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Healing from Betrayal Trauma at New York Pathways

In Partners Recovery Group we explore what to expect from the healing process after relationship betrayal, whether the betrayal triggers the end of your relationship or a commitment to repairing intimacy and moving forward together.  Most importantly, we recognize that you are not emotionally unstable, crazy, or unlovable, and you are not alone in the process of recovery.


Understanding betrayal trauma is the first step in healing from your relationship crisis.  Betrayal trauma happens when you experience a betrayal in your relationship that damages the safety, trust, and security of the bond you have with your partner. 

Betrayal trauma doesn’t happen unless there was once a deep sense of safety and trust.  When you uncover an unknown addiction or infidelity in the relationship, you can experience devastating emotional, mental, and physical consequences.  Turning to someone or something outside your primary relationship be it chronic porn, sex, drugs, or gambling can destroy trust and a sense of safety, as they often include secrecy, omissions, gas-lighting, denial, minimization, risk-taking, and manipulation.  Partners in crisis and distress from discovering such realities are struggling with betrayal trauma.

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Here are things to bear in mind about betrayal trauma:

  • No one is prepared for betrayal trauma.
  • People in healthy relationships expect safety and security.  Betrayal is a breach of security and can destroy your expectation or belief that your partner is supposed to be safe, is true to the things he or she says, including commitment to you, love for you, and prioritizing you and the family.
  • Betrayal violates your trust in the person who betrayed you. The doubt and distrust can extend into other relationships, including trust in yourself and future romantic partnerships.
  • Societal norms can often make you feel ashamed and embarrassed about the betrayal, causing you to isolate or internalize your struggles instead of reaching out to others for help.
  • Many partners blame themselves such as,“Maybe if I was more emotionally available, attractive, sexual, loving, or more lovable then he/she would not have had an affair or continued the addiction.”
  • Your partner’s infidelity or addiction may or may not have anything to do with you.  
  • You may experience the betrayal of “gaslighting,” which is a term used to describe the act of someone convincing you that your reality is not real.
  • Symptoms of betrayal trauma includes low self-esteem, confusion, loss of identity, and—most importantly—an inability to trust your instincts.
  • You may be re-traumatized by your social support such as friends, loved ones, or even unprepared mental health professionals who despite best intentions come with their own biases.


In this Recovery Group we help you navigate the experience of betrayal.  To begin the healing and recovery process for partners and spouses, join New York Pathways Partners Recovery Group.

Betrayal Trauma
Partners Recovery Group
Wednesdays 7:15pm to 8:45pm
Cost: $100 per session
Where: In Person, New York Pathways Suite 1040
To register contact:
[email protected]


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Lisa Viergutz Primary Therapist-LMSW-CSAT-C.

Lisa earned her Master of Social Work from Fordham University and is licensed in New York and New Jersey. Lisa specializes in the treatment of sex addiction and other co-occurring disorders including substance use disorders, eating disorders and trauma. Lisa has been in the addiction treatment field since 2006 and understands the devastating effects of active addiction and that recovery and lasting change is possible. She provides individual therapy, facilitates relationship restoration for couples, and leads psycho-education and process-oriented groups.
Lisa offers a variety of therapeutic interventions that focus directly on treating addiction to achieve lasting change that promotes human dignity and wholeness. Other modalities utilized in her treatment include inner child experiential therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-based practices. Lisa is also a Certified S.A.F.E EMDR practitioner.