The Psychomatrix: A Deeper Understanding of Our Relationship with Pain

Author(s) : Doreen M. Francis

The Psychomatrix: A Deeper Understanding of Our Relationship with Pain

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : October 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 232
  • Category :
    Neuroscience
  • Category 2 :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 37171
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782203186
  • ISBN 10 : 1782203184
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What is pain? What does it mean to have a relationship with it and how does this affect your identity and existence? Doreen Francis' definition of pain is derived from that proposed by scientists, such as Melzack, Wall and Freud. Pain is a dynamic, multi-layered, diverse collection of experiences, which impacts and influences us throughout life. Pain is a kind of conglomerate of past, traumatic, neurobiological, psychological and emotional imprints--pain as in suffering or being in pain. The author's aim here is to argue that it is not pain, as such, but our relationship with pain, which is most significant to the processes of our lives.

In examining the combination of Freud’s psychosexual theory of development and Melzack’s theory of the neuromatrix, Francis endeavours to evidence her theory that there is the distinct possibility for the existence of what she has named a Psychomatrix--patterns of pain (loss, abandonment, grief, rejection, desire) imprinted from infancy, that are specifically translated by their own ‘psychological and emotional neural loops’ and therefore, congruent with the neuromatrix concept. She concludes that pain becomes an object that compels us to respond accordingly, thus defining our identity and existence.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Although pain is a universal human experience, which has been investigated by the widest range of scholars and researchers for thousands of years, it still remains poorly understood. In this groundbreaking study, Doreen M. Francis combines a psychoanalytic perspective with the revolutionary insights on the neuromatrix of Melzack and Wall, in order to argue that pain is neither a mere sensory, nor a primarily emotional experience, but a relational phenomenon, which can only be properly appreciated if we take account of how a human being as subject relates to his or her pain qua object. Academic as it may be, this book is a pleasure to read, and should be studied by everyone who has a vested interest in gaining a better understanding of pain.’
––Dany Nobus, Professor of Psychoanalytic Psychology and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Brunel University London, and Chair of the Freud Museum, London

About the Author(s)

Dr Doreen M. Francis has worked in the field of mental health for over thirty years, specializing in the psychotherapeutic treatment of mental illness and addictions. After completing a certificate in Human Services Counselling she achieved a Bachelor of Social Work at Ryerson University, Toronto, as well as an MA and PhD in Contemporary Psychoanalysis at Brunel University, London, and a Diploma in Logotherapy through the Viktor Frankl Institute, UK. Dr Francis has dedicated her career to pursuing a deeper understanding of human behaviour, emotional and psychological pain, its impact, meaning and management

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