The CI Approach

What is Compassionate Inquiry®?

Compassionate Inquiry® is a psychotherapeutic approach created by Dr. Gabor Maté over several decades while working with both patients and retreat participants. This approach gently uncovers and releases the layers of childhood trauma, constriction and suppressed emotion embedded in the body, that are at the root of mental and physical illness and addiction.

When clients perceive the therapeutic relationship as a safe container, compassion and curiosity allow them to acknowledge and examine the traumatic events that happened to them as children, recognize the beliefs they internalized, and feel the emotions they suppressed. This contributes to the healing process.  

Using Compassionate Inquiry, both the individual and therapist unveil the level of consciousness, mental climate, hidden assumptions, implicit memories and body states that form the real message that words both express and conceal.

When we can release ourselves from the hold of these stories, a new way of being emerges, leading to spontaneity, choice, expansion and freedom.

How did the Compassionate Inquiry Programs Develop?

Sat Dharam Kaur began working with Gabor in 2012, when she invited him to co-teach a yoga-based addiction recovery program in Vancouver. Gabor attended to share didactic material and do process work with the participants.   

Sat Dharam became enthralled with Gabor’s ability to unerringly uncover the core issue, emotions and false beliefs that obscured the individual’s connection to their true self. After repeatedly witnessing his work, she became convinced that Gabor’s approach could be structured, taught and practised by others.

Sat Dharam began to write down the “steps”, articulated these to Gabor, and refined them until he was satisfied that they were close enough to his actual approach. He agreed, reluctantly at first, to teach a workshop for health professionals and therapists, using Compassionate Inquiry.

The first Compassionate Inquiry workshop was taught in Toronto in November 2016, followed by subsequent workshops in Edmonton, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg. All of these were nearly sold out with hundreds of participants and very positive reviews.

Sat Dharam then wove the material into a coherent, structured whole, maintaining Gabor’s words and intent as closely as possible. Sat Dharam developed the Compassionate Inquiry Professional Training, the Self-Study Short Course and the CI Circles from this material. She continues to edit, arrange and add new content to each of these programs.

The CI programmes are designed primarily for healthcare professionals, but also those with a sincere interest in personal and collective healing. The approach aims to help individuals connect with their truth, overcome self-generated suffering, and gain insight and clarity towards their behaviour. It seeks to promote a more nurturing society globally, which recognizes the interdependence of all beings and honours the gifts that each one brings. 

Our Intention

To teach the Compassionate Inquiry approach, created by Dr. Gabor Maté and further developed by Sat Dharam Kaur ND, so that individuals can connect to the truth within themselves in the present moment, become free from self-generated suffering, and gain insight, clarity and choice in their behaviour.

Course Creators

Dr. Gabor Mate Image

Dr. Gabor Maté is a retired physician, bestselling author, an internationally renowned speaker and the creator of the Compassionate Inquiry approach to psychotherapy.

Gabor evolved this therapeutic approach over 20 years of his personal journey, and from his work with patients in family practice, palliative care, and addiction. He developed his system further while facilitating integration workshops focused on healing trauma through the use of psychedelics.

Sat Dharam Kaur ND Image

Sat Dharam Kaur N.D. has supported Dr. Gabor Maté in structuring the Compassionate Inquiry approach and developing the online training.

Sat Dharam is a naturopathic doctor, teacher and author, who combines naturopathic medicine with Compassionate Inquiry, yoga, breathing practices and meditation to support others in healing and integrating mind, body and spirit.

Who Can Benefit from Compassionate Inquiry®?

The Compassionate Inquiry training and approach will be of benefit to psychotherapists, mental health professionals, health care professionals, allied health professionals, medical doctors, naturopathic physicians, fitness coaches, addiction counsellors, educators, First Nations counsellors and elders, Traditional Healers, psychedelic therapists, plant medicine shamans, therapeutic communities and institutions, yoga teachers, meditation teachers, spiritual teachers, recovery communities, individuals interested in personal development, adult influencers, marginalized groups, diverse groups (in demographics, economics, sex, lifestyle), and multicultural groups (variations in ethnicity).

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