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Dr. Gabor Maté — The Myth of Normal, Metabolizing Anger, Processing Trauma, and Finding the Still Voice Within (#620)

Dr. Gabor Maté — The Myth of Normal, Metabolizing Anger, Processing Trauma, and Finding the Still Voice Within (#620)

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“The essence of trauma is loss of contact with yourself, loss of connection to yourself.”

— Dr. Gabor Maté

Dr. Gabor Maté (@DrGaborMate) is a renowned speaker and bestselling author, highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics that includes addiction, stress, and childhood development. Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books, including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with AddictionWhen the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection, and Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It. He has also coauthored Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. His works have been published internationally in nearly thirty languages.

His new book is The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture.

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

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The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#620: Dr. Gabor Maté — The Myth of Normal, Metabolizing Anger, Processing Trauma, and Finding the Still Voice Within

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Would you like to hear the last time Dr. Gabor Maté was on this podcast? Have a listen to our conversation here, in which we discussed redefining addiction, opportunities opened by the use of nontraditional therapeutic methods, examining the causes of addiction rather than just the consequences, the role genetics play in addiction, the value of psychedelics for treating addiction, how Dr. Maté’s practices changed after the use of ayahuasca, what he means when he says “The task which hinders your task is your task,” and much more.

#298: Dr. Gabor Maté — New Paradigms, Ayahuasca, and Redefining Addiction

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.



  • Connect with Dr. Gabor Maté:

Website | The Myth of Normal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


  • [05:30] How COVID affected Gabor.
  • [06:33] Exploring plant medicine with Indigenous First Nations.
  • [13:29] How Gabor got fired from his own ayahuasca retreat.
  • [16:35] Can Indigenous medicine ever be understood through a Western lens?
  • [21:37] How does Gabor clear himself of the trauma he takes from others?
  • [22:48] Was writing The Myth of Normal more labor intensive than Gabor’s other works?
  • [25:40] A personal story about how past trauma can show up in everyday life.
  • [29:01] Coping with rage and anger.
  • [40:01] Attachment versus authenticity.
  • [45:12] Where does depression originate?
  • [48:23] Raising a child to learn self-regulation.
  • [52:24] What Gabor hopes The Myth of Normal readers don’t miss.
  • [57:20] Finding the right balance of self-care when caring for a family.
  • [1:01:18] The harm of focusing on correcting a child’s behavior rather than their underlying emotional dynamics.
  • [1:05:47] Rehabilitation versus punishment of incarcerated, traumatized adults.
  • [1:14:55] If he couldn’t write, what would be the focus of Gabor’s clinical practice?
  • [1:17:50] Finding and listening to one’s inner voice or calling.
  • [1:25:58] Are you bargaining with your authenticity?
  • [1:30:41] Parting thoughts.


“Depression is not this inherited brain disease. It’s a result of having to push down one’s emotions as a child.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“The intent of good parenting or good child-rearing is to help the development of self-regulation. The question is how to get there.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“The potential of rehabilitation and bringing people back to their human selves is enormous, given the right circumstances. … I’m not saying that we should allow murder or that we should encourage crime. What I’m saying is if we apply the light of understanding to what drives people, and … the correctional system really becomes a system that corrects people rather than just punishes them, we could do so much with what we already know. And you know what? It wouldn’t cost more. It would cost less.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“I’m looking at this beautiful mountain and this bison and the sunset, and nobody had to convince me that nature contains us all.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“The shamans told me that when they knew that 24 healers, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists are coming from the West, they thought we’d have an easy job because they said, ‘We absorb a lot of trauma from other people as well, but we clear it out of ourselves. So we expected you would have done the same thing.’ They said they’ve never worked with such a heavy bunch of people in their whole lives than these Western doctors.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“The world keeps feeding me information that demands to be metabolized and synthesized and written and spoken. And then over the last few years, as we’ve seen crisis upon crisis, it just occurs to me somebody’s going to write about how life in this system affects the health of human beings.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“If I were to infringe on your boundaries, either physically or emotionally, the healthy response for you is to mount an anger response. ‘No. Get out. Stay away.’ That’s healthy. Healthy anger is in the moment. It protects your boundaries and then it’s gone. It’s not necessary anymore.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“We have another need as creatures and as human beings, which is to be authentic. Now, I don’t mean any kind of new age, woo-woo concept by this. I mean knowing what we feel and being able to know how to act on what we feel.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“The essence of trauma is a loss of contact with yourself, a loss of connection to yourself.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“If you landed in a country where nobody spoke your language and you had to portray hunger, you’d have to act it out. The kids are acting out their emotional needs. The question is, are we going to respond to the child or are we going to try and suppress the behavior?”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

“So much of what’s taught as parenting advice is designed to manipulate or shape or suppress kids’ behaviors rather than understanding the child. And by the way, this is also true of adults. We look at human beings and we don’t see what’s really driving them. We just either approve or disapprove of how they’re behaving.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté


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