In the EMDR world, we believe that trauma involves two things: What happened and what decisions we make about ourselves relative to what happened.
For example 9-11 traumatized many people across the entire nation. It wasn’t just the random acts of violence, the destruction, and the fact that it was the first time since Pearl Harbor that our country has been attacked on its own soil.
It was also that the decision “I’m not safe” became a common mantra.
How useful is that decision?
It can be very useful when we are crossing a busy street, causing us to look for a crosswalk, follow the lights, and scan for speeding or weaving cars.
In other words, when we can DO something about it, safety decisions are very useful. When we can’t do anything about it, safety decisions are like walking around with a big thorn in our foot.
EMDR helps people unpack their perceptive and decision making process and discover new, healthier beliefs and decisions.