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Watch > Episode > Gabor Mate - Childhood Trauma Creates Addiction

Gabor Mate - Childhood Trauma Creates Addiction


Close Encounters With Addiction

Dr. Gabor Maté is a Canadian physician, author, and speaker celebrated for his pioneering work in the fields of addiction, mental health, and holistic healing. With a compassionate and holistic approach to understanding human suffering, Maté has emerged as a leading voice in addressing the root causes of addiction and fostering a deeper understanding of the connection between mind, body, and spirit.

In this episode of London Real, Gabor joins host Brian Rose in the studio to discuss why childhood trauma creates addiction, why he sees Donald Trump as a highly traumatised person and the opioid crisis in the US.

Maté’s early life was marked by the tumultuous events of the 20th century, including the Holocaust and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. His family eventually emigrated to Canada, where he pursued a career in medicine. Maté specialised in family practice, palliative care, and addiction medicine, gaining diverse experiences that would shape his unique perspective on health and healing.

Dr. Gabor Maté’s work in addiction medicine has been groundbreaking. Rather than approaching addiction as a mere behavioural issue, Maté delves into the root causes, emphasising the profound connection between early childhood experiences, trauma, and the development of addictive behaviours. His acclaimed book, “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction,” explores these themes and provides a compassionate insight into the lives of individuals struggling with addiction.

Maté argues that addiction is often an attempt to cope with deep emotional pain and unresolved trauma. By understanding and addressing these underlying issues, he advocates for a more empathetic and effective approach to treating addiction, one that goes beyond conventional models of punishment and shame.

In addition to his work on addiction, Gabor Maté has become a prominent figure in the realm of mental health. He emphasises the interconnectedness of the mind and body, challenging the traditional separation of mental and physical health. Maté contends that many mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorders, are intricately linked to early life experiences, stress, and societal influences.

His approach encourages a holistic understanding of individuals, taking into account not only their symptoms but also the broader context of their lives. Maté advocates for a compassionate and trauma-informed approach to mental health care that addresses the root causes of suffering rather than merely managing symptoms.

Gabor Maté’s philosophy extends beyond conventional medicine to embrace holistic healing practices. He explores the impact of stress on physical health and well-being, emphasising the role of chronic stress in the development of various diseases. Maté’s teachings underscore the importance of addressing not only the symptoms but also the underlying emotional and psychological factors that contribute to illness.

Maté’s impact reaches far beyond the confines of clinical practice. He is a sought-after public speaker and educator, delivering talks and workshops on a wide range of topics related to health, wellness, and human development. Maté’s ability to communicate complex ideas with clarity and compassion has made him a revered figure at conferences, universities, and public forums around the world.

Gabor Maté continues to be an influential figure in the fields of addiction medicine, mental health, and holistic healing. His work has left an indelible mark on how society views and approaches these crucial aspects of human well-being.

Gabor Maté’s legacy is characterised by a profound commitment to compassion, understanding, and the holistic integration of mind and body in the pursuit of healing. His work challenges prevailing paradigms, urging us to consider the deeper roots of human suffering and advocate for a more empathetic and comprehensive approach to healthcare. Dr. Gabor Maté stands not only as a medical expert but as a compassionate healer and advocate for the interconnectedness of human experiences in the journey toward health and wholeness.


00:00 | Trailer
03:26 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode
05:33 | Brian’s introduction
06:03 | The pin Gabor Maté proudly wears in his lapel
07:17 | Gabor’s wife issued an ultimatum after 49 years of marriage
10:54 | Learning how to just be and find fulfillment in just being in relationships particularly with young children
23:54 | Why parents need to matter more than peers
33:19 | Step parents first need to develop a relationship with the child
37:48 | Why Silicone Valley chiefs are correct not to allow their children to see a screen device
46:12 | An addiction shared by Gabor Maté and Brian Rose
51:12 | Gabor picks up on Brian’s comparison of traumatic experiences in the London Real film Ironmind
57:26 | Is it possible to raise children without trauma
59:47 | Gabor sees Donald Trump as a highly traumatised person
1:03:03 | Gabor asks Brian whether Ironman racing has become his new addiction
1:08:25 | Brian is concerned he is falsely justifying the obsession which is driving his workaholism
1:10:12 | Gabor’s insight on John Joseph’s statement that he cannot forgive those who abused him as a child
1:18:12 | Former drug addicts do not see the logic in using psychedelic drugs like ayahuasca to help them
1:21:57 | Iboga can change an active heroin user into a non-user overnight, but it is no panacea
1:25:20 | Not everyone who is traumatised becomes addicted, but everyone who is addicted was traumatised
1:26:34 | Medical students need a year’s course on how trauma affects people from a scientific aspect
1:29:16 | Good advice for when returning from an Ayahuasca ceremony
1:31:52 | Why people sometimes refer to Gabor Maté as the people whisperer
1:33:26 | The power of opiates is that they offer three major qualities without which life is unliveable
1:38:08 | How Gabor feels about the way addicts and traumatised people are treated in America
1:40:27 | Working with addicts in downtown Vancouver
1:42:03 | What to do about the opiate epidemic in America and the dangerous move to fentanyl in Canada
1:46:38 | Is current world unrest and environmental issues a result of our ourselves or our relationship with ourselves
1:51:49 | Gabor has no idea of how much time he has left, but does everything he can to keep healthy
1:53:54 | Could he have told the 20 years old Gabor what he knows now and what was he like then
1:55:54 | Success Secrets
1:56:39 | Brian’s summing up.


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