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Transforming Trauma

91 EpisodesProduced by The NARM Training InstituteWebsite

Transforming Trauma is a podcast about individuals and communities thriving after Complex Trauma. In a modern world beset by trauma and a legacy of suffering, conflict and disconnection, healing trauma can serve as a vehicle for personal and social transformation. Listeners will be introduced to th… read more


Dr. Laurence Heller in Conversation with Dr. Gabor Maté on Complex Trauma and the Future of Trauma-Informed Care

“First of all, I think all trauma is complex… Secondly, it's a question of what we define as trauma. For me, the essence of trauma is the disconnection from the self.” ~Dr. Gabor Maté

Our host Sarah Buino facilitates an extraordinary conversation between trauma visionaries Dr. Laurence Heller and Dr. Gabor Maté centered on complex trauma, its effects on human development, and their views on the future of trauma-informed care. 

At the core of both Dr. Heller’s and Dr. Maté’s thinking on trauma is the understanding that trauma is not what happens to someone, it is what happens within someone. 

Both Dr. Heller and Dr. Maté address the profound effects of disconnection and misattunement that lead to complex trauma. The clinical models they have developed over the course of their careers - the NeuroAffective Relational Model (Heller) and Compassionate Inquiry (Maté) - both focus on how using aspects of the self, like compassion and agency, can support the healing of complex trauma.

Sarah, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Maté address the gap in the mental health and healthcare fields with understanding C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). This means that many therapists are working with clients without fully comprehending the complex psychobiological patterns that leads to such suffering for their clients.

As Dr. Maté puts it, “If I could pass a law...if you don't understand trauma, you’re not allowed to practice psychotherapy. You can coach people. You can be a friend to people. You can lend an empathetic ear to people. That's all therapeutic. But, if you don't understand trauma, there is no basis for you doing deep therapy with people.”

Both Dr. Heller and Dr. Maté share the intention of bringing their important work into the trauma-informed field, and to anyone suffering from unresolved trauma, so that we can address the unrelenting personal and social impacts of unresolved trauma. At the end of this lively discussion. Dr. Heller and Dr. Maté begin making plans for future collaboration.

“The word trauma itself is being thrown around a lot. I just want to emphasize that [early trauma leads to an] adaptation, a way that we distort our sense of self and the sense of other in adapting to developmental trauma that creates the difficulties that we experienced as human beings.” ~Dr. Laurence Heller



Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship - Dr. Laurence Heller

When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-disease Connection - Dr. Gabor Maté

Aaron T Beck, MD


Dr. Gabor Maté

Dr. Laurence Heller, PhD


NARM Training Institute


The NARM Training Institute provides tools for transforming complex trauma through: in-person and online trainings for mental health care professionals; in-person and online workshops on complex trauma and how it interplays with areas like addiction, parenting, and cultural trauma; an online self-paced learning program, the NARM Inner Circle; and other trauma-informed learning resources.  

For the full show notes including references, podcast episodes mentioned, and a quick glossary of terms, visit us at

This episode was edited by The Creative Impostor Studios.


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