What is Addiction? Dr Gabor Maté

What is Addiction? Dr Gabor Maté

There is a lot of fascinating material by Dr Gabor Maté online. This video gives a very short ‘taster’ of his work.

Dr Gabor Maté was a family physician for over 20 years and also worked for 12 years with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction. He is now a renowned author and speaker.

He incorporates the latest scientific research, his vast experience of individual case histories and his intuitive insights, into his talks and writings.
His approach empowers people to promote their own healing by looking closely at their childhood events and traumas. He argues that it is the beliefs and behaviours that we form in childhood (in order to cope/survive), that are responsible for much of our mental and physical problems as adults.

Maté’s approach to addiction (and many other issues) is very supportive of the RTT method. In this video he explains why addiction itself is not the problem, rather addiction is the symptom of a problem caused by childhood adversity.
The person uses the addiction to relieve pain in the short term, despite long term negative consequences.

Maté says that without addressing the ROOT CAUSE of the pain, a person may try to stop the addictive behaviour, but will ultimately crave further relief and be prone to relapse.
This aligns with the main premise of RTT: to get to the root cause of the problem and not just deal with the symptoms.

Maté says that the only way to really ‘cure’ the addiction is to ‘be with the pain’ which is the root cause.
This is what RTT helps the client to do – to discover the cause of their pain, review it (NOT relive it) and release or redirect it. They can then reframe their beliefs and behaviours associated with this pain. The care and compassion which Maté talks about is provided by the RTT therapist.

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