The Psychology of Pain and Suffering

  • Jacob Lomranz
  • David I. Mostofsky
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


Because pain is at once a universal experience, a response, a stimulus, and a state, it is little wonder that its very existence has been challenged as an unverifiable construct except for the verbal report that validates its presence (Schoenfeld, 1981). Thus, it is claimed, it is perfectly logical to assert that pain does not exist in infrahumans, and that it is at best understood as a private experience rather than as a physical, psychological, or social state. This problem is hardly new, yet the disruptive consequences of pain to the quality of life and often to the very continuance of biological life itself have raised serious concerns for humans and animals since the birth of humankind. While in the main the emphasis has justifiably focused on management and control, the delineation and understanding of the nature of pain as a scientific and phenomenological entity have taken many turns throughout the various stages of inquiry. The more recent discoveries of opiate-binding sites in the brain in 1973, of endorphins in 1975, and the emergence of specialty pain clinics, have contributed to a resurgence of interest by the scientific and medical communities and has inspired much basic research in pain processes, neurobiological substrates, and the development of advanced treatment protocols for the control of pain. Many of these issues are considered in the chapters that follow. Though not popularly identified with biobehavioral and neuroscientific systems, the disciplines that comprise the dynamic and psychoanalytic aspects of human behavior have much to offer pain research in both theoretical development and treatment formulation that too often goes unnoticed. It is with this in mind that we have undertaken to summarize in the current chapter.


Chronic Pain Pain Behavior Psychosomatic Medicine Myofascial Pain Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob Lomranz
    • 1
  • David I. Mostofsky
    • 2
  1. 1.The Herczeg Institute on AgingTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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