Dr. Gabor Maté Speaks About Trauma


Gabor Vancouver 2016

The essence of trauma is that, as a result of the overt abuse or neglect, or because of the relational trauma, we lose the connection to our essence. That’s what the trauma is. The trauma is not what happened; the trauma is not that I was raped, the trauma is not that I was abandoned, the trauma is not that I was hit, the trauma is not that my parents didn’t know how to listen to me.

That’s not the trauma; the trauma is that, as a result of that, I lost the connection to myself. Hence, I lost the connection to my essential qualities: my joy, my vitality, my clarity, my wisdom, my power, my strength, my courage. That’s the trauma!

The good news is, THAT can be healed, because if the trauma is the loss of connection to myself then that loss of connection to myself can be healed. What happened 50 years ago, or 20 years ago, or 15 years ago, or 3 years ago can’t be healed. If you were raped when you were five years old by your grandfather, that’s never going to change. But if the effect of that was that you lost the connection to yourself, that can be changed.

My teacher Almaas says, “The fundamental thing that happened, and the greatest calamity, is not that there was no love or support. The greater calamity, which was caused by that first calamity, is that you lost the connection to your essence.” That is much more important than whether your mother or father loved you or not. That is the beauty of it.

The above quote from Dr. Maté was recorded at a Beyond Addiction workshop in Vancouver in 2015.

Click here for upcoming Beyond Addiction: The Yogic Path to Recovery workshops

7 responses to “Dr. Gabor Maté Speaks About Trauma

  1. Please disregard my recent email, I misunderstood the criteria, I thought the workshops were for individuals dealing with trauma, not substance abuse issues.

    1. Hello Darlene – the workshops are for everyone; we all have habitual thought patterns leading to unhealthy behaviours. The program helps us identify those and change them. There are yoga classes based on the program at Yoga West in Kitsilano, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 7:30-8:45 a.m. You can find them listed here https://beyondaddiction.ca/events/community-classes/. All the best, Sat Dharam

  2. I so believe this. I can now look at my trauma through the eyes of a mature adult rather than the age of the traumatic experience. From that I can heal.

    1. Congratulations, that’s a big accomplishment. Acceptance of what happened, experiencing and releasing the emotion, and recognizing that the past needn’t define YOU, are key.
      Sat Dharam

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