Ep. 246 The Myth of Normal, Understanding Your Trauma, and How to Heal in a Toxic Culture with Dr. Gabor Maté

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Today I have the honor of connecting with the renowned speaker and bestselling author Dr. Gabor Maté! Dr. Maté is highly sought-after for his expertise on various topics, including addiction, trauma, stress, and childhood development. He recently wrote a New York Times bestselling book, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture.

For many of us, the concept of trauma is controversial and largely misunderstood. In today’s discussion with Dr. Maté, I am transparent, honest, and open about how I grew up and how my childhood experiences have influenced me throughout my lifetime. We get into the definition of trauma, why trauma is so widespread and misunderstood, the differences between habit and addiction, the impact of a toxic culture and materialism, and the epidemic of loneliness. We discuss the impact of the pandemic, a loss of control, why women are at greater risk of developing autoimmune disorders, and the impact of adverse childhood events. We also speak about what negatively impacts healthy childhood development, multigenerational trauma, and healing through compassionate inquiry.  

I hope you will find great value in listening to today’s thought-provoking and insightful podcast!

“Trauma is a wound that happens to you as a result of what happened to you, and the impacts of that wound persist and show up throughout your life until you resolve it.”

-Dr. Gabor Maté


  • Dr. Maté discusses and defines trauma.
  • The difference between a habit and an addiction.
  • How do various addictions ( drugs, work, shopping, attention, etc.) differ?
  • How the loneliness and isolation from childhood trauma get carried into adult life and could lead to illness.
  • How the social isolation of the pandemic brought some families closer together and drove others further apart.
  • How materialism ties into trauma, addiction, and the current epidemic of loneliness.
  • How many of the problems clinicians deal with today result from trauma and disconnection
  • What studies show about women and autoimmune diseases.
  • Why do we need to acknowledge the impact of the disparity within our modern-day materialist culture?
  • What can we do to ensure that our young children develop in a healthy way?
  • Healing from multigenerational trauma

Connect with Cynthia Thurlow

Connect with Dr. Gabor Maté

Books mentioned:

Hold Onto Your Kids by Dr. Gabor Maté and Gordon Neufeld

Dr. Maté’s book, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture, and all his other books are available online and from most bookstores.