When you are betrayed by the person who is supposed to love, respect and support you the most, your world shatters. It may feel as though the whole life of your relationship has been a lie.

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BETRAYAL TRAUMA

Betrayal trauma is a condition that literally parallels PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). PTSD can occur anytime the mind attempts to process a traumatic event that surpasses the customary or natural human experience. When trust and safety are broken, the betrayed spouse naturally calls into question the bond they have with their partner, and the reaction is manifested in characteristics aligned with PTSD; namely depression, anxiety, flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the event.

TRAUMAS IMPACT ON THE MIND

Betrayal Trauma creates feelings of hopelessness, danger, anxiety and impacts our ability to express ourselves, making it difficult to regulate our emotions. As a result, our problem solving is impaired, and we begin to shut down, lose our ability to connect to others, creating further feelings of loneliness and fear.

TRAUMA IS STORED IN THE BODY

Betrayal Trauma creates the fight, flight or freeze response. The trauma is stored in the body, down to the cellular level. If the trauma is not released or resolved, the way we think, learn, remember and feel is altered. Symptoms of trauma being stored in the body are muscle tension, tightness, IBS, anxiousness, depression, TMJ, fibromyalgia, headaches, restlessness, or exhaustion.

  • No. 1

    Shock

    This stage is the initial discovery of your partner’s betrayal and deceit. This new information may cause you to engage in extreme behavior, depending on your individual nature and personality. While many lash out, others shut down in response to the tragic reveal. Loss of composure is a natural physical and emotional reaction.

  • No. 2

    Denial

    Denial follows shock in part because you are unable to fully comprehend and grasp what has happened. It all seems improbable that this, your intimate relationship, has been impaired by your trusted partner. Your disbelief and desire for it all to just go away can lead you to reject the reality of your partner’s betrayal.

  • No. 3

    Obsession

    Once the realness of the situation begins to settle, you soon find it difficult to remain focused on anything other than your partner’s deceit and betrayal. You begin to wonder and fear over all possible, detailed deception practiced by your spouse, and you examine if there was any truth to your relationship at all. You analyze and question yourself, investigating upon something you might have changed to prevent this damage from occurring. You are caught in a cyclone of painful details and frenzied analyzations concerning yourself, your partner, and the relationship you have together.

  • No. 4

    Anger

    Recognizing your behavior has little or no impact upon your partner’s behavior, you become enraged with the profound pain your partner's choices have caused. In moments, it feels as if you partner has intentionally injured you and your relationship, leaving you with heated anger. This is an incredibly normal response, even if uncharacteristic to your personality.

  • No. 5

    Bargaining

    As your fury mellows, you start to look forward in wonderment at life ahead. Where might you go from here? What is in the future? If you have children together, how do you continue as a family? These thoughts, these questions begin to weigh heavy within you. Bargaining, comprising your personal wellness, even the thought of excusing some bad behavior from your spouse, may suddenly seem less daunting than heading into the vast unknown. However, neglecting to attend to the true damage in your relationship, you will inevitably be led towards further damage and devastation down the road.

  • No. 6

    Depression

    This stage may be considered the wild card of all the stages, because it can take place simultaneously with all of the other stages. Life feels dark and everyday living has become harder and harder to handle. What once brought you joy, no longer seems to excite you. You, yourself, may even begin to engage in unhealthy behavior as a method of coping or as a distraction from your despair. Overall, you are feeling fragmented, broken, and are losing hope with life; the reality of your situation feels beyond your capacity to bear.

  • No. 7

    Acceptance

    At this point you are able to acknowledge and honestly accept the actuality of what has happened and are ready to take action and find a way to move forward. This stage is one of courage. It is recognizing that something has been broken and cannot stay the same. Whether moving in step with your partner or alone, you understand the process ahead will be hard. But you are ready to feel emotionally, mentally and physically healthy again.

OVERCOMING BETRAYAL TRAUMA

STEP 1: ORIENT YOURSELF

Through education, talk therapy, mindfulness, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and yoga, you will begin to reflect, assess your body and its response. This will help you respond with purpose and release the internally stored trauma.

STEP 2: AWARENESS TO YOUR INNER THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS

Through talk therapy, gain lasting skills and tools to help you become continually attuned to your thoughts, emotions and body sensations to work through and resolve the trauma.

STEP 3: REFLECTION

Stop, pause, and reflect on the steps and progress you are making. Then make the appropriate modifications in your recovery.

WHY ADDO?

We are a clinic managed by licensed CSAT’s (Certified Sexual Addiction Therapists) with additional training in EMDR, Internal Family Systems (IFS), and yoga therapy.

600 + Client surveys:
  • 99%

    felt safe

  • 96%

    felt they were given actionable items to improve their circumstances

Our certifications
  • American association for Marriage and Family Therapy Logo

    American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

  • International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals Logo

    International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Logo

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

  • National Association of Social Workers Logo

    National Association of Social Workers

Ready to get started?

In creating the proper treatment plan for you, we begin by assessing the levels and duration of your trauma along with your levels of anxiety, depression, stress and other potential underlying issues.

With an in-depth understanding of what you’re feeling, you will receive a personalized plan that can include:

  • Education
  • Talk therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • EMDR
  • Mindful-ness