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

“Trauma isn’t what happens to you; it’s what happens inside you.”

— Gabor Maté

[HOUSEKEEPING NOTE: Some people in the comments are asking “Which ayahuasca/ibogaine retreat center would you recommend?” and similar questions. To avoid DIY medicine, potential injuries, and other liability headaches, we have decided not to publish these comments. There’s plenty of other material to work with.]  

Dr. Gabor Maté (@DrGaborMate) is a physician who specializes in neurology, psychiatry, and psychology. He’s well known for studying and treating addiction.

Dr. Maté has written several books, including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. His work has been published internationally in 20 languages, and he’s received the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize; an Honorary Degree (Law) 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, Simon Fraser University.

I’ve wanted to invite Dr. Maté to this podcast for a while because he is not only an expert in the pathologies of addiction, but he’s experimented with — and used successfully — tools that are perhaps outside the realm of traditional psychiatry. He is also a co-founder, along with Vicky Dulai, of Compassion for Addiction, a group that advocates for a new way to understand and treat addiction.


You can listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can watch the interview on YouTube here. You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Dr. Gabor Maté - New Paradigms, Ayahuasca, and Redefining Addiction

Want to hear more about alternative medicine? Check out my conversations with James Fadiman, Ph.D. In the below episode, we discuss LSD and micro-dosing for creative problem solving, anxiety reduction, and more (stream below or right-click here to download):

Ep 66: The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide - Risks, Micro-Dosing, Ibogaine, and More

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with Gabor Maté:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Show Notes

  • Gabor shares his family history and how it motivated him to understand people as a medical doctor. [09:58]
  • On influential books and gaining, rather than losing, something in translation. [14:06]
  • The link between sensitivity, pain, and creativity. [21:33]
  • How does Gabor start helping someone who’s outwardly successful but inwardly tortured? [24:31]
  • When did Gabor’s interest in medicine begin? [29:58]
  • How did Gabor end up working in palliative care? [33:49]
  • How did Gabor start focusing on his work with addiction? [36:29]
  • What nontraditional methods did Gabor use that raised eyebrows and got him fired, which opened opportunities he couldn’t have foreseen? [37:10]
  • How does Gabor define addiction, and how is it at odds with other definitions? [39:16]
  • What prompted my high school drug addiction? [41:32]
  • How a coping mechanism becomes the root of addiction. [47:39]
  • Looking at the causes of addiction instead of the consequences. [52:10]
  • To what extent do genetics play a role in addiction? [1:01:56]
  • What do the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) studies tell us about the nature of addiction? [1:04:50]
  • How I’ve used loving kindness meditation to shed certain behaviors. [1:07:17]
  • Once Gabor identifies why an addiction exists, what’s the next step? [1:11:37]
  • Recommendations for someone looking to reconnect with themselves. [1:14:34]
  • After a lifetime of believing himself unaffected by the benefits of yoga, what kind of yoga has Gabor recently started practicing with great success? [1:18:42]
  • How did Gabor begin researching the therapeutic value of psychedelics? What was revealed by his first experience with ayahuasca? [1:20:56]
  • The right way and the wrong way to experience ayahuasca. [1:26:46]
  • Where can people learn more about current scientific studies into the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics? [1:30:40]
  • An important caveat about powerful tools and exploitative gurus. [1:35:05]
  • How I’ve been trying to reconnect with myself and my own gut feelings. [1:38:29]
  • Why we shut down our gut feelings. [1:41:14]
  • Elvis Presley’s lack of love song. [1:45:55]
  • Some powerful modalities aren’t for everyone. [1:47:26]
  • How did humans discover ayahuasca? How might it differ from place to place? [1:49:17]
  • Gabor’s pre- and post-ayahuasca practices. [1:53:14]
  • The importance of integrating by sharing our powerful experiences with others. [1:59:41]
  • The clear intention you set is not the same as an expectation. “The task which hinders your task is your task.” [2:01:20]
  • How can we view such a task as a gift? [2:05:07]
  • An exercise for understanding how we respond not to what happens but to our perception of what happens. [2:07:18]
  • Why blaming others for our problems turns us into victims, while identifying ourselves as the source of those problems is empowering. [2:14:01]
  • What Gabor’s books are about and where he and his work can be found. [2:19:25]
  • The problem with the way the United States deals with trauma. [2:24:47]
  • Parting thoughts. [2:27:05]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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166 Replies to “Dr. Gabor Maté — New Paradigms, Ayahuasca, and Redefining Addiction (#298)”

  1. I’ve been following Gabor Maté’s works for a long time and so excited you had him on! I didn’t even get a chance to listen yet but had to say thanks 🙏

  2. Fascinating podcast Tim – some amazing revelations. I was particularly interested in his discussion on the formation of trauma responses, and in particular in his definition of depression as a trauma response. Thanks for exploring these enlightening avenues of research.

  3. Thank you for this interview! Do you have any recommendations for how to locate a reputable center doing Ayahuasca ceremonies for medicinal purposes?

    1. Yes! great question! Doubtful Tim will endorse any for liability reasons:( What a society we have! Tim is there a reputable list out there where we can do our own due diligence without just typing in to Google?

      That is a little daunting and I would rather find a great loving safe clinic as opposed to waking up in a bathtub somewhere missing my kidneys!!!



  4. not trying to be difficult – but felt like ten minutes of Tim pitching products off the top – then he went into long intro – I am not sure but felt like 15 minutes from when I started this and hadnt heard content.


    I stopped listening

    should you put ads somewhere in it – sort of your reward for us listening

    1. I feel just as annoyed about the promo talk, but I imagine it’s how Time earns part of his living – and the podcasts are free. Just fast forward through the promo talk until you get to the part where he starts the actual interview.

      1. Just to chime in here. The podcasts are free, take a ton of work, and there is definitely a fast-forward button for those who don’t want to consider supporting it. I love sharing these conversations with the world, but it takes money to produce, hire people to edit and organize, etc. I dislike when people put ads in the middle (mid-roll), and I know most of my listeners dislike it, too, as it’s interruptive, so I put them at the beginning and end of my conversations. Let me ask this — if I offered an ad-free version, would you pay for it? If so, how much? Most people wouldn’t, so the sponsors allow this to be a self-sustaining project.

      2. If Tim wants to avoid the inherent conflict of hawking products in order to provide information that wants and needs to be free, he might consider finding another way to make money that can freely support this work, live more simply and/or think deeply about the model that Christ and Buddha and many other teachers have thought deeply about and ended up implementing. In the process, Buddhism and Christianity have become two of the wealthiest institutions on the planet. Now, why might that be?

      3. Just keep it the way it is Tim. Yes I do use some of the products/services you offer and talk about.

    2. You can fast forward through them all, having said that if it’s one I haven’t heard before I always listen as Tim shares the best products out there!

      1. Agree Susie – I trust Tim’s opinion and have looked into some of the products myself.

    3. I feel this is very unfair. There are 3 hours of amazing free content and you complain about a few minutes of ads? To be fair, I have tried a few products recommended by Tim out of pure curiosity, I liked all of them and fully embraced at least one product that I did not know before. So before shutting down, you might want to become curious about the cool goods out there 😉

    4. Jonathan, you should have kept listening… you would learn why you are so DEEPLY bothered by 5 minutes of promo blurbs. 🙂

    5. Looks like you don’t have to try and just are difficult. If one more click through the ads is too much of an obstacle for you then you probably have more urgent things to do then listen to a podcast.

      Tim probably can’t say this to you on a public forum, but ungrateful pieholes like you are truly special.

      Glad you stopped listening, next time stop typing too.



    6. Mark,

      I don’t see any conflict. Even public radio, public TV, and church bulletins have ads or fundraising drives. One way or the other, the bills have to be paid. Also, I only hear Tim recommend products and services he uses and that he thinks his listeners will enjoy. I’m sure he could easily make more by selling to the highest bidder. Gold coins anyone?

      1. This podcast was simply amazing. Another stellar guest, expertly interviewed. One of Tim’s best in my humble opinion and the perfect illustration of how much value these podcasts hold.

        I personally dont mind the promos at all, (perhaps apart from when I have heard them before and can’t fast forward because Alexa is still a bit of a pain in the butt). However, I think what irkes some people, and makes others wonder, is the thought that, with all his amazing knowlege and fame, Tim must surely not need the cash. Surely he can do this out of the goodness of his heart?

        Of course, this is all a matter of relativity. If Tim wants to grow his business and influence, that takes money. Also, why not make more money for his hard earned efforts when the opportunity is there ? What would you do? Honestly?

  5. I got excited when I saw Gabor’s name, but this interview was even better than I expected! I’ve come to these realisations my self over the last few years (through the likes of Gabor’s books) and it’s really changed how I see myself and all the relationships in my life.

    It’s been so difficult to articulate this perspective, but this episode has given me a way to explain to others the power of understanding how our childhood experiences influence our lives, and what we can do to improve. Thanks for the amazing interview – I really appreciate when you cover these topics, as I think they underlie much of what’s truly important to us.

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for your podcasts – the only ones my family and I listen to. They provie a wealth of helpful information and inspiration.

    This is actually a question related sponsors mentioned on the blog. You recommend Headspace as your go-to app and mention how many of your interviewees recommend mediation. It seems like the most popular form from them it TM and you seem to have indicated that you do TM. Do you mix TM and Headspace?

  7. Thank you, Tim, for sharing your own growth journey with the world. Certain parts of the conversation had the potential of going even deeper, but I understand it must be very uncomfortable to reveal innermost thoughts & emotions when the camera is rolling, so you quickly switched topics.

    Having lived in both China & Japan, the idea that western medicine only treats the symptoms(治表不治根)has been apparent. We are going through a new era of obsession for things to be ‘scientifically proven’ and forgetting ancient wisdom. It’s great to see an increased appreciation of Buddhism in the west.

    In some ways, I’m jealous that the Jews can openly talk about the trauma they’ve experienced. Yet, as a Chinese, the multi-generational trauma of cultural revolution is still very much a taboo to this day. I know very well my personal childhood trauma is a product of multi-generational experience during the wartime, and particularly the cultural revolution. The lack of trust that you see in today’s China is an unhealed wound of the nation, but the media is too obsessed with the very flawed economic concept of GDP to really bother making China’s human rights issues a focal point of discussion.

    In search of an ideal society, I’ve lived in 5 countries and eventually come to realize that there is no one perfect culture. All human experiences are on a spectrum of grey, and the nuance of life is also where the beauty lies. Growing up playing Go gave me the visual perception that the world is black & white, and it took me a lot of deep inner work to find the emotional peace I currently enjoy. Buddhism & Daoism combined provides a pretty good compass for understanding our human experience.

    Again, thank you, Tim. You’ve inspired me to start sharing my own stories & experiences. Look forward to meeting you in person one day in the near future!

    p.s. I think you’ll enjoy Dr Milton H. Erickson’s work. Or are you already familiar with his work? I believe he inspired your personal guru, Tony Robbins. ‘Uncommon Therapy’ is a great book to start with!

  8. I just loved this podcast! It was very resonant and enlightening for me as a person and a parent. Wow- I need to sit and think about all this, a lot of food for thought. And thanks Tim for being so honest and open during the podcast! V brave!

  9. Such a beautiful episode. Have really noticed the more introspective direction this podcast, and the the 5-bullet emails have taken recently. And digging it!

    So much talk about healing the wounds of separation that reminds me of the work of Charles Eisenstein. I don’t know if Tim is familiar with his work, but Charles would be a phenomenal guest to consider for a future podcast.

  10. It’s amazing to me that you didn’t know you were sensitive Tim! That is what makes you such a darn good interviewer! Only 20 minutes into the interview and loving it.

  11. Tim, thank you so much for sharing this with us! What an incredible episode, gaining a better understanding of what is underlying some of the choices I have made in the past gives me more insight on how I can improve. Incredibly powerful. Your efforts are appreciated.

  12. WOW! Thanks for doing this Tim! I have read all his books and they have changed the way I look at life and myself. For everyone that listens to this podcast, READ HIS BOOKS! I cannot say enough good about Dr. Gabor Mate. Imagine if we all had that same thinking process. He is the guy with the answers!

    1. Exactly. I wish every one would listen to this to know we are all traumatised and all need healing and compassion

  13. I don’t typically listen to your podcasts though I read your first two books and am a subscriber to 5 bullet Fridays. I do find that most of your podcasts revolve around how to be a smarter, faster, smarter, richer version of who we are – all relevant topics in today’s society. But when the word “compassion” popped up in your podcast alert, I immediately tuned it.

    Mate was brilliant guest speaker, who I believe took you out of your comfort zone a few moments during the talk. I think compassion and non secular Buddhism are topics that need so much more presence and exploration in the main stream. Thank you for bringing it to the fore.

  14. Wow!! What a truly insightful and helpful episode. I’m really happy to have discovered Gabor Mate. In my case… the timing couldn’t have been better. It touched on some important issues/topics I dove right in recently. And it connects the dots. Thank you Tim Ferris!

  15. I listen to podcasts on the train on the way to work, usually as background to drown out the mad commuting scene. This podcast with Dr. Gabor Mate was so interesting and quickly became foreground as it drowned everything else out. The stuff about childhood trauma (even when you know you were loved) and how it can show up in your adult life was revelatory. It has put me on a path to explore this further, including his self care suggestions. Thank you Tim for this wonderful podcast and putting yourself out there. Your honesty was moving, insightful, and helpful.

  16. This podcast absolutely needs at least a couple of spins to pick up all of the golden nuggets. Wow – Thank you Tim and Dr. Mate! Crazy that this podcast was dropped right after my last ceremony.

  17. I have listened to,and read, almost everything you have published Tim. I have never felt the urge to comment. This episode is different. To me, this is the most true, most authentic and most meaningful thing I have ever heard from you, or from anyone else on the Internet. Thank you.

  18. This interview was great. Thank you Tim for digging in and asking in depth questions. Personally, the information presented is incredibly timely. Thank you.

  19. Wow! this one will be a 3-4 time re listen as it was overwhelming in its content and personal attachments for me as the conversation unfolded.

    I thought Tim had a couple moments where he got defensive maybe or his ego reared up but he worked through it and it worked out. I will listen again and see if it strikes me such. Almost like he was trying too hard to be a subject matter expert!:) Regardless, the talk was amazing and I would look to go to one of Dr. Mate’s workshops.

    Very deep and thorough as we have come to expect and worth the 2.5 hours!

    Keep up the good work Tim!

    1. I agree! I will re listen and take notes. I have been longing to see the documentary: In Utero. (it is not easily accessible but I will now make it a priorty – Gabor is a contributor in the documentary.) I have struggled my entire life due to Childhood PTSD. Many years ago my father admitted to me that he beat my mother while pregnant with me, I feel that my life is unfolding/moving towards helping others heal from trauma. This interview was chock full of pertinent info!

      1. I would like to know how that works out for you Nikki.

        I think I have a similar background in the early days were very stressful between my parents and especially while mother was pregnant. Please share if you like,



  20. Great podcast! I live in Vancouver and have seen him speak here before. I love the connection he makes between childhood trauma and illness, but I would still like to hear more about the ways in which he heals these traumas. I always feel he just touches on them but doesn’t go deep into them. Even with ayahuasca saying he only does it a couple weeks a year it’s not his main focus, even though it’s incredibly healing. He mentioned several methods like EMDR but I sill feel wanting more. Like where does one turn if they are depressed, anxious or ill in general. I wonder if he is familiar with Trauma Release Therapy (TRE). A process developed by David Berceli. He has a book called The Revolutionary Trauma Release Process that explains the process of releasing trauma from the body by different body movements and shaking etc. Overall I love his work and loved listening. Hope he didn’t make you too uncomfortable putting you on the spot there! Thanks Tim!

  21. I’m so excited to hear this podcast!…( 5 hours later)….I keep saying this, but this time it’s true…One of my favorite all-time podcasts!

  22. Wow, that is a top 10 podcast episode for me. Do you think The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self would become an audiobook?

  23. I really enjoyed listening to this podcast. Especially charming was the part where Tim gets put on the spot for his emotional reactions to home repair disappointment. Pretty sure I felt you blush, Tim! Or perhaps that was me projecting, I’ve felt exactly that same sequence, which was the Dr.’s point.

    This listen also helped me think about an adolescent nephew in an unsupportive family situation and ways I can be supportive. There are a slew of alcoholics in my family and I’d love to prevent some suffering. Great interview.

  24. Dear Tim,

    I think this is the only way to get in contact with you. I have just finished listening to your conversation with Gabor – first of all thank you very much for it – so much wonderful perspective and experience. Many that echo my own, but the reason that I am writing and feel compelled to do so before I rush off to work is that they also resonate with paradigms of a Man who has been the most significant teacher in my life since 2003 – Donny Epstein.

    The Skin Deep – Topaz – has recently released a 13 minute documentary called ‘Presence’ which shows Donny working at a Transformational Gate program. This will give you an introduction to Donny and how he works with people. I think you will be very interested in his approach and also how people respond.

    You mentioned you have recently been to Date with Destiny and I know that Tony regularly talks about the work that Donny does. [Moderator: Donny Epstein program date and location removed.]

    Anyway he has lots of info out there you can check out and see what you think. He runs most of his programs in the states (his home is in Boulder CO) and also in Europe, and he comes out to Australia twice a year.

    With Thanks again,


  25. Thank you, Tim and Dr Mate. This was perfect ‘just in time’ – been struggling with ‘funk’ and it all makes sense now.

  26. Thank you for this profound and personal interview with Dr. Gabor Mate. You asked him about styles or systems of yoga to assist with this type of work and I wanted to suggest to you Kundalini Yoga. I am by no means a devoted practitioner, however at different times in my life I have found it very helpful for moving through trauma in a guided, traditional and systematic method. The combination of breath work, chanting and physical pistures can be profoundly moving. Here in Austin, there is very engaged community— you may want to check it out. Welcome to Texas!

  27. Tim,

    I’ve been listening to your podcast for a while and you’ve had many great shows. But this was on an entirely new level.

    The approach Dr Gabor Mate is different than anything I’ve heard and I can see how incredibly powerful it is.

    Thank you for doing this. And thank you for having the bravery and vulnerability of opening yourself up to his questions. Most people would never do that. I imagine that wasn’t easy. The more you let yourself go with him the better it was so thank you for being real and authentic.

  28. When are you going to interview Dr. Gabor Mate again? I am READY for the next one already. Super show. This guy is good. Thanks again Tim.

  29. I did 4 sessions of ayahuasca for the first time 2 months ago. I listened to this interview because I was drawn to what would be discussed about ayahuasca. What I heard surprised me… On my third night drinking ayahuasca something told me that I was “disconnected from myself”. This was a startling concept for me because I had never read or heard about it prior to that moment. This was my biggest takeaway most from my experience – that I need to connect with myself. Listening to this interview expanded and confirmed my experience. It also gave me tools I was seeking and more that I wasn’t aware of.

  30. I had to stop the interview several times to fully digest what Dr. Gabor Mate was saying. Got angry at one point and had to go outside to let it all sink in. Yes this is my third comment on this podcast.

  31. This is an absolutely incredible podcast. Potentially one of the most important ones you have ever done as childhood trauma is so widespread.

    Some other forms of treatment for childhood trauma:

    Neurofeedback see the book – Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-Driven Brain by Sebern Fisher.

    (This was actually mentioned during the Josh Waitzkin and Adam Robinson Learning interview from London, England)

    TRE – Trauma Release Exercises by David Berceli is way of getting into the body and releasing the trauma held in the body. You can go to group classes in your area or use the book and DVD as Tim’s assistant did in his blog post about anxiety. https://traumaprevention.com/what-is-tre/

    In the meantime, I am going through the podcast again to learn and use what I have learnt.

    I was never sure about EFT but now that Dr. Maté has confirmed this is effective, I would like to look into this

  32. I can’t say it any better than many of the comments, but this episode has struck a chord with many people. Dr. Mate’s clear elucidation of how childhood psychological defense against trauma and abandonment is the source of many (all?) or our adult neuroses needs to catch fire. I’ve experienced this first-hand.

    I’m 41 and have had social anxiety, public speaking paralysis, IBS, and gut pain my whole life. The combo of 1) somatic experiencing, and 2) making the thearapeutic connection of my current anxiety and body pain to defense mechanisms I developed as a child in a troubled home has turned my life around. My quality of life was a 1-2 my entire adult life. 20 months ago engage a therapist versed in these topics. Now quality of life is a 9-10.

  33. I am so thankful for this interview! I know about Dr.Gabor Mate for about 5 years and he is my hero! He helped me tremendously and I am glad Tim you’ve interviewed him.

  34. Fascinating how these super smart, super wise people, they all converge at one point – benevolence,wisdom, Yoga, meditation, transcendental experiences. Oh by the way, Dr. Maté mentions Sadguru – how cool would it be to interview an even more prominent sage, one of the greatest humanitarians of our time – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar? His teachings saved me too…. and have helped millions of people live a happier, less stressful life.

  35. Dear Tim and Dr. Gabor Maté,

    Like you, Tim, I have only recently, in my late 30’s, taken a deep dive inward through meditation and yoga, to peel back layers covering childhood trauma (sudden death of my dad at age 10 and its sequelae) and dysfunctional attachment that has impacted my relationships in adulthood. I was enthralled with your conversation and have practiced many of the healing trauma techniques mentioned- EMDR, somatic therapy (Peter Levine), tapping- and came one step from delving into the plant-based techniques, when I started surfing and meditating, which have, in concert, brought me to a place of wide open love and movement through healing. You asked Dr. GM to recommend a type of yoga, and I would humbly give you my recommendation for Breath-Based Vinyasa- hot yoga flow with synchronized breath and movement- it is basically a hack to flow state and an hour of moving meditation. I am happy to share more about how this has anecdotal (at least) healing properties and the rationale behind it, including vagus nerve stimulation with this type of breathing, moving meditation Thank you for this impactful interview and for sharing so much of your depth with your listeners. I have literally listened to every one of your podcasts, am consuming your Tribe of Mentors book, and share your content with people who are open to being moved and impacted. Thank you. Cheers to being all in and for being love. Jessica Ackerman

  36. Absolutely incredible. Lacking words and sufficient adjectives to describe how valuable this was. This will be a podcast I’ll “rewind” repeatedly.

    My favorite part (all of it was) is probably towards the begjnning, with explanation of Winnie The Pooh and sensitive children . How there is relationship between sensitive people being creative and with traumatic experiences.

    Thank you for these enlightening guests. You have no idea how much they’ve meant, personally.

  37. I just listened to this amazing and inspiring interview. I am a huge fan of Gabor Maté and the powerful Work he is doing in the world. I wish I write down all the quotes he shared during this podcast but was too engrossed in the interview that I forgot. Did anyone else catch them?

  38. Tim, as a Canadian I have followed Mate for years. So many podcasts are amazing. But this.. Well one of the best I think. And so needed in society. I’m a university prof and this has helped me understand my students better.

    Suggest Gordon Neufeldt too.

    But also wish for more women.

    Might you dare touch on the topics of 1) equity and privilege and 2) environmental sustainability? You have such a wide audience and, in addition to self healing, I’m not sure what two things could be more important.

  39. Dude… I haven’t finished listening to your interview with Mr. Mate yet; nor have I, I think ever, commented on a post, but I’m compelled. It’s blowing my mind. He is a “people whisperer”. I’ve got some new self exploration to do… and I’m only halfway through the podcast.

    I gotta thank you Tim for your role in bringing this stuff to us. You’ve demonstrated a pretty good track record and I’ll be tuning in to most anything you put out.

  40. Tim, Thank you. I enjoy all your podcasts but this interview with Gabor Maté was amazing. I certainly will be thinking about how these learnings apply to my own life. I’d also like to acknowledge and thank you for getting very personal on this one.

  41. Hey Tim. Just wanted to reply to your last 5bullet friday and invite you to Riga, Latvia. It’s on your wishlist 😉 Happy to host you here! Long time fan, jr

  42. Hey Tim,

    Not sure where to post this, but how is 70% Tanzania Kilombero Chocolate is part of your cheat meal? I would feel 70% is still healthy, and if you are cheating doing cheat meal (by no means this means anything else) you should go all the way, like regular chocolate, ice cream, I usually eat 85% cocoa on my healthy days if I really crave for chocolate.

  43. Wondering if the good doctor can help me with my addiction… to the Tim Ferriss Show! 😀

    Tim this was absolutely incredible, powerful, helpful. Not to offend uncle Naval (don’t know him but like to call him this) but I may have a new favorite ep.

    Thank you Dr Maté and Tim!

    Round 2 suggestion: Round table talk with Dr Maté, Tony Robbins & Naval Ravikant

  44. Hi Tim,

    just read your today’s Five bullet Friday newsletter where you said that among places you would like to visit is Estonia. Here’s a possibly good excuse to actually come here – the first international Psycherence (https://www.psycherence.org) takes please here in September 2018. Considering the topics you’ve covered could be of interest and a way to combine business with pleasure.

  45. Thank you so much for this episode! I have been clean & sober for nearly 24 years and I host my own recovery podcast. My focus is always on “original harms” because addiction is but a symptom of a deeper problem. My focus is about getting to the root causes and doing the work to heal. Tim, I can hear you are well on your journey. I would love to hear part 2 with Dr. Mate!



  46. I got my 1st 5 bullet Friday email from you today. Good content. But is it really necessary to use the F word today somerhing is good or even great? Will no other word suffice in this day amd age??

  47. I’d never heard of Gabor, thank you so much for the introduction. His work with addicts is truly what the world needs now. I was hanging on his every world and will listen again. He makes to much sense.

    So so many different aspects of the problems the current state of our society across the world were covered and solutions discussed!

    I found it deeply useful to listen to and apply to myself and people I know. I found the concept that the obstacles I believe I face have been presented to me by the part of me that loves me to help me learn the lessons to overcome these difficulties.

    Tim as always you were a gracious host, interviewer and at times here case study. Thank you for allowing us to learn through your own personal experiences, so helpful, so authentic, transparent. You are my chosen mentor for this stage of my life. I trust you and your suggestions implicitly. You come from a place of great love and compassion towards your readers, listeners and guests. I hope you also direct this huge capacity towards yourself, the more you do that, the more you will continue to change the world. Thank you Tim. 🧡

  48. Sorry for this unrelated question. Some time ago you mentioned some kind of surgery you had made in the nasal area, and you ended the line: No more Mr mouthbreather, or something like that. Could you kindly tell me what kind of surgery it was, because I think I might need something like it, and the doctors here in Sweden say that there is no such surgery. Sorry about your friend, and I hope your sinus infection gets better soon.

  49. Hey Tim! I love the podcasts, thanks for continuing to make them. I saw your travel list in today’s 5 bullet Friday…all of those places are on my list as well, let’s travel together! 😀

  50. I’d pay for it, but it’s pretty easy to fast forward through the ads. The problem is that I want to advertise and have submitted a request but no one wants to take my 100K or so. Good problem to have but it takes a lot of time to vet good sponsors and make sure you aren’t promoting crap. We struggle with the same thing. I appreciate all the content and while I’d like to sponsor, even though I’ll get fast forwarded, I understand you guys are really busy. thanks again!

    1. Sorry, was commenting on the whole thing about the ads and your reply asking if folks would pay for the podcast without ads.

  51. I have been listening for almost all episodes for two years now and this has been my favorite one. I listened to it today on a long train ride, I was in tears, I was full of joy and so glad to be alive! Really cool one, thank you!

  52. Tim,

    I read in 5 bullet friday that you have a sinus infection. I live in Austin and I used to have 3 to 4 sinus infections a year until my wife introduced me to the secret of survival from Austin allergies: NeilMed nasal rinse bottles. Since I have started using this product I have not had a sinus infection or a cold for over 9 years. You can buy them in bulk at costco.

    Sorry to have to post this on this podcast but there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to contact you directly. Great podcast btw.

    Also, thank you for your work. I have listened to 80% of your podcasts and have learned tons. Thank you.

    Also, welcome to Texas…hope you are enjoying Austin.



  53. Great Interview. Thanks for doing this, Tim. I only wish there was a better way to find a therapist who thinks like Dr. Mate. There are so many out there and it is virtually impossible to find one that I feel can help me. Would be great if Dr. Mate would get a list of therapists by region who can address trauma the way he does.

  54. This podcast was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I listened, as have been back over it taking notes. The information presented provided me with the clues I needed to go deeper and free myself of negative past biases. Thank you, thank you!!!

  55. Sounded pretty much like 2 individuals having mutually self-serving conversations about scientifically unproven work….a Rorschach inkblot of pseudo-freudism…you will find “trauma and sensitivity” wherever you seek it….or hypnotically install it as a retrospective interpretation to suit your ends…whether it is any way truly causative of adverse adult experience remains unproven…

    1. The point is not proving something causative, the point is whether the perspective provides a path to treatment that is effective.

      1. And the evidence is that most approaches to the psychotherapy of addictions get similar rates of responses…with no specific treatment modality being significantly superior to any other…although the guru/expert allure is alive and well in many of these…

      1. Did I trigger you?

        Such an easy concept to throw out at someone…like saying ‘I know your body must hold unconscious pain that you don’t yet know about consciously’…unprovable…and often unhelpful…

  56. diego from italy. when you talked about attachment, i had a strange feeling. i do not remember much of my childhood other than the fact that my mother was , then, an alcoholic and my father was not a strong manly guide for me. but…. when you talked about attachment my belly went crazy with shivering like i know there was something back then, but don’t know exactly what. but this is a gut feeling and must be true. thanks for having brought dr. maté on

  57. What a fantastic episode. Healing and therapeutic in and of it self. I sent to my partner in hopes this will put us down a path of understanding in our own relationship. Thank you Tim and Dr. Mate

    P.S. Would love to hear you interview Jeff Cavaliere from Athlean-X

  58. Hi there, this is such an important topic, thank you. I would really love if you would do an episode on EFT (tapping) which Dr. Mate mentioned. I have struggled with food addiction for 20 years (otherwise known as binge eating or being overweight) and tapping is what is finally leading me out of this personal hell. If you can get to the point with your addictions where you can actually feel yourself having the body sensation right before you do the addictive behavior, you can use tapping in the moment to feel into the feeling you are trying to cover up and then not do the addictive behavior. Nick and Jessica Ortner offer really good programmes and books and free online stuff. Tim, I think your readers would greatly benefit from this, it has been a bit maligned by the mainstream but is so effective and I was so happy to hear it mentioned on this episode. I also think something like this which is practically applicable, I unlike Ayahuasca, which opens doors but is not practical in the moment, would be really helpful for people. I’ve had psychedelic experiences that were really dope (pun intended) in the moment and eye but we need ways to practice on a daily basis, which is why tapping is so amazing. It’s free, easy, and so simple to learn. Cheers!

  59. P.S.Tim you don’t need to justify ads! I just read your Tools of the Titans chapter with KevKev, remember his Maxim? And you could add a third point, “if they’re too daft to fast forward on a podcasting app…” Seriously, your work is such a gift, you can get so much for free, please please please don’t let these people bother you.

  60. Very informative podcast. Thank you.

    It was on my playlist today, just as I found myself feeling angry with some random people out in the town for being hapless, confused and lacking in perfection. Universe indeed provides generously.

  61. re: your 5-Bullet Friday from 2/23/18

    1. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is SO FLIPPIN GOOD and I’m so pleased you’re enjoying! I got turned into it from my brother and sister-in-law and jammed through the entire series in a couple weeks. The characters become so familiar and the show so comforting…it’s like a new The Office 🙂

    2. Michael Pollan!!!!!!!! Psychedelics!!!! Oh man I’m excited. Thank you for the recommendation!


  62. I found the information about the sensitive child very interesting. This is information that is barely touch upon in my training in Health Psychology.

  63. Great episode – definitely the kind that will be played a few more time, with new insights being pulled each time. I really appreciate the vulnerability that Tim showed through the conversation, and really feel that it will definitely serve those listening. I know that line of questioning that Gabor went down with Tim allowed me to think of my own responses, and gain insights from that…. So thanks

  64. This is one your best ever Tim! Thanks so much for bring Dr. Mate to us! I love how he connected common problems like ADHD and addiction to early trauma. I feel like going back and exploring past pain is important work but, it takes a lot of time and can be expensive to get trained help. In the end, the goal is to enable connection going forward. I’ve found that the assessment developed by Dave Blanchard [Moderator: domain name removed.] helps people move forward with connection without the requirement of resolving past issues first. Not that I’m suggesting that be avoided… only that sometimes beginning to connect with others with eyes open to the walls preventing further connection can facilitate the resolution of the past issues.

  65. I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts and this one has been the most illuminating for me. I took away a new understanding and a new level of compassion – for myself and others. Also a lot of great actionables. Thanks for this interview Tim (and all of the others, I’m always curious who you’ll converse with next!).

  66. Tim, thank you!

    I am long term mental health counselor and I can’t thank you enough for this interview and all you do. Very often I put podcast links on patient discharge instructions and this one will be given to many, many folks who otherwise wouldn’t have heard of Gabor or you.

    In addition to Alice Miller and The Drama of Gifted Child(one of the all time misleading translations) I would like to turn you on to another author/book who would be my “most gifted”: Karen Horney: “Our Inner Conflicts”. Read it if you dare!

    again, Thanks!

  67. Tim, I really enjoyed this podcast. To be honest, I’m kind of shocked I listened to the whole thing. I typically have a short attention span. I so appreciated the level of transparency. It was real-life. Very valuable.

    I am fairly new to your podcast but am MORE interested to dig in following this episode. Thank you for all the hard work you put into sharing valuable information with us. It’s appreciated.

  68. Hey loved your recent rec. on DRAFT #4.Nearly finished it this weekend. Great insights …so glad I had read many of his works in past year. Please note that Tribes on Mentors took the back seat to MCPHEE as a result. Am 1/2 thru that too. also Mate podcast over the top,,especially when he started to get you “fix” yo’sef. THX!!!!!!!!!!

  69. Dear Tim (and team),

    I am a longtime Brazilian fan. I have just signed Audible in the hope of having the 4 Hour Workweek audiobook, however, they say it isn’t available for my country.

    Please, where can I purchase the audiobook?

    Thank you in advance,

  70. Wow! What an amazing Podcast. I got so much out of this Podcast. I had not heard of Dr Gabor Mate before this podcast but what an amazing, insightful man and I WILL be reading some of his books. The universe also delivered this to me at exactly the right time, so thank you Tim for facilitating that! I can understand why you were looking forward to doing this podcast yourself.

  71. Great podcast with a lot of food for thought, thank you. I was a bit sad about a ‘broken promise’ which was articulated early in the conversation by Tim. Gabor was telling about the leading question in his life, which is about ‘Why do people do terrible things to each other? Why do we suffer and – more interestingly – why do we make others suffer?’

    Being German, born in ’76, I know too well what Germans were capable of. I grew up reading books like ‘The Scourge of the Swastika’, seeing the pictures and still – to the day – do I not understanding how any human being can do this to another human being. I fail to understand many things that are happening in the world today, believing that deep down were are all good and not evil.

    When Gabor was mentioning that this question has been the motor of his work, I was really hoping to get closer to an answer to that burning question during the podcast. Tim did also mention that you would spend a lot of time about this subject, however while many great, important and mind-moving subjects were touched upon, this particular question was not covered well enough.

  72. This podcast was so timely! Thank you so much for going in depth about integration. After listening to this I convinced my group to start a text chat and meet in person once a month. Such a critical component.

  73. Hi Tim, First time commenting,

    Really enjoyed the podcast here, Any reason why you haven’t interviewed Andy Puddicombe to date.

  74. Please male a part 2 with dr Mate, there are so many paths left to explore.

    Also, you mentioned you are in a different place, a better one than 1 year ago. Would you share the hows, the tools. Thank you for the incredibly helpful work you put out.

  75. Hello Tim’s community

    I’m from South Africa and busy travelling through South America for 5 months on the smallest budget you have ever heard of – incredible experiences so far.

    Yesterday, I changed my travel plans and now intend to spend my 6th month in California: San Francisco and surrounds. Silicon Valley is like Paris of the Renaissance era and I would like to taste a piece of that. My goal is to spend a few days at different start-ups; whether it be making coffee, doing errands, sitting in on meetings, anything – I just want to learn and experience it first hand. I’m not expecting any remuneration whatsoever. This will be in April, possibly spilling into May.

    If anybody has any suggestions on people or companies to contact, that would be highly appreciated; even advice is welcome.

    This is getting really long, but here is a brief resumé:

    Due to start at McKinsey & Company in Johannesburg on July the 4th.

    Degree in BCom Investment Management (CUM Laude) from the Unicersity of Pretoria.

    CFA level 1 test passed.

    Full marks in maths section of SAT (2014).

    I really like Tim’s podcast and Tools of Titans was an excellent read.

    I’m 22 years old.

    [Moderator: contact information removed.]

    I’m heading into the Amazon soon, so the rapidness of my response times may be slow and inconsistent.

  76. Just finished listening to this one today and it offers a complete paradigm shift for me. I’ll definitely be revisiting it as I address some matters in my life. Thanks for your work.

  77. wow. this is an amazing interview. thank you for this! thank you for taking all the time. I immediately benefited from the ideas of addiction, depression etc. as coping mechanisms to trauma, rather than brain disorders. That and so many other things resonated so much for me — I am excited to move forward with these ideas and do some contemplating, work and re-framing. Can’t thank you enough, Tim, and Dr. Gabor Maté.

  78. Tim I would pay $1-3 per episode. I know that’s not a ton of money, but I couldn’t pay more because I listen to them all. Conversely, I would pay a monthly amount ($5/month) or a yearly amount ($50/year) to get all of your content. How you considered a model like that?

  79. Wow. I did feel a little bit uncomfortable for u though when he asking you more and more questions about u. Awesome. Thank you Tim

  80. Dear Tim, I just finished listening to this podcast four times in a row. I have never been so shaken up! Dr. Gabor Maté explained EVERYTHING for me! I’m in the best mental place I have ever been. Thank you for having this conversation Tim! And thank you both for your contribution in changing people’s lives.

  81. Thank you, Tim, an amazing interview with many insights and reconnecting with the knowledge I had already but forgot about.

  82. Tim, I think Gabor dehumanizes and stigmatizes when says that people who enjoy taking drugs are “addicts” and loose control of themselves. To be human is to be responsible. The war on drugs stigmatizes certain drugs sold on the street and glorifies others handed out by doctors. Check out Addiction is a Choice by Jeff Schaler. [Moderator: link removed.]

  83. Tim, I want to thank you for your entertaining podcast. My issue with Gabor’s appoach is multi-pronged , but at its core, the problem is that Gabor sees life itself as a disease to be cured. What we learn from the existentialist therapist, Thomas Szasz, is that life may be difficult, but it is not a disease to be cured, it is a task we are faced with. Life presents us with problems to be overcome. [Moderator: link removed.]

  84. Wonderful podcast. Tim, I was referred to you by Sam Harris, where I am a faithful listener, and I was so pleasantly surprised and grateful to hear this interview. I have Dr. Mate’s book on my desk, and work in the field of addiction, so it was the perfect podcast for me to be introduced to your work.

    I was impressed with your questions and knowledge, but was equally, if not more impressed with your willingness to be vulnerable – sharing with us a piece of your own journey. The fact is, as was mentioned several times, most of us have been traumatized in some way, if even by “loving parents,” and there are practical ways to heal those traumas, and lead more joyous and meaningful lives. And in that way, this podcast can benefit us all. Again, much thanks!

  85. Amazing interview and content and such a thoughtful questions….re-playing this podcast again and again and each time it seems fresh.

    After reading all the comments I agree that we need a list of authentic therapists and places where one can experience this ayahuasca therapy.

  86. Your interview with Dr. Mate was fabulously informative. Dr. Mate addresses the core cause of addictions/compulsions. I have spent hundreds of hours listening to self help gurus with much learned but not much change.. Dr. Mate’s personal insights and proffesional finding are the answer for those who really want to heal and overcome obstacles. Thank you Tim for including your personal experience into the interview.

  87. Thank you …

    Hands down one of the best… can’t wait for the 2nd interview….

    This podcast gave me more to think on than most… I hope it does for you too.

    I know this is one I be re-listening too again soon.

    What really resonated with me were 3 things….

    1 – “Remember whenever you point at someone, there are three fingers pointing back at you!”

    2 – “We don’t respond to what happens, we respond to our perception of what happens” – Budda

    3 -”It’s within our minds we create the world”

    Grand merci


  88. Did anyone catch what Gabor said at 1:56:16 in talking about processes and techniques for post-retreat/psychedelic therapy like Vipassana he also said something called “land-locked forearm” – Never heard of this and googling doesn’t seem to lead me to any sort of technique.. Perhaps I’m not hearing it correctly.

    @tim – fantastic podcast, I love Gabor Mate and have been following his work since I first heard him on Rich Roll’s podcast a year or two ago. Many thanks!

  89. Thank you Tim for this profound and insightful discussion with Dr. Mate. You have been doing some incredibly deep work lately with a number of your guests, and this episode in particular really struck home. Something that came up in my own meditation as I have been reflecting on this is, “You don’t need to perform well to be loved.” That tiny seed from my childhood perennially bears fruit and influences my actions even today, and it is something I would have never considered to be trauma before listening to this episode.

    There is still much work to be done. Thank you!

  90. Thank you for this! Stumbled on Gabor a few years ago and was profoundly changed by his work – the world needs more of this man.

    Was a little painful to hear you struggle through the ‘what did you feel when…’ exercise – wholly because I have been there (and mostly still am).

    SUGGESTION: there’s a practice called Circling. It feels like a cult and is awkward AF, but forces you (kindly, gently) out of your own head like nothing else I’ve experienced. Google for a community near you – they’re out there.

    PS: as an INTJ, I especially recommend this for anyone who falls into the xxTJ bucket in Myers–Briggs system. If I had to guess, Tim qualifies.

  91. Check out “The highly sensitive Child” by Elaine Aron, and “The highly sensitive person”

    Also, check out “The Journey” with Brandon Bays. Book and also courses that help to heal your crap from childhood emotional wounds… very powerful.

    Life-changing and freeing…

  92. Tim,

    This episode is for me, life-altering. I am not 100% certain where to begin other than Thank You! Thank you for all you give on your podcast and more.

    I like many have “struggled” with addictions, not drug or alcohol but most of my family has. I can not believe I have never seen or heard Dr. Gabor Mate and will be listening, taking notes, and researching more.

    This was a powerful podcast and I applaud you for being open and for showing others how to heal. I will be sharing this with others and I can only hope they will listen.

    Thank you again and again – sincerely from the bottom of my heart.

  93. Although I agree that many protein powders are loaded with come fairly questionable ingredients, I hope you’re not including organic Stevia as “artificial”. I grow Stevia at home, so it’s hardly “artificial”, and I have found quite a few protein powders that do have organic ingredients, including Stevia for sweetener.