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On Suffering cover On Suffering: Pathways to Healing and Health

Beverley M. Clarke

Dartmouth College Press
Copyright © 2011 Trustees of Dartmouth College

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About the Book

Currently in medicine, theories of pain regard pain and suffering as one and the same. It is assumed that if pain ceases, suffering stops. These theories are not substantiated in clinical practice, where some patients report little pain and extreme suffering and other individuals have a lot of pain and virtually no suffering. Based on the results of a scientific questionnaire, as well as evidence from and conversations with hundreds of patients, Beverley M. Clarke argues convincingly that suffering is often separate from pain, has universal measurable characteristics, and requires suffering-specific treatments that are sensitive to the patient’s individual psychology and cultural background. According to Clarke, suffering occurs when individuals who have experienced a life change because of medical issues perceive a threat to their idea of self and personhood. This kind of suffering, based on a lost “dream of self,” affects every aspect of an individual’s life. Treating the patient as a whole person—an approach that Clarke strongly advocates—is an issue overlooked in the majority of chronic care and traumatic injury treatments, focused as they are on pain reduction.


About the Author

Beverley M. Clarke is an associate professor, School of Rehabilitation Science, and a neurology associate, Division of Neurology, at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


About the Electronic Publication

This electronic publication of On Suffering was made possible with the permission of the author. The University Press of New England created EPUB and PDF files from a scanned copy of the book.


Rights Information

Published with permission of Beverley M. Clarke

Dartmouth College Library assigns a Creative Commons BY-NC license to the digital work and associated web site.

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Bibliographic Information

Published by University Press of New England, Hanover, 2011. ISBN 9781611680102, 320 pages.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1349/ddlp.1442
Print edition: RB127.C54 2011


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