I think that not focusing on a traumatic event, generally speaking, is sound advice for people who experience trauma as an isolated event as an adult. But I also think that one’s capacity to intuitively derail negative thinking as an adult is at least in part determined by the level of personal resilience that was nurtured and encouraged to develop within their family of origin. I don’t believe that children who are traumatized have the capacity to put damaging behaviors or events into context. What they experience is their reality of who they are and what they are being shown that they deserve. In the absence of at least one supportive, responsive, caring adult to refute or re-frame negative experiences and to assure safety from threat, a child’s brain forms into an adult brain in which a highly reactive foundation has been laid. One can know intellectually that hurtful words or assessments are not true, but response to perceived threat born out of a history of trauma and a resultant belief about one’s worth and place in the world doesn’t really allow for that sort of measured thinking. I think that even for those who are blessed not to have experienced trauma, the power of the sadness and sometimes shock one feels coming face to face with someone who is angry or hurt enough themselves to want to harm others can be very disorienting.