Dr. Gabor Maté, a physician, author, and child development specialist, conducted a full-day workshop on October 14, 2023, at a packed Cankarjev dom auditorium. He visited Serbia and the region at the invitation of the Novak Đoković Foundation as part of the “Support, not Perfection” program. His visit to the region was generously supported by Volvo and Generali companies. Dr. Maté combines scientific research, case histories, personal insights, and experiences to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers individuals to heal themselves and their loved ones. During the informative workshop, he shared insights and results from his personal medical practice.
“I am extremely proud that the Novak Đoković Foundation, after hosting Dr. Šefali last year, has for the second consecutive year brought a world-renowned expert to the region whose teachings focus on early development. Dr. Gabor Maté is someone from whom we can learn a great deal. We are delighted to tour several countries in the region with him and provide an opportunity for everyone interested to familiarize themselves with his work. The Novak Đoković Foundation will continue to champion significant societal issues in the region, and through our actions, we hope to justify the trust of the many wonderful people who support our work,” said Jelena Đoković, co-founder and global director of the Novak Đoković Foundation.
During the workshop, Dr. Gabor Maté discussed various traumas and the relationship between parents and children. He elaborated on how our behavior affects children and their development. He also touched upon the physical punishment of children, which some still believe can be a disciplinary method. “There are parents who simply don’t know any better and follow the patterns of their upbringing. However, they need to understand that childhood abuse can be a trigger for mental illnesses, addiction, and ultimately, an unhappy life. Even science has proven this. I can show you 25,000 articles on this topic. Parents who believe in such upbringing are victims of their own childhood and cannot imagine a different childhood for their children,” emphasized Dr. Maté.
One of Dr. Maté’s central messages is: “The greatest gift parents can give to their child is to be happy parents.”
After twenty years of medical practice and experience in palliative care, Dr. Maté spent over a decade in Vancouver working with patients struggling with addiction and mental illness. His book on addiction, “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts,” won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. He was honored with the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian award, and the Vancouver Civic Service Award for his revolutionary medical work and writing.
Dr. Gabor Maté’s lectures are based on his bestselling books, including “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction,” “When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress,” “Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder,” and “Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Matter More Than Peers,” which he co-wrote with Dr. Gordon Neufeld. His latest book, “The Myth of Normal,” was released in the United States last September. Gabor also developed the therapeutic approach “Compassionate Inquiry,” which is now taught to hundreds of therapists, doctors, counselors, and other professionals worldwide.
The foundation’s founder and the world’s top tennis player, Novak Đoković, addressed the audience, saying, “I believe there are many lessons we can draw from Dr. Gabor Maté’s words. I sincerely hope that we can delve deeper into this ever-pertinent subject. I’m thrilled that so many people have come, and I sincerely thank them all,” said Novak.