Gabor Maté: Healing into Wholeness in a Toxic Culture

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December 20, 2022

Gabor Maté: Healing into Wholeness in a Toxic Culture

Gabor Maté December 20, 2022

Celebrated author and physician Dr. Gabor Maté has become one of the world’s foremost voices on the journey of healing from trauma—in large part because it is a path he walks himself. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Maté about his new book, The Myth of Normal, sharing breakthrough insights into the nature of trauma and some of the necessary steps for our personal and collective recovery. 

Give a listen as Tami and Dr. Maté discuss the truth of our interconnectedness; disease as a process, not a distinct entity; self-compassion and honoring our suffering; an inquiry practice—the happy childhood challenge; the emotional work that healing requires; the concepts of wholeness and recovery; the essence of trauma—disconnection from the Self; experiencing your own natural goodness; psychedelics and the veil between the conscious and the unconscious; closing the gap between science and the practice of medicine; learning how to say no before your body does; and more.

This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.

Dr. Gabor Maté is an author, speaker, and physician who specializes in addiction, stress, and childhood development. His many books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and When the Body Says No. His signature psychotherapeutic approach, Compassionate Inquiry, reveals what lies beneath the appearance we present to the world.

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Meet Your Host: Tami Simon

Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

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Gabor Maté: Healing Principles to Embody in a Traumat...

Why do we suppress our authenticity? How do we reconcile the need to accept things as they are with a desire to change them? What is the pathway to healing in a world that’s breaking our hearts? In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with renowned physician and author Dr. Gabor Maté about these profound questions, and how the approach he calls Compassionate Inquiry can help us find the answers within ourselves. 

Listen in to this informative, inspiring, and at times “fiery” conversation exploring how to bridge the gap between understanding and embodiment; the “full heart beneath a broken heart”; paying attention to tension; growth, not perfection; the neuroscience of emotions; the connections between sensitivity and addiction; activism and advocacy as an element of healing; the dance of acceptance and agency; psychoneuroimmunology; the search for truth and where it emanates from; and more.

Note: This episode originally aired on Sounds True One, where these special episodes of Insights at the Edge are available to watch live on video and with exclusive access to Q&As with our guests. Learn more at join.soundstrue.com.

Gabor Maté: Healing into Wholeness in a Toxic Culture

Celebrated author and physician Dr. Gabor Maté has become one of the world’s foremost voices on the journey of healing from trauma—in large part because it is a path he walks himself. In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Maté about his new book, The Myth of Normal, sharing breakthrough insights into the nature of trauma and some of the necessary steps for our personal and collective recovery. 

Give a listen as Tami and Dr. Maté discuss the truth of our interconnectedness; disease as a process, not a distinct entity; self-compassion and honoring our suffering; an inquiry practice—the happy childhood challenge; the emotional work that healing requires; the concepts of wholeness and recovery; the essence of trauma—disconnection from the Self; experiencing your own natural goodness; psychedelics and the veil between the conscious and the unconscious; closing the gap between science and the practice of medicine; learning how to say no before your body does; and more.

This episode first aired live and on video on Sounds True One. To watch Insights at the Edge episodes live and on video, and to access additional bonus Q&A, please visit join.soundstrue.com to learn more.

Gabor Maté: The Roots of Healing

Dr. Gabor Maté is an author, speaker, and physician who specializes in addiction, stress, and childhood development. His many books include In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and When the Body Says No. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Dr. Maté about his views on modern mental health evaluation—specifically the widespread diagnoses of ADHD and depression. They discuss the connection between emotional expression and immune response, as well as how the body can be an effective teacher. Finally, Dr. Maté comments on how mental health issues can often be rooted in compensating behaviors from childhood and how healing can be approached from a bio-psycho-social perspective. (68 minutes)

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Embracing Empathy as Your Superpower

What do I do when a loved one is suffering? How do I have empathy if I’m getting a divorce or losing my job? If my family treats me unfairly? Or if I’m emotionally overwhelmed or in chronic pain?

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, I’ve written The Genius of Empathy for you. It also includes a beautiful foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In the book, I present empathy as a healing force that helps you overcome obstacles in your life with dignity, grace, and power. As a psychiatrist and empath, I draw from my insights and present techniques from my own life and from the healing journeys of my clients, students, and readers. As I say in the book, “Empathy softens the struggle, quiets the unkind voices, and lets you befriend yourself again.”

Empathy doesn’t mean being “on call” 24 hours a day for those in need. Empaths can often wear an invisible sign that says, “I can help you.” However, if you want to heal yourself, have better relationships, and contribute to healing our tumultuous world, you must learn how to set healthy boundaries and observe, not absorb, the energy of others.

To start taking a more proactive role in how much empathy you give others at any one time, I suggest that you keep in mind the following “rights.” They will help you maintain a healthy mindset and prevent or lessen any empathy overwhelm that might arise:

  • I have the right to say a loving, positive “no” or “no, thank-you.”
  • I have the right to set limits with how long I listen to people’s problems.
  • I have the right to rest and not be always available to everyone.
  • I have the right to quiet peacefulness in my home and in my heart.

Practice: Take a Sound Break to Repair Yourself

Plan periods of quiet to recover from our noisy, fast-paced world. This helps calm your nervous system and your mind, an act of self-empathy.

It’s rejuvenating to schedule at least five minutes of quiet or, even better, complete silence for an hour or more where no one can intrude. As I do, hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your office or bedroom door. During this reset period, you’ve officially escaped from the world. You’re free of demands and noxious sounds. You may also get noise canceling earbuds to block out noise.

If too much quiet is unsettling, go for a walk in a local park or a peaceful neighborhood to decompress from excessive sound stimulation. Simply focus on putting one foot in front of the other, which is called mindful walking. Nothing to do. Nothing to be. Move slowly and refrain from talking. If thoughts come, keep refocusing on your breath, each inhalation and exhalation. Just letting life settle will regenerate your body and empathic heart.

Embracing your empathy does require courage. It can feel scary. If you’re ready to discover its healing power, I would be honored to be your guide to helping you in overcoming your fears and obstacles, and enhancing this essential skill for long-term change.

Though many of us have never met, I feel connected to you. Connection is what fuels life. While empathy is what allows you to find peace. With both, we can make sense of this world together.

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Ignite empathy as a superpower for personal healing, deeper relationships, and more potent work in the world. New York Times bestselling author Dr. Judith Orloff draws on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and energy medicine to show us how to access our sensitivities, soothe our nervous systems, and embody our most fierce and authentic selves.

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