Nov 30 – Dec 3, 2023 • 9am – 12pm PST

Pathways to Wholeness

A 4-day online retreat with Gabor Maté and Betsy Polatin

“We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.”
– Gabor Maté

Trauma shapes our lives. It shapes the way we live, the way we love and the way we make sense of the world. It is at the root of our deepest wounds. Virtually all our afflictions, mental illnesses, physical diseases stem from trauma. Trauma distorts our view of reality and leaves us stuck in contraction, defense and reactivity. It compromises our capacity to be in the moment, to be present to our relationships and to fully take in the environment.

The wisdom in the trauma comes through when we realize that our traumatic responses and imprints are not us, that we can follow all traumatic responses back to their source, work through them, let them dissipate and thus reconnect to the unblemished, ecstatic consciousness that we were born with.

Join Dr. Gabor Maté for this 4-day participatory, interactive online workshop on understanding and healing trauma. Gabor will share decades of research and experience. He will guide us to discover the root cause of our trauma. We will begin building a relationship with it, so we can start to uncover the wisdom and reconnect to our true selves beneath the hurts and adaptations.  The workshop will include daily talks and interactive engagements with and among participants. We will learn some of the tools offered by Gabor’s Compassionate Inquiry™ approach. We will also be gently guided daily by Betsy Polatin in breath and movement, including Somatic Experiencing practices and resolution of trauma in the body. This combination invites pain, discomfort and repressed emotions to come to the surface to be experienced, witnessed and let go of in a safe, supportive setting. Acceptance, allowing, non-judgement, expression and self-compassion are the ingredients needed for healing.

Who is this online retreat for?

This will be an in-depth program, suitable for therapists, spiritual seekers and anyone looking for a profound, experiential understanding of their traumatic imprint and the hidden beliefs that sustain it.

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Workshop Overview

  • to be introduced to the process of Compassionate Inquiry™
  • to understand your own triggers and their origin
  • to recognize mental-emotional patterns and triggers, and how they limit your wholeness, choice and freedom
  • to bring healing and integration to trauma from past traumatic events
  • to find a greater sense of aliveness by completing unresolved or repressed emotions
  • to participate in daily, live inquiry sessions with Dr. Gabor Maté


Gabor Maté

Gabor Maté, M.D. is a renowned speaker, and bestselling author who is is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development. Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them. After 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, Dr. Maté worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. His book on addiction received the Hubert Evans Prize for literary non-fiction. For his groundbreaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver. His next book, Hello Again: A Fresh Start for Parents and Their Adult Children is expected in 2025. Gabor is also the creator of a psychotherapeutic approach, Compassionate Inquiry, now studied by thousands of therapists, physicians, counselors, and others in over 80 countries.

Betsy Polatin

Betsy Polatin, MFA, SEP, an internationally recognized breathing/movement specialist and best- selling author, has been teaching for 45 years. Her unique and intuitive perspectives are greatly influenced by the study of movement, breath, and trauma, as well as the teachings of spiritual and meditation masters. She speaks at conferences around the world.

As a well-known educator, she’s had numerous articles published in the Huffington Post, and is the author of The Actor’s Secret and Humanual.

Pathways to Wholeness Daily Schedule

Welcome9:00 – 9:05
Betsy Polatin – Breath and Movement9:05 – 9:15
Gabor Maté – Presentation and Q&A9:15 – 10:10
Betsy Polatin – Breath and Movement10:10 – 10:20
Breakout Sessions10:20 – 10:50
Break10:50 – 11:05
Gabor Maté – Presentation and Q&A11:05 – 11:50
Betsy Polatin – Breath and Movement11:50 – 12:00


  • Your registration includes access to all recordings of the event, so any missed sessions may be watched at a later date. Group exercises will not be recorded.
  • Having your camera on is strongly recommended.
  • Please note that by participating in this event, you agree for your audio and video to be recorded.


SAND is committed to cultivating a diversity of voices and life experiences in our events and making them accessible to people of all income levels and backgrounds. To this end, we have created a robust scholarship program for those with limited financial means. SAND will award a number of partial/full scholarships for this event.

Applications will open October 15, 2023
Applications will close November 15, 2023
Notifications will be sent November 20, 2023
Deadline to register with a scholarship is November 25, 2023

Please note scholarships are intended for those who would otherwise not be able to attend. Refunds will not be offered to scholarship applicants who have already registered.

Find the time in your time zone

Scholarship Application

On November 29 (the day before the retreat), 9:00–10:00 AM PDT, we will conduct a highly recommended orientation for participants to log on and get familiar with the technical container of the event. This session will explain question-asking procedures during the event, how to get integration support, and how to navigate around the zoom platform. This session is optional but highly recommended.

Retreat container

  • Gabor will be offering a mixture of didactic presentations and Q&A sessions with participants. The event is structured like a live retreat, and all participants are invited to participate live to all sessions on all days.
  • Gabor will be answering questions live, subject to limitations due to time available and number of participants.
  • Sessions will take place through the Zoom platform. A link will be sent to participants the day before the event.
  • Confidentiality is an integral part to the container of this event. Please do not share any session content with anyone.
  • Gabor’s questions are only an invitation. You choose the level at which you feel comfortable participating.

If you have any concerns, please reach out to the SAND team. We are here to support you.

Continuing Education

There are no Continuing Education units associated with this event.

Refund Policy

The registration fee for SAND’s online events is non-refundable. SAND will consider refund requests due to an extraordinary circumstance or emergency on a case by case basis.


Please contact us for any additional information.


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