sounds to me like it would be an example of reconsolidation. You activated the old neural pathways (via the memory of your dad bullying you), then you saw an action happening which was one in which you were in control (not him; and with that control, you reassured the kid that you were there to look after her- she was going to be safe)- this is a juxtaposition which disconfirms the emotional learning of the bullied experience (eg. i am small and weak and vulnerable)- and hey presto! The original distressing memory (as well as the current situation which was triggering it) lose their potency- and you end up yawning. Interestingly, i see a lot of clients yawning after we have successfully gone through an EMDR process in which reconsolidation obviously occurred. The next step is to go back to the distressing memory and see if it still has any power to distress you. If it doesnt, then this would be confirmation of reconsolidation. It isnt that new neural pathways have been created; but the existing neural pathways have lost their power to generate distress. The bullying is still part of your autobiographical memory, but it (hopefully) has lost its emotional sting. Apparently, the connections between brain cell 'tenticles' (the synapses) have disconnected for a period of up to 6 hours, during which new emotional learnings can happen in place of the old ones, e.g 'I am now a grown adult who can protect myself'. I think this is a great example of do it yourself reconsolidation. It can happen spontaneously because of certain experiences, in the do it yourself way Eric and you have described, and in cases where this is not sufficient, it can be done by a therapist who is aware of transformative techniques.