Gemma bettens and dr abigail billin give a psychological perspective to understanding the role of thoughts and emotions on behaviour in patients with pain the days of considering pain as a purely physical sensation have long been left behind with contemporary approaches recognising and appreciating the importance of using a biopsychosocial approach when working with pain. To appreciate the psychology of chronic pain it is useful to refer to a classic psychological theory called maslows hierarchy of needs shown in the left figure psychologist abraham maslow . The psychology of pain is important but only if it acknowledges that there is a subjective aspect to pain it is true that there are some people who feel pain less acutely than others it is true that there are some people who perceive pain to be pleasurable yet it is universally true except for those with physical or neurological disorders . A normal psychology of pain pain is a normal feature of human experience only a small number of people are unfortunate enough to be born insensitive to pain and live complicated and often foreshortened lives nagasako et al 2003 for most pain is a common everyday occurrence for example in one interesting playground observation study
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