RESEARCH ARTICLE


The Subjective Aspects of Pain and its Objectivity in Research



Laurence Croix*
Center for Research in Psychoanalysis, Medicine and Society of the University of Paris Diderot University at Sorbonne Paris Cité (EA 3522), France.


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© 2014 Laurence Croix.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Center for Research in Psychoanalysis, Medicine and Society of the University of Paris Diderot University at Sorbonne Paris Cité (EA 3522), France; Tel: 33-687703088; E-mail: lcroix@noos.fr


Abstract

Based on a research and clinical work conducted in a pain treatment centre in France, the author shows that the conceptual dichotomies of psyche-soma that dominate the current discussion of the phenomenon of pain cannot ultimately account for its clinical realities. Although pain manifests in the body, it cannot be reduced to organic causes. The psychoanalytic approach to the body on the other hand allows us to make sense of the reality of pain, of the objectivity and certainty that mark its experience for the suffering subject and, in parallel, of the cases where no organic substrate has been identified. The body is not only organic. It is then up to the clinician, whether a physicalist or a psychoanalyst, to know how to work with this sign – one that does not call for interpretation -- regardless of its presumed aetiology.

Keywords: Body, Objectivity/Subjectivity, Pain, Phantom Limb, Psychalgy, Reality.