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Dr. Gabor Maté

Expert on Addiction, Stress & Childhood Development

A renowned speaker, and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Presentations

When the Body Says No: The Mind/Body Connection & Stress
Stress is ubiquitous these days — it plays a role in the workplace, in the home, and virtually everywhere that people interact. It can take a heavy toll unless it is recognized and managed effectively and insightfully. Western medicine, in theory and practice, tends to treat mind and body as separate entities. This separation, which has always gone against ancient human wisdom, has now been demonstrated by modern science to be not only artificial, but false. Maté clarifies how to recognize stress in personal and professional life, and how to prevent it.

The Hungry Ghost: A Biopsychosocial Perspective on Addiction, from Heroin to Workaholism
For twelve years Dr. Maté was the staff physician at a clinic for drug-addicted people in Vancouver’s downtown East side, where he worked with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at the Vancouver Supervised Injection Site. Helping the addicted individual requires that we appreciate the function of the addiction in his or her life. More than a disease, the addiction is a response to a distressing life history and life situation. Once we recognize the roots of addiction and the lack it strives (in vain) to fill, we can develop a compassionate approach toward the addict, one that stands the best chance of restoring him or her to wholeness and health.

Beyond The Medical Model: A Biopsychosocial View of Attention Deficit Disorder and other Childhood Developmental Disorders
The diagnosis of attention deficit disorder, or AD(H)D (with or without hyperactivity), is burgeoning. Nearly three million children in the U.S. take stimulant medications for this condition, while in Canada the number of Ritalin prescriptions has more than quintupled in the last decade. The prevailing medical model of ADHD views it as an inheritable illness. In his bestselling Scattered Minds Gabor Maté rejects a narrow genetic perspective – and this despite the fact that he has been diagnosed with ADD himself, as have two of his children. He shows that while genetic predisposition may play a role, it is by no means decisive.

Peer Orientation: Why Children Are Stressed, Why Parents and Teachers Are Disempowered and How To Restore a Healthy Balance in Adult-Child Relationships
This talk aims at restoring parenting to its natural intuitive basis and the adult-child relationship to its rightful preeminence. The concepts, principles and practical advice articulated will empower parents, teachers and other adults who play a nurturing role to be for children what nature intended: the true source of contact, security and warmth. Parents must regain their natural authority, without coercion, punishment and artificial consequences. Children need to be protected from becoming lost in the emotionally barren and culturally backward world of peer orientation.

The Biology of Loss: What Happens When Attachments Are Impaired and How To Foster Resilience
This presentation, based on the best-selling Scattered Minds, Hold on To Your Kids, and In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts, outlines the mental health implications of early childhood emotional loss, whether due to abuse in the family or simply of stress on the parents, on the subsequent loss of attunement with the child.

Illness & Health in a Toxic Society
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.

Awards

2012
Mothers Against Teen Violence | Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award


  • His simple, clear way of presenting his material was absolutely captivating, and the audience quickly forgot the absence of any showy PowerPoint slides or other visual aids… In his understated manner, Dr. Maté proceeded to outline a message so vital that people here are still talking about it.

    - Center for Advanced Research and Education
  • There is no way you can fully appreciate how much we valued your participation in this event… The feedback has been over the top positive and we just simply can’t thank you enough.

    - Pivot Legal Society
  • Dr. Maté's talk was one of the best I have ever seen. Everybody was delighted! I'd like to thank you very much for making this possible.

    - Universidade de Brasília

Summary Profile

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.

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. With over 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience and extensive knowledge of the latest findings of leading-edge research, Dr. Maté is a sought-after speaker and teacher, regularly addressing health professionals, educators, and lay audiences throughout North America.

As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction; When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress; and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, and co-authored Hold on to Your Kids. His works have been published internationally in twenty languages.

Dr. Maté is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction, a new non-profit that focusses on addiction. He is also 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. He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.