Maté is a medical doctor recently retired from active practice. He was a family physician for two decades and for seven years he served as Medical Coordinator of the Palliative Care Unit at Vancouver Hospital. For twelve years he worked in Vancouver’s
Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard core addiction, mental illness, HIV and related conditions. For two years he was the onsite physician at Vancouver’s unique Supervised Injection Site, North America’s only such facility.
He is internationally known for his work on the mind/body unity in health and illness, on attention deficit disorder and other childhood developmental issues, and his breakthrough analysis of addiction as a psychophysiological response to childhood
trauma and emotional loss.
He is the author of four best-selling books published in twenty languages on five continents, including When The Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress and the award winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters
With Addiction. Gabor is the recipient of an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University and an Honorary Degree of Law from the University of Northern British Columbia, among other awards.
He frequently addresses professional and lay audiences in North America and internationally on issues related to childhood development and parenting, physical and mental health and wellness, and addiction. He
is Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University. His next book, Toxic Culture: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a World of Materialism is under preparation.
Dr. Maté’s four best-selling
books, listed below, have been published internationally in a number of languages.
- In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction (2009 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize winner)
- When the Body Says No: Exploring
the Stress-Disease Connection
- Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It
- Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers (with Gordon Neufeld)
- For more information about Dr.
Gabor Maté and his work, please visit www.drgabormate.com.
Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present
a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them.
Western medicine imposes two separations, neither tenable scientifically. First, it separates mind from the body, largely assuming
that most chronic illnesses have nothing to do with people’s emotional and psychological experiences. And yet, a large and irrefutable body of research has clearly shown that physiologic and behavioural functioning of human beings can be understood only
if we integrate our body functions with those of the mind: functions such as awareness, emotions, our interpretations of and responses to events, and our relationships with other people. Second, Western practice views people’s health as separate from
the social environment, ignoring social determinants of health such as class, gender, economic status, and race. Such factors, in reality, are more important influences on health and longevity than individual predispositions and personal factors such as genes,
cholesterol levels, blood pressure and so on.
This talk shows how a society dedicated to material pursuits rather than genuine human needs and spiritual values stresses its members, undermines healthy child development and dooms many to chronic illness,
from diabetes to heart disease, from autoimmune conditions to cancer.
Only when compassion is present will people allow themselves to see the truth. Compassion for the fact that we`re unconscious, that unconsciousness is a response because it was
too painful to be conscious when we were young, not to blame ourselves for what we did as a result of that, but to be compassionate with ourselves, not to fault ourselves, what we did to ourselves and others, but to be curious to why we did it.