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May 18/19, 2017 | Gabor Maté

Trauma and Healing

An Exploration of Mental Illness, Addiction and Disease

Regent’s University, London

Trauma is not what happens to us, but what happens inside us. Based on Gabor Maté’s bestselling books, this two-day workshop will explore the traumatic basis of physical disease, mental illness, addiction and childhood developmental problems. It will illuminate all of these conditions not as separate diagnostic entities, but as bio-psychosocial phenomena, manifestations of the unity of mind and body, physiology and psychology, and of the individual with the social environment. Treatment approaches must flow from such a holistic understanding.

Participants will:

  • Develop an understanding of mind/body unity as illuminated by modern science in the field of psychoneuroimmunology.
  • Learn how the early rearing environment shapes us psychologically and physiologically, and may create a life-long template for stress-generating behaviours and emotional functioning. These, in turn, can trigger the onset of disease.
  • Recognize the stress-driven and therefore disease-prone personality, and how to reverse the unconscious dynamics that lead to stress.
  • Learn about how early experiences influence brain development, the conditions necessary for healthy development and those that impair it.
  • Understand the nature of addiction neither as a choice or genetically-determined brain disease, but as a complex psychological and physiological response to trauma.
  • Understand the brain circuits implicated in addiction and the dynamics that need to be addressed in the healing of addiction.
  • Appreciate the social basis of addiction in economic and cultural dislocation and insecurity, and in historical trauma.
  • Develop a sophisticated understanding of the nature of compassionate and science-based approaches to the healing of addictive tendencies.

Workshop tutor

Dr. Gabor Maté is a renowned speaker, bestselling author and highly sought after speaker and teacher for his expertise on a range of topics including stress, addiction 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. For twelve years Dr. Maté worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, and he has over 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience. Dr. Maté has extensive knowledge of the latest findings of leading-edge research and he regularly addresses 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 AddictionWhen 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. He is the co-founder of the non-profit organization Compassion for Addiction and is an advisor of Drugs over Dinner. Dr. Maté has received the Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, an Honorary Degree 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 at Simon Fraser University.

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