Skip to content

Canadian Voices

Home » Gabor Mate

Gabor Mate

Addictions and the Biology of Loss: What Happens When Parent-Child Attachments are Impaired

Date Recorded: Sep 26th, 2008
Recorded At: Where Science Meets our Hearts Conference, Nelson, BC
Recorded By: Vita Marguin
Duration: 59:00

Topic Background
Gabor Mate contends that the first years of a child’s life have the greatest impact on the psychological makeup of human beings. Lifelong emotional patterns, core beliefs and behaviours—in short, what we see as personality, are essentially shaped by early childhood environment. Early events, even during intrauterine life, also do much to shape our physiology and our responses to stress. Because of the key influence of the attachment environment on the developing human brain, our earliest interactions with our caregivers often define whether we function as fully realized individuals or have to overcome challenges like depression or anxiety, attention deficit disorder, chronic illness, or even the whole spectrum of substance or behavioural addictions.

This talk was one of the keynotes at at the Science Meets our Hearts Conference, presented by Pre-and-Peri Natal Psychology and Health and West Kootenay Success By Six, In Nelson, British Columbia.

Speaker Biography
Dr. Gabor Maté is a Vancouver-based physician and author.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944, he emigrated to Canada with his family in 1957. After graduating with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, and a few years as a high school English and literature teacher, he returned to school to pursue his childhood dream of being a doctor.

Currently he is the staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and resource centre for the people of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Many of his patients suffer from mental illness, drug addiction and HIV, or all three.

Dr. Mate has had regular medical columns in The Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail, and recently published his fourth book; In the realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction.

He speaks frequently from his unique perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder, and on his firmly held belief in the connection between mind and body health.


For more information about Gabor Mate visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *