What are the 5 stages of healing?
Are you wondering what the five stages of healing are? Perhaps you’ve recently been diagnosed with a disease or injury, or are trying to recover from an addiction or other condition. The five stages of healing are a roadmap for understanding and navigating your journey towards recovery. Knowing these five stages can help you understand where you currently are in the process of healing, and what to expect as you progress through the stages of recovery.
The five stages of healing have been conceptualized, and named, by numerous individuals, from psychologists and mental health professionals to addiction experts, spiritual leaders, and medical doctors. Though each perspective on the five stages of healing may emphasize different aspects, the core underlying elements are similar.
The Origins of the 5 Stages of Healing
The concept of the five stages of healing, first described by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her seminal 1969 work On Death and Dying, was initially used to address the stages of grief and mourning that follow a loss. Subsequently, the five stages of healing have been adapted by many scholars, experts, and practitioners in the field of mental health, addiction, and even spiritual healing.
The five stages of healing are: Acceptance, Consciousness, Commitment, Transformation, and Change.
What is Acceptance?
Acceptance is the first stage of healing in the five stages of healing. It is recognizing, acknowledging, and accepting the reality of a situation or injury. This is usually a difficult step for many individuals, and can seem almost futile. Yet, acceptance is an important step in the healing process for several reasons. For example, accepting a diagnosis or injury has been scientifically linked to improved psychological health and well-being, as well as a connection to improved physical healing from the condition.
Consciousness and Commitment in Health and Healing
The second and third stages of healing, consciousness and commitment, are closely linked. The stage of consciousness refers to an awareness of our current situation, as well as an awareness of ourselves and of our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. It is an acknowledgement of the reality of our situation, and the desire to move forward in the healing process.
The stage of commitment is both a mental and a physical one. It is a commitment to oneself, to the healing process, and to make the necessary changes to ensure that that healing process is successful.
Transformation in the Healing Journey
The fourth stage of healing is the stage of transformation. This is the stage of transformation and change, of confronting unhealthy patterns and behaviors, and of re-directing our actions and thoughts to better serve our healing goals.
This is the stage where we start to make the changes that move us towards improved emotional, physical, and spiritual health. This is a time for self-reflection and personal growth, of confronting the difficult and uncomfortable, and of facing our innermost thoughts and feelings without shame or judgment.
The Final Step in Healing: Change
Finally, the fifth and final stage of the healing process is the stage of change. This is the stage of putting into action the things we have learned in the preceding stages of healing. This is the stage where we commit to putting into practice the things that we have learned, and to embodying the new values and beliefs we have developed as part of our healing process.
Conclusion: Understanding the 5 Stages of Healing
The five stages of healing provide a useful framework to understand your healing journey. Knowing the five stages and the steps involved in each stage can help you understand where you are in the process of healing, and what to expect as you progress through the stages. No matter what situation or condition you are facing, understanding and going through the five stages of healing can help you on your journey towards recovery.