Notes from Prague: the conference ends

IMG_9145editToday was the last day of our conference, Making Sense of Pain. An interesting point was raised during these last few sessions, and one that I think is well worth repeating. We have not necessarily “made sense” of  pain, but we have shared in it, share in the stories of pain, the language of pain. While our individual experiences of pain my differ, we are united in those very differences, a unique “body” collectively exploring and expanding the definition of pain, embodiment, and identity.

May 11, 2013

We began the day with cognition, and found once again that the papers built upon the previous days’ exchanges. Particularly, we were able to draw connections between cognition, metaphor and a new framework of experience for “moving through” pain.

Session 7: Painful Realities: Psychology, Cognition, and Suffering

Psychological Pain: Metaphor or Reality
David Biro
SUNY Health Science Center, Brooklyn, USA

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you think about it”: Exploring the Cognitive Processes Underlying Resilience Following Adversity
Karisha George
University of York, United Kingdom

Although Unseen, Chronic Pain is Real—A Phenomenological Study
Tapio Ojala
Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Session 8 also helped us to re-define pain, first in terms of its potentially positive political statement and second in terms of non-western ideas of pain. From these, we were reminded that experiencing pain and speaking about it can be varied within a single culture and context.

Session 8: Voices: Managing, Coping with, and “Celebrating”Pain

Celebrating the Pain – Female Singer-Songwriters and the Beauty of Gloomy Images
Daniela Chana
Independent Researcher, Vienna, Austria

Perspectives on Coping with Acute and Chronic Pain in Botswana: Patients Voices
Nicole Monteiro and Kagiso Thlabano
University of Botswana, Botswana

The diversity of “voices” continued with our last session and with our open business meeting, which was, in fact, a wrap-up discussion in which ideas for next year’s conference were promoted.

Session 9: Palliative and Pain: Disease, Diagnosis and Treatment

Managing Babies Pain: An Ethnography of Daily Care Practices inside a Neonatology Intensive Care Unit in Switzerland
Line Rochat Noël
University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Pain as a New Social Determinant of Health
Maria Stella Guadagnoli-Closs
Faculty of Health, York University, Canada

The Normal You: Tales of Malformations and Habilitations
Davide Ticchi
Tallinn University, Estonia (David is to be thanked for his flexibility in moving up to Session 9–his abstract may be found here).

I hope you will look for more of the fascinating work being done at IDnet–and please do stay tuned for the next Probing the Boundaries conference (starting tomorrow): Probing the Boundaries of Reproduction!

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