Home Happiness Sneak Peek: Our Interview With Dr. Gabor Maté

Our Spring 2020 issue is set to hit the shelves on Friday, March 6th, with oodles of great content lined up for you to enjoy. Our main feature this issue is an interview with the famed author and speaker Dr. Gabor Maté. Read on for a special sneak peek!

Ending Pain, Embracing Love

We interview Dr. Gabor Maté

by Aisling Cronin

Interviewer: Noel Sweeney

Dr. Gabor Maté is a world-renowned speaker and author, well-known for his expertise on a range of complex issues, including addiction, stress and childhood development.

Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, 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.

His books include the award-winning ‘In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts’: ‘Close Encounters with Addiction’; ‘When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress.’ His works have been published in twenty languages.

For twelve years, Dr. Maté worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site. He is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction – a non-profit that focuses on addiction – and an advisor of Drugs over Dinner.

Dr. Maté has received the Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction; an Honorary Degree (Law) from the University of Northern British Columbia; an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University; and the 2012 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Mothers Against Teen Violence. His groundbreaking medical work and writing has also seen him honoured with the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown of Vancouver.

We were thrilled to speak with Dr. Maté recently, exploring topics as diverse as addiction, the roots of pain, plant medicine, leadership, and more.

Many people will know you as a medical doctor, and the name of Gabor Maté has become well-known within the holistic world. Can you explain a bit about how you came to the holistic approach, given that you had a conventional medical background?

If your eyes are open, as a medical practitioner, you can’t help noticing that people are not just ailments. They also have stories. They have lives. And after a while, you begin to see, very clearly, the connection between their lives – their social status, their social experiences, things that have happened to them – and their illnesses. The Western separation between mind and body, which views people as separate from their environment, has increasingly proven to be quite unscientific. There have been many studies produced from a Western perspective, demonstrating that people’s social environment, and their experiences, can have a significant impact on their health. Western medicine, as it is currently practised, hasn’t caught up with Western science. So I started noticing that in my practice, especially when I noticed several generations of the same family presenting with the same condition. It prompted me to explore the subject on a deeper level.


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