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Guittard-Maury, M.F. (1996). La Dimension De La Souffrance Chez Le Malade Douloureux Chronique. [The Dimension Of Suffering In Patients With Chronic Pain Syndrome]. : Edited by Eliane Ferragut. Masson. 1995. Pp. 171.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:420-421.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:420-421

La Dimension De La Souffrance Chez Le Malade Douloureux Chronique. [The Dimension Of Suffering In Patients With Chronic Pain Syndrome]. : Edited by Eliane Ferragut. Masson. 1995. Pp. 171.

Review by:
Marie Françoise Guittard-Maury

Whereas a considerable body of literature exists on the neurophysiological, clinical and therapeutic aspects of chronic pain, it is only recently that there have been specific analyses of Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) itself. Eliane Ferragut has put together contributions from a number of authors in a multidisciplinary and multidimensional approach to the different psychological aspects most frequently observed in patients suffering from chronic pain and to the underlying problem complexes.

On the basis of the established findings of psychoanalysis and with a didactic intention, the authors range over the extensive field of pain science, from mere identification of the ‘symptom of suffering’ in different situations and at different ages, to the role and meaning of pain in the more strictly psychoanalytic sense. The field of CPS is defined by Ferragut in her paper ‘Clinical aspects and psychological treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain’, which distinguishes cases of CPS with a predominantly organic component from those where the psychic element is in the forefront. Using the concept of the ‘envelope of suffering’, which performs a protective function for the subject, she advocates a kind of therapy involving a unity of time, place and team with a view to avoiding the body/mind dichotomy, providing narcissistic restoration and recathexis of the body, and allowing verbal elaboration of suffering and anxiety.

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