Social and Interpersonal Dynamics in Pain

We Don't Suffer Alone

  • Tine Vervoort
  • Kai Karos
  • Zina Trost
  • Kenneth M. Prkachin

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Theoretical Foundations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Amanda C de C Williams, Judith Kappesser
      Pages 3-22
    3. Kenneth D. Craig
      Pages 23-41
    4. Rebecca Pillai Riddell, Kenneth D. Craig
      Pages 43-55
  3. A Science of Pain Expression

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 77-77
    2. Marc O. Martel, Michael J. L. Sullivan
      Pages 79-99
    3. Miriam Kunz, Kai Karos, Tine Vervoort
      Pages 101-119
  4. The Neuroscience of Interpersonal Pain Dynamics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 147-147
    2. Marie-Pier B. Tremblay, Aurore Meugnot, Philip L. Jackson
      Pages 149-172
    3. Erinn L. Acland, Navdeep K. Lidhar, Loren J. Martin
      Pages 197-217
  5. Effects of Facing Others in Pain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 219-219
    2. Kenneth M. Prkachin, M. Erin Browne, Kimberley A. Kaseweter
      Pages 221-240
    3. Lies De Ruddere, Raymond Tait
      Pages 241-269
  6. Observer Responses to Others’ Pain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 271-271
    2. Shannon M. Clark, Michelle T. Leonard, Annmarie Cano, Bethany Pester
      Pages 273-293
    3. Kaytlin Constantin, Rachel L. Moline, C. Meghan McMurtry
      Pages 295-323
    4. Lauren C. Heathcote, Tine Vervoort, Melanie Noel
      Pages 347-376
  7. Across the Lifespan

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 377-377
    2. Hannah Gennis, Rebecca Pillai Riddell
      Pages 379-393
    3. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, Natasha L. Gallant
      Pages 415-429
  8. Societal Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 431-431
    2. Brian Blake Drwecki
      Pages 455-480
  9. Towards Change: Targets and Methods for Intervention

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 481-481
  10. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 501-501
    2. Kenneth M. Prkachin, Kai Karos, Tine Vervoort, Zina Trost
      Pages 503-520
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 521-532

About this book


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 dimension 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.

Social and Interpersonal Dynamics in Pain will be a valuable resource for clinicians who deal in pain practice and management, as well as for students and researchers interested in the social, interpersonal, and emotional variables that contribute to pain, the processes with which pain is associated, and the psychology of pain in general.


Gate Control Theory of Pain Clinical Experience of Pain Sufferers Evolution of Pain Affective-Motivational Models of Pain Pain Expression Neuroscience of Pain Observer Response in Pain Pain Communication Pain Behavior neuroscience of empathy neonatal care and pain sex differences in pain comparative cognition and pain

Editors and affiliations

  • Tine Vervoort
    • 1
  • Kai Karos
    • 2
  • Zina Trost
    • 3
  • Kenneth M. Prkachin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health PsychologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Research Group on Health PsychologyKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince GeorgeCanada

Bibliographic information