The MBP (Mee-Bunney Psychological Pain Assessment Scale)—A Tool for Assessing and Measuring Psychological Pain

by Dr. Steven Mee

At AIP we are pleased to report that  an instrument developed and rigorously tested by Dr. Mee and colleagues at prestigious academic institutions in Southern California and Indiana was published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research in November 2011. Although we invite you to visit the journal website to read the full article, here are the ‘bottom line’ points:

  1. Psychological pain is experienced by everybody and in most cases is completely ‘normal.’ Some individuals, however, especially those suffering from depression, trauma, substance abuse and other mental health conditions experience severe and unbearable amounts of psychological pain.
  2. Very high psychological pain can be associated with substance abuse, suicidal thinking and behavior as well as depression.
  3. The MBP is the first validated instrument to measure psychological pain that has been developed from and tested in outpatient clinical medical populations. As such is it appropriate for widespread use by doctors, hospitals and anyone who has an interest in measuring psychological pain.

The results of these studies have allowed Dr. Mee to begin utilizing the MBP to regularly assess psychological pain and thus more closely follow individuals who may be at increased risk for harmful escape behaviors such as suicidality and substance abuse. The MBP has become a central component in detecting relapse risk in substance abuse at Substance Abuse Counseling Services (Santa Ana, CA) where Dr. Mee serves as medical director. Stay tuned for our new paper which will detail a four-year research study that we hope will improve our understanding of substance abuse and substance relapse through carefully assessing psychological pain.

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