The Wisdom of Trauma: This film will change how you see yourself forever

Eye-opening documentary explores how to create a better society

If you haven’t already heard of Dr Gabor Maté, scribble his name down and keep it safe.

This man is the personification of wisdom and can change your outlook on life to help you develop self-empathy and compassion for humanity.

His new film, The Wisdom of Trauma, is set to be unleashed into the world from June 8 and delves into how our past shapes our present.

As the title suggests, it looks at trauma and how it influences the way we make sense of the world.

To coincide with the film’s premiere, Dr Maté will speak in an online event that takes place over seven days to celebrate what is being hailed as a transformative documentary.

He will appear on a panel alongside neuroscientists, educators, and psychiatrists to kickstart a conversation about how trauma impacts our individual lives, communities and society as a whole.

[Credit: Dr Gabor Maté]

Speaking about trauma and its effects on the human mind, Dr Maté believes we need to avoid quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, looking at long-lasting change instead.

Dr Maté said: “In the US, the richest society in history, half of the citizens have a chronic disorder, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

“Anxiety amongst young people is growing rapidly, asthma and autoimmune diseases are on the rise, as are addictions. Depression is rising, youth suicide is rising, all is not well.”

He continued: “And so, the question is, can we be human beings in the midst of civilisation? Because what we call civilisation demands the denial of human needs.”

[Credit: The Wisdom of Trauma]

A human need is something that is necessary for every person to thrive.

While there are basic needs such as air, water, and food, there are also five core psychological needs; to be loved, to be heard, to belong, to have meaning or purpose, and to achieve.

The highly-acclaimed speaker and best-selling author – whose work focuses on addiction, stress and childhood development – also states that every human has a true authentic self.

However, trauma is what disconnects us from this self (while healing reconnects to it).

[Credit: Dr Gabor Maté]

Dr Maté says the reason we get disconnected is because it is too painful to be ourselves.

He explained: “Trauma is not the bad things that happen to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you.

“Our schools are full of kids with learning difficulties and mental health issues that are trauma-based, but the average teacher never gets a single lecture on trauma.”

Reflecting on how we can make real change, especially given the direct link between isolation causing inflammation in the body and immune system, Dr Maté said we need a social revolution.

He concluded: “We need trauma-informed medical care, trauma-informed education, only then would we have a trauma-informed society and a society that looks much more compassionate.”

To find out more about his fascinating approach, click here: The Wisdom of Trauma.


  1. Dear Dr. Gabor Mate,
    Please let us know if there is any chance to watch the movie now. Unfortunately, we missed a deadline to register for the premier.
    Thank you.


  2. “The way a society functions is a reflection of the childrearing practices of that society. Today we reap what we have sown. Despite the well-documented critical nature of early life experiences, we dedicate few resources to this time of life. We do not educate our children about child development, parenting, or the impact of neglect and trauma on children.”
    —Dr. Bruce D. Perry, Ph.D. & Dr. John Marcellus

    “It has been said that if child abuse and neglect were to disappear today, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual would shrink to the size of a pamphlet in two generations, and the prisons would empty. Or, as Bernie Siegel, MD, puts it, quite simply, after half a century of practicing medicine, ‘I have become convinced that our number-one public health problem is our childhood’.” (Childhood Disrupted, pg.228).


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