayal and they might not even be identifying it as betrayal, but it's holding them back in so

[00:01:56] Debi Silber: many ways. Yeah. And looking forward to this conversation, it's holding them back physically, mentally, emotionally, it's showing up in their health, in their work, in their relationships.

[00:02:06] For example, I'll see an unhealed betrayal in relationships in two ways. One is a repeat betrayal. Classic sign that it's not healed. You go from partner to partner, to partner, friend, to friend, to friend, boss, to boss, to boss. What the heck is it me? Yes, it is not in that. It's your fault in that? It's your opportunity.

[00:02:24] There is a profound lesson needing to be learned. You are lovable, worthy, and deserving. You need better boundaries in place, whatever it is until, and unless you get that, you're gonna have opportunities in the form of people to teach you the other way. We see it. Yeah. Is, is. The big wall goes up, you know, people like that, right.

[00:02:42] They're like, Nope. Been there, done that. No, one's getting near me again. They think it's coming from a place of strength and it's not, it's coming from fear and we see it in health and in, and in work as well.

[00:02:52] Natalie Tysdal: I wanna take a step back for a moment.

[00:02:54] Why did you decide to study this and, and to really dive in deep with this topic?

[00:03:00] Debi Silber: Yeah, I don't think anybody says, you know, I think I wanna study betrayal. No, you study because you have to. And it's my 30th year in business and as life would change, so would business. So it was, I started in health and then mindset and then personal development. And then I had a really painful betrayal from my family thought I did everything I needed to do to heal from that.

[00:03:20] And then it happened a few years later this time it was my husband. That was the deal breaker. So I got him out of the. And looked at the two experiences thinking, okay, well what's similar to these two, of course me, but what else? And I realized boundaries were ne were always getting crossed. I never took my own needs seriously.

[00:03:36] And I thought, well, if nothing changes, nothing changes. So here I was four kids, six dogs. A thriving business and I'm like, you know what, I'm going back for a PhD. I didn't know how I was gonna pay for it. I didn't know how I was gonna manage the time it was in transpersonal psychology, psychology of transformation and human potential because I was changing so much.

[00:03:55] I didn't quite understand it. He was too. Wasn't ready to look at that. And then it was time to do a study. So I study betrayal. What holds us back, what helps us heal and what happens to us physically, mentally, and emotionally, when the people closest to us lie, cheat and dece, that study led to three discoveries, which changed my health, my work, my family, my life.

[00:04:16] Natalie Tysdal: Okay. So I wanna hear about those discoveries in just a moment. You mentioned relationship betrayal. Mm-hmm , that's probably one of the biggest,

[00:04:24] but betrayal can look like a lot of things. Mm-hmm so give me some examples

[00:04:29] Debi Silber: of that. Yeah, it could be, you know, your uh, a child and, and the parent does something awful.

[00:04:35] It could be as a grown child and you have a deal with your siblings when mom and dad are older, we'll take care of them. And then where are they? It could be infidelity. It could be your uh, business partner takes the company funds. Could be your best friend, sharing your secret, someone abusing a position of authority.

[00:04:52] It has so many faces, self betrayal, you know, you swore you'd never eat that thing, be with that person, whatever it is. And there you go. So it's any time there's that breaking of a spoken or unspoken rule?

[00:05:06] Natalie Tysdal: Yeah. And for many people they might not even know what's holding them back is betray.

[00:05:13] Debi Silber: Exactly. And it's one of those things where you have physical, mental, and emotional symptoms and you may just attribute it to age or stress and think, oh, that's what it is.

[00:05:22] No, it's not. It's your unhealed betrayal. And you know, we, we also think time will heal it and it doesn't time, even a new relationship won't heal it. And um, that was, that was one of the discoveries. And, and I can, I can share how we know.

[00:05:38] Natalie Tysdal: Yeah. Okay. So I, I want you to talk about that, but you just made me think when you said we think time will heal it.

[00:05:44] What I have found is the time just shoves it down deeper. exactly.

[00:05:48] Debi Silber: You're still right. It's still there. Yeah. it is. And then people say, you know, what, what is it it's been? So it's been such a long time, but if you haven't deliberately and intentionally moved through the healing, it's just, you're just keeping it at bay at best.

[00:06:06] You're keeping

[00:06:06] Natalie Tysdal: it at.

[00:06:07] Okay. So let's talk about the discoveries and and, and your work with.

[00:06:12] Debi Silber: So the first one was I thought that I was originally studying betrayal and post-traumatic growth. And for those who aren't familiar, post traumatic growth is if you can imagine kind of an upside of trauma, how that trauma death of a loved one disease, natural disaster leaves you with a new awareness insight perspective you didn't have before.

[00:06:31] But I had been through death of a loved one and I'd been through. And I was like, Nope, betrayal feels different for me. I didn't wanna assume it was the same for everyone. So I asked my study participants, if you've been through other traumas besides betrayal, is it different for you unanimously? They said it's so different.

[00:06:48] And here's why, because it feels so intentional. We take it so personally, so the entire self get shattered rejection, abandonment, belonging, confidence, worthiness trust, that's unique to betrayal. So that type of peeling needed its own name, which is now called post betrayal transformation, the complete and total rebuild of your life and yourself after an experience with betrayal.

[00:07:13] So the first discovery was that betrayal is still a trauma, but a very different type of. Trauma. Okay, boy, that's

[00:07:20] Natalie Tysdal: huge. Yeah, that is huge because you're right. We, we go through something really hard, a crisis mm-hmm and you think, you know how to move

[00:07:27] Debi Silber: past things. Right. Like, think about it. You lose someone, you love you grieve.

[00:07:30] You're, you're sad. You're mourn in the loss, but you don't necessarily lose your ability to trust. Right? You don't question your sanity, you know, that's what betrayal does. Yeah. So that was the first one. The second discovery was there's actually a collection of. Symptoms, physical, mental, and emotional. So common to betrayal.

[00:07:47] It's known as post betrayal syndrome and we've had, I don't know, 80,000 plus people take the post betrayal syndrome quiz on our site to see to what extent they're struggling a few things about that we spoke before about time heals, all wounds. And it does not. Here's where I have the proof. There's a question that says, is there anything else you'd like to share on the quiz?

[00:08:09] And people write things like my betrayal happened 35 years ago and I'm unwilling to trust. My betrayal happened 40 years ago. I can feel the hate. My betrayal happened 10 years ago. Feels like it happened yesterday. So we know you can't count on time or a new relationship to heal betrayal. And, and I'm happy to share some of the statistics from, from the

[00:08:28] Natalie Tysdal: course of you.

[00:08:29] Yeah, this is shocking. I want people to hear this. Give me some of the St.

[00:08:33] Debi Silber: Yeah. So now imagine men, women just bet every country's represented here. About 80,000 people, 78% constantly revisit their experience. 81% feel a loss of personal power. 80% are hyper vigilant. 94% deal with painful triggers. Here are the physical symptoms.

[00:08:53] 71% have low energy. 68% have sleep issues. 63% have extreme. Your adrenals have tanked 47% have weight changes. So in the beginning, maybe you can't hold food down later on. You're using food for comfort. Yep. 45% have digestive issues. And that could be anything Crohn's IBS, radiculitis, constipation, diarrhea.

[00:09:17] You name it. The guts wrecked mentally 78% are overwhelmed. 70% are walking around in a state of disbelief. 68% are unable to focus. 64% are in shock and 62% can't concentrate. So imagine this, you can't concentrate. You have a gut issue. You're exhausted. You still have to raise your kids. You still have to work.

[00:09:38] That's not even the emotional issues. Emotionally 88% experience, extreme sadness. 83% are very. Real common to bounce back and forth all day long between those two emotions. Yeah. 82% feel hurt. 80% have anxiety. 79% are stressed, just a few more 84% have an inability to trust. Wow. 67% prevent themselves from forming deep relationships because they're afraid of being hurt again.

[00:10:09] 82%. Find it hard to move forward, 90% wanna move forward, but they don't know how. And

[00:10:16] Natalie Tysdal: this, all of these things you're saying are people who didn't just happen yesterday. They're living their lives like this after years and years. That's just

[00:10:25] Debi Silber: crazy to me. I I'm so glad you said that because here's the thing, those, those stats aren't necessarily from a recent betrayal.

[00:10:32] Yeah. This could be from the boyfriend or girlfriend who broke your heart in high school. This could be from the parent. Who did something all when you were a little kid. So think about this, that person may not know, care. Even remember, they may not even be alive. And here we are decades later with the anxiety, with the gut issue, with the sleep issues.

[00:10:54] Yeah, because of something that happened 30, 40, 50 plus years ago. Wow. That's the that's. What's so crazy.

[00:11:01] Natalie Tysdal: So I wanna get into what to do about it because you know, it's one thing to identify the problem and that's got to be number one for people is you have to identify what that betrayal is, right?

[00:11:11] Mm-hmm some people might not

[00:11:12] Debi Silber: know. Exactly. Yeah. That's that's the third discovery. This for me was the most personally exciting. And what, what was discovered was while we can stay stuck for years, decades of lifetime, like what we just talked about, if you're going to fully heal and by fully heal, I mean, those symptoms of post betrayal syndrome to that whole healed, rebuilt place of post betrayal transformation.

[00:11:36] You are going to go through five now, proven predictable stages. And what's even more exciting about that is we know what happens physically, mentally and emotionally at every one of those stages. And we know what it takes to move from one stage to the next healing is entirely predictable and happy to share the stages if you want.

[00:11:56] Yeah. I, I

[00:11:56] Natalie Tysdal: definitely wanna know because some people are, they often years later still sitting in stage

[00:12:01] Debi Silber: one, It's you will see exactly what stage they're stuck in. It is the most common place to get stuck. Okay. So let's do it. It's it's what is all mapped out in trust again? It's what all of our coaches are certified in what we teach within the PBT Institute.

[00:12:15] Here's a distilled version right here. Okay. Stage one. Is this. Setup stage. And this is before the experience. If you can imagine four legs of a table, the four legs being physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual mm-hmm. what I saw with everybody. Me too, was a real heavy lean on the physical and the mental thinking and doing, and kind of neglecting the emotional and the spiritual feeling and being right.

[00:12:36] If a table only has two legs easy for that table to topple over that's us. Stage two shock trauma D-Day discovery day, the scariest of all of the stages. And this is the breakdown of the body, the mind, and the worldview right here, you've ignited the stress response you're headed for every single stress related symptom illness.

[00:12:57] Condition disease. Your mind is in a state of overwhelm. You, you can't believe what we just learned. Yeah. You can't wrap your mind around it. It makes no sense. Yeah. And your worldview is shattered. Your worldview is your mental model. The rules that govern us, that prevent chaos. Don't go there, trust this person, you know, and in one earth shattering moment, every rule you've ever held to be real and true.

[00:13:20] Is no longer, the bottom has truly bottomed out on you and a new bottom hasn't informed yet. So this is terrifying. Yeah. But think about it. If the bottom were to bottom out on you, what would you do? You'd grab hold of whatever you could to stay safe and stay alive. That stage three survival instincts emerge.

[00:13:37] It's the most practical out of all of the stages. Okay. If you can't help me get outta my way, how do I survive this experience? Where do I go? Who can I trust? How do I feed my kids? Here's the trap though? Stage three. By far hands down is the most common place we

[00:13:53] Natalie Tysdal: get stuck. Oh my gosh. I'm so relating to this right now.

[00:13:57] like, oh yeah. Living in survival mode because that's what people often say is exhausting,

[00:14:02] Debi Silber: exhausting and all those symptoms of, of post Petrel syndrome. That's where they arise. That's where they stay right here. You're gonna see exactly why we get stuck here. Okay. Once we figured out. How to survive our experience because it feels so much better than the shock and trauma of where we just came from.

[00:14:24] We think it's good because we don't know there's anywhere else to go. We don't know. There's a stage four stage five transformation doesn't even begin until stage four, but because we don't know there's anywhere else to go. We start planting roots here. We're not supposed to, but we don't know that. And four things.

[00:14:40] The first thing is we start getting all these small self benefits from being here. We get our story, we get to be right. We get someone to blame. We get sympathy from everyone. And we tell our story to, you know, and on some level that feels good. So we plant deeper roots. We're not supposed to, but we don't know that.

[00:14:57] And now because we're here longer than we should be, the mind starts doing things like, well, maybe you're not all that great. Maybe you deserved it, maybe this, maybe that. So we plant deeper roots again. We're not supposed to be here, but we don't know that now because these are the thoughts you're thinking.

[00:15:13] Well, this is the energy you're putting out. Yeah. Like energy attracts like energy. So now you're calling situations and circumstances and relationships towards you to confirm. Yep. This is where you belong because where it SRU get outta here. Yeah. Because it feels so bad, but we don't know there's anywhere else to go right here is where we start using.

[00:15:34] Drugs. Oh yeah. Alcohol work TV, right? Yeah. Keeping busy. And so think about it. We're resigning ourselves. We're like this stinks, but I have to get through my day. So you do that for a day, a week, a month. Now it's a habit a year, 10 years, 20 years. And I can see someone 20 years out and say that emotional eating you're doing that numbing in front of the TV.

[00:15:57] Do you think that has anything to do with your betrayal? And they would look at me like I'm. They would say it happened 20 years ago. All they did was put themselves in stage three and stay there. Does

[00:16:07] Natalie Tysdal: that make sense? I can think of so many people. I, right now who are living in stage three and wondering what's wrong with themselves.

[00:16:13] And, and I see that often with things like you've just mentioned alcohol mm-hmm, lots of eating, lots of like I've numbed this almost, cuz I got comfortable here and yes, exactly common.

[00:16:29]

[00:16:55]

[00:16:58] Natalie Tysdal: Okay. So how do you get outta

[00:16:59] Debi Silber: stage? Yeah, so, and, and I it's crazy. So trust again, maps out the five stages, but I wrote from harden to yield just for stage three.

[00:17:07] I'm like, you've been through the works of it already. Yeah. You owe it to yourself. Yeah. To move through it. So when you are willing, willingness is a big word right here to let go of the small self benefits, grieve more in the loss, a bunch of things you need to do. You move to stage four, stage four is finding and adjusting to a new normal.

[00:17:28] Mm. So here's where you acknowledge. I can't undo what happened, but I control what I do with it. Just in that decision. You're turning down the stress response. You're not healing just yet, but at least you stop the massive damage you were creating in stage two and stage three. Yeah. What stage four feels like is this, if you've it's like, if you've ever moved, if you've ever moved to a new house office, condo apartment, you know, like your stuff, isn't all there.

[00:17:54] It's not quite cozy yet, but it's like, okay, okay. We can do this. We got this. It feels like that. But what's really interesting is this. If you were to move, you don't take everything with. You don't take the things that don't represent, who you wanna be in your new space. And what I found was. When you move from stage three to stage four, if your friends weren't there for you, you don't take them with you.

[00:18:17] Mm. And people say all the time, what the heck I've had these friends 10, 20, 30 years. Is it me? Yes, it is. You're undergoing a transformation. And if they don't rise, they don't come. So very common for friendships to change in this one place, as we move from stage three to stage four. So if that's what you're experiencing totally normal and you know, where.

[00:18:36] Anyway, when you make this new mental space. Okay. Cozy mentally home, you move to the fifth most beautiful stage. And this is healing rebirth, and a new worldview. The body starts to heal self love, self care, eating well, exercise, things like that. We didn't have the bandwidth for that earlier. Mm-hmm we were surviving.

[00:18:57] Now we do the mind is healing. We're making new rules, we're making new boundaries based on the road we just traveled. And we have a new world view based on everything we see. So clearly now, and the four legs of the table in the beginning, it was all about the physical and the mental. By this point, we're solidly grounded because we're focused on the emotional and the spiritual too.

[00:19:17] Those are the five. I mean, I know

[00:19:19] Natalie Tysdal: you just put that all in a nutshell and it it's, there's more to it, but it all makes so much sense. How often do you see people trying to jump steps? Like, you know, I'm gonna change everything and I'm just gonna. Eat differently or lose this weight. And, but they haven't dealt with the stage three and four completely mm-hmm do you find people not successful because they haven't properly gone through the steps.

[00:19:45] Debi Silber: Y you know, the intention is there and that's wonderful. Sure. Uh, But if they don't deal with, the mental, emotional, it still stays. And it's interesting. Look, I was working with one of our members in, in the Institute and she was. Such a great job with her health. And she was telling me, and, and really expecting me to be just so you know, excited for her.

[00:20:07] And I remember saying that's wonderful. Um, She's like, well, what isn't that great. I'm like, it is, if that was your issue. So, what we do so often is we do all of these other things and it's almost like busy work because if we do that, we're, we're telling ourselves, well, I'm taking action, but we're taking action in a way that we don't need to take action on.

[00:20:28] We need to take action on, all of the issues. Mm-hmm that that would need the healing after betrayal. You know, if she had, if it was the kind of situation where she came to me as a. You know, client, it would be very different. The health is very important and it's an integral part of healing. Yeah. But not in place of like, think about it.

[00:20:50] That may be one of the only places you have control over. So yeah, it has really important role. You need to get your confidence back. You need to clear the brain fog. Yes. But not in place of it all works in conjunction. Yeah.

[00:21:02] Natalie Tysdal: how often do you see that people are successful with this? I mean, this is deep stuff. This is dealing with a lot of crap. Mm-hmm like, how often do you see they can really come through

[00:21:13] Debi Silber: this? We, I mean, that's all we see within the Institute when people take the time, but, but there is a protocol you need to move through the stages.

[00:21:21] You need the right type of support. The wrong type of support does way more harm than good. You need to heal physically, ment, you know, mentally and emotionally, you cannot just address this from one level when you move through all of it and you're willing you're, you know, Then you absolutely move through the stages.

[00:21:39] It's like this it's like, I remember my kids. I mean, they're in their twenties now, but they used to play with Legos. So imagine there's a Lego structure that is not good. It's just there, you know, betrayals like this, the entire structure gets completely destroyed. And you're looking at this. This is just pile of Legos.

[00:21:56] Now, when it comes to rebuilding, here's where you're like, you know what? I don't wanna use that piece. I don't wanna build it like that. I wanna do this. I wanted it. And you create something so intentional. That's what happens like that stage four, stage five, we see new businesses, new levels of health, new relationships with their partner or with someone new.

[00:22:20] You're not ready for that. When you're in stage two or stage three, when you do all that healing work, then you're ready for that next level. Like the PT Institute. That was a stage five thing. I never would've been ready for that earlier.

[00:22:32] Natalie Tysdal: How long have you been doing this? How long has this taken for you to develop these

[00:22:36] Debi Silber: five stages?

[00:22:37] Yeah, the it's it's quick. And this is how you know, you're on purpose. I mean, I've been in business for over 30 years. My betrayal happened. It was in, at the end of 2015, by the beginning of 2016, I was in the PhD program. By three years later, the discoveries were made the five stages. I mean, how do.

[00:22:58] Learn, something like that and keep it to yourself. I put it in a program and it blew up. Then everyone wanted to work with me. I'm like, how do I do that? So I created our certification program that blew up and I thought, okay, well I did the research. I know what works, what would happen if I put everything that works under one roof and exclude everything that doesn't work.

[00:23:15] And that's the P B T Institute.

[00:23:17] Natalie Tysdal: Okay. So there are people listening or watching thinking, I gotta get a hold of this. Where, where do you send them? Can they do it on their own? I obviously they're gonna be better working with someone like you or your coaches, but where can they find you and, and learn

[00:23:31] Debi Silber: everything is at the P B T is in post betrayal transformation, the P B T Institute dot.

[00:23:37] Natalie Tysdal: Okay. And I know they can follow you on social media, get tips, everything, and, and start identifying. I mean, that's where I, I think back and I go, you know, I think there are people dealing with some deep stuff and they don't know it's from betrayal. They don't realize it was from their childhood when something happened or, you know, last year when they lost their job and they feel betrayed by that or whatever it might be.

[00:24:00] Debi Silber: You're so right. And, and here's where like, think about it. Someone can go to the most, let's say they have a gut issue. They can go to the most brilliant gut expert. Yeah. And I'm friends with some of them. And here's the thing. If they like 45% of everyone betrayed has a gut issue. If that gut expert doesn't understand or doesn't know, and how, why would they right.

[00:24:18] That there's a betrayal at the root of it. They're really getting to a certain level. So all of those symptoms that we're doing, all of this, like kind of whacka mold. you know, to T down the symptoms, if that the root of it is a betrayal, you wanna, you know, you get to the root, everything heal.

[00:24:34] Natalie Tysdal: Yeah. I have a friend I've known for years who is a weight loss doctor and does gastric bypass.

[00:24:39] And so many things I've had him on the podcast and he always says, this is not about the weight. Sometimes, you know, you've gotta deal with that, but he always says, you've got to deal with your life. And that has to happen first before you go into something massive like weight loss surgery. And it's so interesting to me, even as a, as a doctor who, who helps people with their weight issues.

[00:25:02] Debi Silber: Exactly. We'll think about it. You know, when we're, when we're little, we hide behind mom's leg, if we're afraid. Well, when we're older, the weight provides that same protection. Oh, it's so true.

[00:25:12] Natalie Tysdal: Well, thank you for all of the information for enlightening us and helping us, you know, first deal with what might be hidden and then move on so you can get past it and deal with so many

[00:25:21] Debi Silber: other.

[00:25:22] Thank you so much. I'll put

[00:25:23] Natalie Tysdal: the links all in the show notes for anybody who's listening and wanting more information. And let's talk again soon. I know. We can, we can still learn. So, Debbie, thank you. Thank you.






5 views0 comments

Recent Videos