I just want to say that Hannah is right. We get a lot of people calling the helpline confused because they are told their pain is in their head by professionals who mean well but dont realise the implications of what they are saying.
Basically they are talking about how our brains receive amplified pain messages through the spinal cord, ie you stub your toe pain message shutes up spinal cord, in chronic pain it gets amplified in spinal cord so message that brain receives suggests that you have had a major injury, when it was a stubbed toe. hence pain is in your head should be pain is in your spinal cord and brain!
The psychological help offered in pain management is in the form of CBT, sometimes its offered on a one to one basis. but it isnt designed to examine your life from a child to adulthood. Its designed to challenge your thinking about pain messages and thought, behaviours and emotions. So dont be worried about it, it is true that sometimes people 'realise' that their pain is mixed up with some history, but that is because of learned behaviours and how you coped with situations at that time, ie arguing with hubby caused extra pain, you went to bed for 4 days, therefore never disagree with hubby again...admittedly that is a very simplified example but how we deal with pain and what we observe in others who have pain (and quite often with us it could be our parents and siblings) is usually mixed up in how we cope with pain.
Chronic Pain is always amplified by stress whether it is physical, emotional or pyschological. So hence the intro of pain gateways and the strategies to stop the pain.
I hope this helps, I think I needed to explain this to myself as much as anyone else today, as I have started my swimming!