I would like to invite you all to like the @Meaningsofpain Facebook page. The page is linked to the forthcoming book, Meanings of Pain (Springer 2016). The book aims to improve understanding of the link between meaning and pain, and to stimulate further research in this area.
The isolating and unpredictable nature of pain frequently leads to a chaotic narrative where people seek meaning. Without this sense of meaning, the experience of pain often remains unexplained and invalidated.
I am delighted to have been asked to write a book chapter entitled, Seeking Order Amidst the Chaos: The Role of Metaphor Within Pain Reconceptualisation for the forthcoming book, Meanings of Pain.
As with the entire book, I hope that this chapter takes you on a journey of discovery. A journey from chaos to order. A journey unlike any other where we’ll attempt to unravel the complexities of communicating and understanding pain & distress.
As you’ll discover, it can be an extremely hopeful & optimistic journey. Yet, at the same time, it can also be a terrifying & pessimistic voyage. Metaphors can help or hinder people’s understanding of pain. This chapter will aim to develop your understanding of this dilemma, whilst also highlighting examples from within practice to guide you.
Ok. We’re not really going on a journey, nor are we going to unravel anything. Actually, come to think of it, nor are we going to stand underneath anything. Words such as ‘understand’ act as a reminder that metaphors live a concealed existence all around us. They are an essential part of human communication and can be crucial to how we communicate, learn, discover and create meaning.
Metaphors are used when conveying experiences most resistant to expression. Pain is one such experience!