Book Of The Week: The 12 Stages of Healing

Every now and then, I re-read books that’ve had a strong impact on me. Recently, I rediscovered “The 12 Stages of Healing” by Donald M. Epstein. One of the reasons this book had such a strong impression on me was the reminder that we need to reunite with aspects of ourselves that have been alienated, forgotten, traumatized, ignored, or not forgiven. It’s easy to forget this lesson when we’re going through the motions of life.

But if we hope to be successful in the healing process, we have to acknowledge the parts that we’ve tried to push down or pretend don’t exist.

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“The 12 Stages of Healing” is about experiencing wholeness and wellness on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. Donald M. Epstein explains that healing is very different from curing symptoms. Modern Western medicine may attempt to cure or eliminate disease and symptoms through medication, surgery, or other modalities. Healing, on the other hand, encourages self-empowerment, alignment, and integration. 

The 12 Stages

During the first stage of healing, aspects of ourselves that have been alienated, disconnected, or dishonored come to the surface seeking attention. We experience suffering in this stage because of a distorted sense of self. This first stage may lead us to stage two, where we recognize cycles and may even seek help or for someone to rescue us. Once we realize the rhythms and differences within, we will be able to move on to stage three. The recognition in stage three is that we are stuck in a perspective.

Stage four has the potential to bring about the most change. It is in this stage that we take responsibility for our healing and reclaim our personal power and wholeness. 

As we continue to move through each stage, the realization of our inner power becomes more vital. But it is important not to rush through or force the 12 stages.

At the end of each chapter, there are exercises to help us move through each stage. I found the declarations and exercises very therapeutic. Going through each stage, there was a part of me that was almost brought to tears because of the different realizations I had about myself.

Final Thoughts

This book has changed my perspective on what a healing journey really consists of. Donald M. Epstein has introduced me to some very powerful concepts and steps to take to continue on my journey to wholeness and I am forever grateful.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past year and a half since I read the book. I can see why they say growth is a journey, not a destination.

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