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Watch > Episode > Gabor Mate - Why You Are Addicted

Gabor Mate - Why You Are Addicted


Gabor Maté is a Canadian physician who specialises in neurology, psychiatry, and psychology, as well as the study and treatment of addiction. Dr. Maté’s approach to addiction focuses on the trauma his patients have suffered and looks to address this in their recovery, with special regards to indigenous populations around the world.

His book “In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction”, Dr. Maté discusses the types of trauma suffered by addicts and how this affects their decision making in later life.

He is also widely recognised for his perspective on attention deficit disorder and his firmly held belief in the connection between mind and body health. He has authored four books exploring topics including attention deficit disorder, stress, developmental psychology and addiction.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1944, Gabor Maté’s early life was shaped by the turbulent events of the 20th century, including the Holocaust and the Hungarian Revolution. The impact of these experiences laid the groundwork for Maté’s compassionate and empathetic approach to understanding human suffering. His family’s emigration to Canada furthered his journey, where he eventually pursued a career in medicine.

Maté’s groundbreaking work in addiction medicine challenges traditional views on the nature of addiction. He asserts that addictive behaviours are often rooted in early life experiences and trauma.

Central to Maté’s philosophy is the recognition of the profound impact of early childhood experiences and trauma on mental and physical health. He asserts that adverse childhood experiences, such as neglect, abuse, or familial dysfunction, can contribute to a range of health issues, including addiction and mental health disorders. Maté’s emphasis on understanding and addressing these underlying issues reflects his commitment to holistic healing.

Maté challenges the conventional compartmentalisation of mental and physical health, advocating for an integrated understanding of the mind-body connection. He believes that mental health issues are often intertwined with physical health, emphasising the need to approach healthcare with a holistic lens. By considering the interconnected nature of various aspects of an individual’s well-being, Maté encourages a more comprehensive and effective approach to mental health care.

One of Gabor Maté’s key contributions lies in his advocacy for trauma-informed care. He highlights the importance of cultivating compassion within healthcare practices, recognising that individuals often carry the weight of past traumas. Maté’s approach encourages healthcare professionals to be attuned to the emotional and psychological aspects of their patients’ experiences, fostering a healing environment built on empathy and understanding.

Maté’s influence extends beyond clinical practice through his roles as an educator and public speaker. His ability to articulate complex concepts with clarity and compassion has made him a sought-after speaker at conferences, universities, and public forums. Maté shares his insights on topics ranging from addiction and mental health to stress and the mind-body connection, contributing to a broader dialogue on holistic health.

Gabor Maté continues to be a guiding force in the realms of holistic healing and compassionate healthcare. His legacy lies not only in his clinical contributions but also in his role as a catalyst for a paradigm shift in how society approaches health and wellness.

Dr. Gabor Maté’s journey is characterised by a profound commitment to understanding the intricacies of human suffering and healing. Through his compassionate approach to addiction, mental health, and holistic well-being, Maté has redefined the narrative, leaving an enduring legacy that challenges us to view health through a more empathetic and integrated lens. Dr. Gabor Maté stands as a beacon, bridging the realms of science, compassion, and holistic healing for a healthier and more interconnected future.


00:00 | Trailer
02:43 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode
05:51 | Brian’s introduction
06:27 | What Gabor learned about addiction from 12 years in a downtown Vancouver clinic
14:20 | Can addiction be cured
19:08 | Gabor asks Brian if he has any type of an addiction
33:17 | The kind of society behind the war on addicts in the Western World
41:40 | Society’s reaction to Gabor’s views on the causes of trauma and addiction
47:53 | Will there not always be childhood trauma or something in peoples’ lives, to explain addiction
52:08 | Is addiction a modern phenomenon
56:38 | Post traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD) stems from trauma in childhood
59:35 | Bold statement from Gabor that childhood trauma manifests itself in chronic diseases
1:07:04 | Explanation of Brian’s Ayahuasca experience
1:11:20 | Why Gabor experimented in plant medicine, what he learned and its use in helping people
1:18:14 | Research renaissance into psychedelics science and their usage
1:20:21 | Gabor talks about his own childhood trauma
1:25:45 | Optimism for future of healing looking at people’s body and life experience as a whole
1:27:36 | The rational solution for combatting drug use and providing better addiction treatment
1:33:58 | What parents can do to give their child the inner strength to avoid trauma
1:40:29 | Success secrets
1:41:15 | Gabor’s plans for the future
1:44:40 | Phone call to the 20 year old Gabor
1:46:35 | Best advice ever received
1:48:56 | Advice to the 20 year old listening who wants to make the changes Gabor has talked about
1:50:35 | Brian’s summing up.


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