Gabor Mate explains Sensitivity, Creativity and Pain in a Traumatizing Culture: dialogue with Sia

Sia talks to Gabor Mate about her psychotherapeutic journey. In this interview, we get a sense of what psychotherapy for Sia is about, how it helps us transcend our fear of feeling difficult and often painful emotions.

Sia reveals her personal challenges suffering from somatic symptoms like Hashimoto’s, and addictions.

I enjoy this interview because it also reveals how Gabor is able to hold Sia’s emerging emotions throughout the dialogue.

Sia is an example of a kind of client who has had quite a bit of work done. The tendency is to “talk about” experiences rather than “being in” the experience. He tells us how he is not as interested in labelling and seeing phenomena as disorders, and his disdain for medical doctors who are not able to inquire about childhood.

By interrupting her deflection from points of painful feelings, giving space to emerging experiences he finds connection with her, and we also find connection with her watching the video. In a way, Gabor invites Sia to show her face and not hide it.

Interestingly, towards the end of their dialogue, as they thanked each other, Sia said, “…that almost made me cry, but that would hold up the interview…so… I kept the… for later…” This is possibly the replay of the trauma which she mentioned at the beginning of the video, where she recounted having cried as a young child and her caregivers were absent.