Oprah and the Hole in the Soul

When Oprah talks, people listen

Let’s hope Oprah’s message in her interview about Developmental Trauma penetrates the veil of denial about its presence in our American culture. She says it’s time to connect the dots between what happens to people in early childhood and the problems they are having in their adult lives.

Pulling No Punches

Oprah’s expert guest Bruce Perry doesn’t use euphemisms such as “toxic stress” to describe this early trauma like some in the healthcare industry are now doing. No, he calls it Developmental Trauma — trauma so deep that it literally affects early development, and lifelong mental and physical health.

And Oprah goes even further in her truth-telling. She describes this deep wounding as a “hole in the soul.” She says that if you don’t fix the hole in the soul where the wound started, you’re working on the wrong thing.

Watch the Video Here:

Developmental Trauma is The Game Changer

Oprah’s story on Developmental Trauma has transformed her so much that she describes it as a personal “game changer.” I couldn’t agree more with her, as the title in my co-authored book shows. She talks about how her girl’s school in Africa has become a trauma informed care institution, and says that you can’t build resilience and grit if there’s a hole in your soul.

What exactly is this “hole in the soul” that Oprah is talking about?

It’s caused by disruptions in the mother-child attachment system that create an inconsistent flow of physical, emotional, and spiritual nurturing.

These disconnects, commonly known as abandonment, abuse and neglect, create chronic fear reactions that disturb basic biological functions during the early critical periods of development.

The lack of social and relational support during the first three years of life ultimately lead to an inner emptiness that causes addictions, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and auto-immune disorders.

Oprah and Developmental Trauma: Connecting the Dots

Connecting the dots between childhood trauma and adult social, mental and physical problems is just the first step. The real question is, “How do you heal this hole in the soul?”

It’s a question that I’ve been working to answer in my own life, both personally and professionally. Oprah says fixing this hole requires being loved by somebody somewhere. And while she is right on, this is still a bit too abstract for most people.

Plain as the Nose on Your Face

It’s not abstract for me and my husband and professional partner, Barry Weinhold. We have spent the last 33 years focused on using love to heal the holes in our souls and those of our students, clients and the readers of our numerous books on developmental trauma.

Our heart-centered approach for healing developmental is anchored in the science of trauma, the science of the heart, and grounded in the art of loving.

An Integrative Approach

We believe that truly healing the hole in the soul requires an integrative approach, one that includes developmental psychotherapy, somatic support for the nervous system, and neurochemical support.



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