Oprah Winfrey was a trendsetter in opening up the conversation around trauma, healing and self-improvement. She fearlessly used her platform to vocalize her own childhood mistreatment, years before others in the public sphere began to openly discuss similar issues.
In the fall of 1990, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” aired an episode dedicated to childhood wounds and welcomed John Bradshaw as special guest. The '80s and '90s saw Bradshaw becoming a regular on TV talk shows. His therapeutic sessions featured components of developmental psychology, a smattering of philosophy and theology, as well as his own dramatic flair, to provide invaluable advice to those in need and those listening.
In this episode, Bradshaw took the controls as he led Oprah's crowd in a 7-minute guided meditation. He asked them to travel back in their minds to their childhood house and relief themselves from a tribulation. As the two-minute mark arrived, members of the audience could visibly be seen crying as they focused on the eyes of their younger self.
Although it has been nearly 33 years since the episode aired, it continues to have a major impact on people. Anonymousally98 recently posted some of the clip to TikTok under the title "How I healed my wounded inner child in 7 minutes w an episode of Oprah."
The video racked up over 4 million views and evoked an impassioned response from watchers.
Looking back, it is awe-inspiring that Winfrey had the courage in the competitive environment of daytime television to design programming that was both exciting and restorative. It is a demonstration of her extraordinary gifts as a broadcaster and producer that, years later, her work continues to connect with so many people.