Book Review: From Hardened to Healed

Book cover: From Hardened to Healed by Dr. Debi Silber

From Hardened to Healed by Debi Silber encourages readers to move beyond where they’re stuck right now to a place of greater healing. I learned of this book from Joshua Shea, who you may know from his blog; in the book, he shares his story of recovery from addiction and betrayal trauma.

The author describes being hardened this way: “… it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re angry or bitter. It can mean that old baggage is bogging you down. It can mean that limiting beliefs and behaviors have created beliefs that are keeping you stuck and preventing you from seeing things another way.” She adds that the hardened exterior is a “mask of protection” that you no longer need.

Healing, on the other hand, is described as happening when you realize that the negative beliefs that you have about yourself are wrong, and you start loving yourself.

The book is divided into three parts: face it, feel it, and heal it. The author has developed a concept called Post Betrayal Transformation, which is “the complete and total healing of yourself and your life after an experience with betrayal.” She describes the five stages that people move through in their healing following betrayal trauma, and helps readers to identify which stage they’re currently in.

Besides incorporating the stories of Josh and several other betrayal trauma coaches, the author incorporates a lot of her own experiences on the way to finding her own healing after betrayal trauma. The writing has a personal feel, like the author is speaking directly to the reader.

The tone is very motivational. The author encourages readers to not simply accept where they’re stuck right now in a hardened place, but to envision a more fulfilling life for themselves. She points out the problems with avoidance, and urges readers to dig deep and try to understand where their behaviours are coming from. Since she’s telling people to face their feelings, the “effortless path” referred to in the book’s subtitle probably isn’t quite accurate.

Some of the concrete strategies the book incorporates include journalling, working on gratitude, and incorporating alternative health practices like reiki.

I tend to read a lot of therapy-oriented books that focus on interventions, but I found that this book focused more on the motivational/inspirational element. I’ve never worked with a coach, but I would hazard a guess that this book has more of a coaching tone than a therapy tone. If you’re looking for specific steps you can take, you might find that this book refers a fair bit of that to the community on her Post Betrayal Transformation Institute website, but if you’re looking to get motivated to move beyond where you’re stuck after experiencing betrayal trauma, you may find this book quite helpful.

From Hardened to Healed is available on Amazon (affiliate link).

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

You can find my other reviews on the MH@H book review index or on Goodreads.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: From Hardened to Healed”

  1. I didn’t know betrayal created trauma. I know it creates a hellscape. What an interesting read, with some good and new information: I’m going to have to follow up. 💞

  2. Sounds like an interesting one. I actually think the motivational aspect is appealing as it’s an underrated part of helping people on such a journey. I also like concrete suggestions you can actually put into practice, so it depends on where you’re at and what you need at the time. The mix of both is a good balance. Being stuck, for whatever reasons, is a horrible position to be in and it’s very hard to get out of. I like that the author acknowledges avoidance and hopefully encourages people to dig a little deeper because there are oftentimes reasons people stay stuck or can’t find that level of self-love they need.

    Fab review. xx

  3. I’m typically not a fan of motivational speakers, motivational self help books and coaches because I often feel they’re way too simplistic, and don’t acknowledge huge privileges (my country’s education ministry things all kinds of inequality can be solved with a Motivational speaker or too)… but if someone can indeed benefit, I’ll cheer them on. ❤

    1. I don’t think that approach is the right fit for me either, but it’s definitely good to have options available so hopefully everyone will be able to find something that works for them.

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