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Attachment theory and pain
chapterposted on 2018-07-30, 00:00 authored by Pamela Meredith
From his first conceptualisation of attachment theory, Bowlby recognised the relationship between attachment and pain, and described pain as one of the triggers of the attachment system: ' ... a child's attachment behavior is activated especially by pain, fatigue, and anything frightening .. .' (Bowlby 1998, p. 3). Even earlier, Engel · (1959), the founder of the biopsychosocial model (Engel 1977), had considered a link between chronic pain and both childhood neglect and abuse. Perhaps as a result of these precedents, the value of using an attachment theoretical framework to understand pain in clinical settings was one of the earliest applications of attachment theory to physical health (Kolb 1982).