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Social and Interpersonal Dynamics in Pain: We Don’t Suffer Alone | a book recently published featuring the work of many of our members

We are pleased to note that the following book, with one of our BC Pain Research Network members as an editor (Ken Prkachin), has just been published:

Vervoort, T., Karos, K., Trost, Z. & Prkachin, K.M.  (Eds.) (2018).  Social and interpersonal dynamics in pain: We don’t suffer alone.

This groundbreaking analysis moves our knowledge of pain and its effects from the biomedical model to one accounting for its complex psychosocial dimensions.  Starting with its facial and physical display, pain is shown in its manifold social contexts—in the lifespan, in a family unit, expressed by a member of a gender and/or race—and as observed by others.  These observations by caregivers and family are shown as vital to the social dynamic of pain—as observers react to sufferers’ pain and as these reactions affect those suffering.  The book’s findings should enhance practitioners’ understanding of pain to develop more effective individualized treatments for clients’ pain experience, and inspire researchers as well. 

Among the topics covered:

  • Why do we care? Evolutionary mechanisms in the social dimensions of pain.
  • When, how, and why do we express pain?
  • On the overlap between physical and social pain
  • Facing others in pain: why context matters
  • Caregiving impact upon sufferers’ cognitive functioning
  • Targeting individual and interpersonal processes in therapeutic interventions for chronic pain

The foregoing is the book jacket description of the book—I believe it captures it very well.  Interest in social parameters of pain has burgeoned over the last couple of decades, with this book presenting rich ideas and research very effectively. It adds weight to the often neglected “social” dimensions of the biopsychosocial model of pain, at the same time as it relates the several dimensions to one and other. I’m pleased to see chapters by network members (Ken Prkachin), including a couple by myself, as well as contributions by my former trainees and colleagues. I’m confident my enthusiasm for the book is warranted.

Cheers, Ken Craig


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