5 Stages of Healing is an incredibly powerful process that enables
individuals to experience significant shifts - it has brought
tremendous healing to many, many people throughout the years and
there is very little known about a healing that goes to a deeper
level. Just like with many, many traditional theories, the focus
is on releasing irrational/dysfunctional learnings, and replacing
with more rational and functional ones.
the 5 Stages process deeper is the unique incorporation of using
the body, voice, and emotions to make these shifts. Having experienced
this as a practitioner and a client - this process is dynamic,
energetic, and spiritual - sincerely allowing individuals to move
out negative and faulty energy in a powerful and effective way
Stages of Healing by Dr. Barry Green
(I have written the parts in purple.
I visualize this as a gardening process, therefore like to incorporate
the analogy into each stage).
Since the vast acceptance and inclusion of alternative health
care into our cultural mainstream, many people have been confronted
with a confusion of what is holistics? What is alternative health
care? The ancient traditions from which holistics is derived simply
wanted us to be our true nature as a human. Just like a duck is
a duck, a snake is a snake, a bear is a bear. They don't try to
be who they are not. This process of returning to our true nature
is called healing. To follow is a synopsis of how that healing
process is said to work:
Stage 1: Awareness
In this stage you are stepping
back and really taking in your emotional garden. You are seeing
that there are a significant amount of weeds. These weeds are
also known as your unhealthy and unresolved pain. You are aware
and acknowledge that you have these weeds. You commit to understanding
where they came from, and to clearing them from your garden.
Awareness that there
is something to be healed, (physical, emotional and/or psychological)
as opposed to being unaware or unconscious. This is said to be
the essence of all healing, Awareness. It is like opening a door
to allow, to welcome, a healing process to begin. All the ancient
traditions, and now even modern scientific confirmation, has told
us that the energy of life, that which creates-sustains-heals
all living things, that life force is conscious.
This consciousness is said to be a perfect knowing, an all-encompassing
understanding. This consciousness is said to possess all the power
of the universe. This consciousness is said to be love, peace,
compassion, and bliss.
The true understanding of the healing process is that this consciousness
is what does the healing. It is not a pill, not a surgical procedure,
not a manipulation done by a human hand or a machine, it is this
power and the complete understanding of how and when to use this
loving power, this is healing; the power, love and knowledge of
So the first step is to allow this consciousness to "work
on" what needs to be healed. The process of awareness is
this allowing. Opening the door of our being to this healing energy
that is simply known as consciousness.
Stage 2: Acceptance & Commitment
In this stage you have complete
acceptance that you have gardening to do. You don't try to put
flowers over the weeds or pretend the weeds are not there. You
also accept that you are the only one that can pull those weeds.
You cannot project them onto others, or expect another person
to change, or pull them for you. You truly accept
they are there, and that allows you to commit to pulling them,
and clearing your garden of that unhealthy and unresolved stuff.
Once we have the awareness
of an imbalance in our being, once the process is started, we
can then add our own self-effort to the work of the healing energy,
What we can add is our commitment. Commitment comes from acceptance.
Until we completely accept our internal issues and processes,
until we completely accept that it is ultimately our self effort,
along with what is often known as Grace, or consciousness, until
we accept this understanding, we will continue to misdirect some
or all of the healing energy. We will attempt to "heal"
by making others the problem, by making "life" the problem,
by giving away our own power to the other people and other things.
Long ago most of us learned a very profound truth, but it seldom
stayed with us. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but
words will never hurt me."
People and events in life can physically hurt us. A slap, a car
accident, disease, and other such events can hurt our bodies.
These things can break our very bones. Yet, in truth, what others
think - what they think about us - these beliefs can truly not
hurt us. These beliefs only have the power we give them.
In childhood, when we did not know differently, we are hurt by
the many beliefs that we learned and experienced. Wounded - and
wounded us very deeply. This was only because we gave power to
the beliefs. They were usually from our mom or dad, or someone
very dear to us. We put trust in these people. We put trust in
what they were passing on to us. We didn’t know any better.
As a young, human child we couldn’t know any better. That
is why we are a child: to learn. Learn what is true and what is
What was not true that we learned in our childhood not only hurt
us and wounded us, but it also created a process that would eventually
heal us. As we were wounded as children, these wounds affected
our bodies as wall as our hearts and minds.
The body became traumatized. According to ancient wisdom, it became
traumatized in very specific locations that were connected to
the nature of the trauma. For instance, if we were traumatized
by the learning that "You can't do anything right",
that would traumatize our bodies in possibly the low back, forearms
The low back is said to be where we store the traumas that connect
to not being good enough, being a "loser." The low back
is where all of the learned "put-downs" or criticisms
collapse the spine. The forearm is where we are said to store
the traumas associated with the fear of doing the wrong thing,
making a mistake, and fear of being punished (for making a mistake.)
The diaphragm is where we attempt to "digest" or process
emotions. When the emotions are too much for us to process, then
the diaphragm may contract or spasm. We often experience this
and may call it "knots in my stomach" or "butterflies
in my stomach."
By having these traumas be often repeated during childhood, these
areas tend to develop what is called a "holding" pattern
or a "frozen" pattern. What is actually happening is
that the trauma to the tissues is causing them to become denser
or more fibrous. This is the "knot" or the "holding"
or "tension." Because Life Energy keeps our body alive,
these trauma patterns will affect the open and free flow of life
energy as it moves throughout the body. When the life energy comes
to one of these areas of trauma, the energy cannot easily flow
through the traumatized area. The traumatized area creates a "resistance"
to the flow.
This is actually true on a scientific level. We can scientifically
find the flow of this life energy with monitoring devices. We
can find where it is meeting a resistance. Energy is electromagnetic.
The blockages caused by trauma create a resistance in the path
of the electrical energy.
This resistance to the flow creates a dam effect. On one side
of the resistance there is a building up of the energy. On the
other side there is a lack of energy. Where this electromagnetic
energy is built up, or excessive, there is a magnetic field that
is created by this build up of energy. Energy is electromagnetic.
Because nature is a system of balance, the life energy is the
conscious energy of nature, will be attracted magnetically to
this buildup in our body.
Because this life energy is conscious, it will know and will draw
to us, just like magnets, what is totally appropriate for our
healing. Since we have many variations of how the life energy
is in our body, there are many variations of how the healing may
For most of us, we are seldom able to understand what is truly
going on in a healing process - a "bad" job, a "mean"
parent, an "insensitive" partner, and part of our healing.
We often do not "like" or "enjoy" what heals
us. This ability to accept our healing, in whatever form and for
however long, is our ability to truly commit to the healing process.
Since our minds are usually the source of our problems, it is
not often possible for our minds to agree to or accept the healing.
So we need to go to a deeper level to make a commitment. That
is the level of Trust and Faith.
Stage 3: Exploration Cause & Effect
this stage you want to get an understanding of what weeds are
in your garden. Weeds can be "You're not good enough",
"You're not lovable", "You're thoughts and feelings
are not import" (see full list of "weeds" here).
Once you identify what your weeds are, you want to gain a clear
understanding of where the seed of the weed was first planted,
how that weed has grown over time, and how deeply rooted and present
it is in your garden today.
This is the "peeling of the onion" stage. It is the
exploration and discovery of all the various layers and dimensions
that relate to the specific issue or pattern being addressed.
Through the act of "peeling away," one gets closer and
closer to the "core of the onion," (the root of the
issue) where the deepest and most profound healing can take place.
The duration of this stage is unique to each individual. This
core material is said to be in the subconscious mind. This is
the pre-logical mind that was dominant until about age 7. Childhood
development theories say that 80% of all we ever learn is learned
by age 3. We are the only animal that is born with NO knowledge
or instinct, and NO knowledge of our true human nature. We learn
about ourselves, others and Life through our childhood experiences.
These deep core learnings of childhood are said to be the cause
of what we see not working in our adult life.
Stage 4: Release & Replace
this stage you make the choice to pull the weeds from the root.
No more planting flower over the weeds, no more tryint to mow
them down. You pull each weed by the root with intensity and determination,
essentially releasing the power the weed has over you.
Once we have accessed what is the underlying dysfunctional core
beliefs, there is a natural need to discharge this. This can often
be spontaneous. The "pressure" from the awareness and
clarity of what truly happened in childhood learning, plus the
intent to heal, this pressure simply wants to be discharged.
The goal of this discharge is to "pull the roots.”
If you try to remove the weeds from your garden with a lawn mower,
you will still the roots that the lawn mower cannot reach. A little
water, a little sun, and the weed is back.
In the release, the goal is to get to the root, the core of the
old patterns. Our childhood core beliefs affected our body. These
beliefs made our body what it is today. To "do" what
we believe, we need the body. So we must uproot the belief from
the nervous system and the other aspects of the body that were
affected by the dysfunctional learning. This will always include
our respiration; breath is directly connected to emotion; our
muscles and bones; hormones, digestive organs, and more. Truly
letting go of an old belief must be a whole being process. That
is how we operate as humans. Our being is whole. Connected.
So in the releasing, this natural "pressure" is given
the opportunity to discharge; physically, emotionally, or mentally.
If it is not discharged at all these levels, then there will be
an incomplete release and the part(s) will need to be released
at a later time.
This is the benefit of a whole being, or holistic, healing process.
All elements are included.
The second part of this Stage 4 is Replacing
you have cleared your garden, you have created space to replace
that space with what you want, what is true in your heart. "You're
not lovable" is replaced with a beautiful flower of "You
In the same image as weeding a garden, once you uproot the weed,
there is a fresh opening for something new to grow - an empty
space that needs to be filled. In the same way, uprooting old
core patterns leaves us with an empty space in our being for new
learning. This space will only be empty for a very short time.
Just minutes. We then have the opportunity to either consciously
replace the old belief, or to allow random information to fill
For example, if you are working on releasing "Don't expect
to be loved" and you have an effective release, then there
is an opportunity to learn that you are loved. Loved continuously
and unconditionally. This is truth. Love is the essence of the
energy that our entire universe is made of. If this new learning
is put in after the release, then we have that inside. If no learning
is put in, then you may leave and hear a sad love song on the
radio. The messages of unfulfilling love from the radio can then
replace the old core belief. And another dysfunctional message
will be imprinted. So it is critical to release and then replace
at the same time.
Stage 5: Re-education and Integration
this stage you will do what is needed to keep your new garden
healthy. You integrate your flowers into your daily life through
reinforcement, process, and practice. You also are able to identify
when you need to do some weeding in your garden. However, now
it is just maintenance versus a complete overhaul of your garden.
This is an essential and necessary part of the healing process.
When we were learning the dysfunctional childhood beliefs, they
were seldom accompanied with functional life skills. So when we
have done a deep clearing and replacing of old core beliefs, we
are usually left with new opportunities but not new skills. For
example, we may feel very motivated to express our feelings and
be open and honest, yet we may not have effective communications
skills that would allow this to functionally happen.
In this last phase of the healing process we learn and practice
new life skills. Then we observe how they are working as you apply
them to your daily life. Human learning is through experience,
so to be able to truly "attain" a new, functional life
we have to go through experiential learning. This imprints the
new opportunities into our body and mind.
For example, in Stage 4 you may have very effectively released
old childhood beliefs and feelings around trust and respect, now
there is a new opportunity for genuine trust and respect in your
life. For us to really know and attain these qualities, we have
to go through learning experiences. Any body mind "residue"
of old distrusts and disrespect will be brought out by new learning
We often have an expectation after deep healing that everything
will be the dream we always hoped for. That is possible. And realistic.
And it is a process. This stage is to learn and experience what
is needed to have those dreams be able to come true. This stage
is to learn how to accept and honor the "process" of
our life as it unfolds through our self-effort and through the
Grace of Consciousness.
Now that you know you can have the dreams come true, now that
the "intent" is clear, the "capability" needs
to match the intent. This happens through experiential learning.
These new skills are both inner and outer. Inner skills are things
such as helping to focus and quiet an agitated mind, being clear
on what is needed and what is felt, or how to diffuse a powerful
triggering situation. Outer skills would be things such as communication,
organizing activities and resources, or relationship skills.
How Long Will This Take?
People often wonder, "How long does it take to heal? How
many sessions do I need?" The reality is that healing takes
time, and the process is different for each individual.
This concept of time is often linked to our childhood core learning.
"It's taking too long. Hurry up. Don't just stand there,
do something," and such. These are concepts that are "man
made." This is time according to our mind, or our ego.
What is true time could be called Natural Time. Natural time is
exactly the amount of time that is needed. The consciousness that
is the source of natural time knows exactly how much time is needed
for anything that unfolds in our life, including our entire life.
This is often challenging. Our minds, our friends, our relatives,
our teachers, our religious leaders are often counseling us to
operate in another concept of time. "Your clock is ticking,
you’re not a teenager anymore, you're too old for that,"
The goal of this healing process is to honor and accept natural
time. To accept natural time is to be at peace in whatever evolutionary
process consciousness is unfolding for us, whether it takes one
week or five years. This five stage healing process is typically
less than a year. The process of learning and evolving will continue
on and on after this process.
You will have an opportunity to once again give a loving, beneficial
human development to your inner child, that part that never received
a truly functional human development. You will have the opportunity
to go through the stages of human development again. This time
- with your own love and clarity to support your self. This time
- with new and functional life skills. You will have an opportunity
to do this with acceptance and respect of natural time. You will
have an opportunity to do this an acceptance and commitment to
your own self-effort and to the Grace of Consciousness. You will
have the opportunity to be your unique, human self. To find you’re
inner direction, your inner love, and fulfillment in all the areas
of your life.