Expert Conversations on Trauma, Part 3: Dr. Gabor Maté Returns

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“We suffer because we suppress our pain.” – Gabor Maté

High blood pressure? Take these pills.

Stomachache? Here’s something for you.

Stiff muscles? Try this one.

I have seen it myself, for decades, in how my family has been treated by physicians:

The pain is the thing to be removed; it has to be something truly major for anyone to “look underneath” (but never in a form of therapy).

There are not that many questions about my parents’ lifestyle.

And, more importantly, there are NO questions about what happened to them.

Of course, doctors are doing the best they can with the tools that they have. That’s why, we have to collectively upgrade those tools.

Trauma-informed care doesn’t mean every physician has to be a therapist; it means doctors are aware that there can be underlying causes of the pain someone is experiencing.

Is the pain coming from chronically oppressing your anger?

Has your depression developed due to a strong disconnect from yourself?

This is one of the ideas that Gabor Maté – a trauma expert that I have introduced to you in my first article in this series – is explaining in this video.

This video is long and dense – honestly, I’d say it’s for the ones seriously interested in trauma.

But it is also beautiful, heart-warming, and inspiring.

It’s a deep and engaging dive into how trauma is seen and what is still not widely acknowledged – even though so much research exists! – in the medical community.

Gabor is also asked about what policy changes we’d need to seek to start creating a more trauma-informed society.

His response goes straight to the root of so many problems:

For that, he explains, we have to have a child-centric society: to make sure parents have the resources to spend time with their children (like generous parental leave), care for them, form connections that are healthy and nourishing.

Because trauma is not only about the bad things that happened to you.

It’s also about the good things that didn’t happen.

Gabor does mean the traumatic nature of childhood neglect here.

He references Bruce D. Perry and his work, including his book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing. Interestingly, Perry’s ideas and the book itself is what I’ve presented to you in the second article of my series.

In short, you understand why Gabor Maté is such a big name in the field of trauma. And although in this video he doesn’t engage in any therapy with you, so much of what he says – with such kindness and compassion – feels nicely therapeutic.

Enjoy, learn, be kind, and share.

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