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  • Writer's pictureGary Katz

A New Path to Healing Betrayal Trauma

Updated: Jan 15

The concept of Betrayal Trauma which helps us understand the experiences of a betrayed partner has been around since 2005. That’s 19 years already!! 


Based on my experiences working with betrayed partners and couples where there has been betrayal trauma, I feel confident that I can extend hope to partners and couples that things get better. Excruciating pain can be reduced and partners can move from a place of disempowerment to empowerment. When both are willing to do the work, couples can find healing and deeper connection in their relationships. Better than they knew was possible. Yet, if I’m honest, I feel at a loss of how to provide healing in a better or faster way for betrayed partners.

When I have a new partner or a couple enter my office, my heart hurts because I know the long road ahead and the herculean task in front of them as they work towards healing. The betrayed partner’s brain and nervous system are going to be activated for approximately 18 months. It’s not an easy path and there are really no quick fixes to healing. Very often, I encounter partners who understandably, search high and low for some sense of relief, some ability to feel safe and sane again, and some way to comprehend the horrific thing which has been done to them by the person they thought they could rely on the most.


With the ever expanding understanding of the many different wounds created through betrayal trauma, there are still too few resources in providing support and healing for betrayed partners. Yes, there a new trainings and accreditations for therapists to treat betrayal trauma.( I’ve taken quite a few of them myself.) Some are better than others.  There are valuable support groups where support, psycho education, and more are offered. (We currently offer two such groups and are in the process of starting another one.)


How many times have I witnessed the person who did the betrayal receive support, structure, guidance and help while the one who was betrayed receives much less? There are currently approximately fifteen in-patient programs which specialize in treatment treat sex or love addiction yet there are only a few which specifically treat betrayal trauma. In New York City, there are five 12 step programs which address sex and love addiction and over 50 meetings per week. The is ONE meeting per week for partners.

Recently, a study was released by Stanford studying an unconventional way to help veterans with PTSD. As I read the study, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities in symptoms between the veterans and what I have observed with betrayed partners. Trauma symptoms, such as hyper-vigilance, increased anxiety, depression, irritability and mood swings, loss of desire to live, insomnia, headaches, difficulty focusing, a sense of overwhelm, and finally a sense of betrayal from someone or something that they had dedicated their life to. That piece really caught my eye. Veterans often feel that their identity is partially defined by their commitment to serving their country. It’s something they take pride in. Then, after their service, they feel betrayed by the lack of resources and care that their county provides for them. The lip service given to them for their service  and the big showy displays of thanks at NFL football games and other events often feels like gas-lighting.


The study at Stanford was done using 30 veterans and the results have been remarkable. After one month, “participants reported an average reduction of 88 percent in PTSD symptoms, 87 percent in depression symptoms, and 81 percent in anxiety symptoms. Cognitive function also appeared to improve after treatment.”


I went myself to try the treatment they used in the study and it was the most profound healing and spiritual experience I’ve ever had.


Please join me for a special webinar on Thursday, February 1st, where I’ll be sharing about my experience and discussing this new and innovative way of treating trauma that is probably the most powerful treatment I’ve ever witnessed and experienced myself.


I’ll be joined by Tom Feegel, CEO of Beond, a medical faculty in Cancun, Mexico which uses Ibogaine for the purposes of healing trauma, addiction and more. We will also be joined by a betrayed partner who will share her experience and how combining an Ibogaine treatment and therapy helped her heal from her betrayal trauma.

We will also be announcing our new betrayed partner retreat to Cancun , Mexico, March 8-17, that will combine Ibogaine with individual and group therapy.


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