Exploration of the relative roles of family dynamics and release of constrained, negative emotion in changing pain and depressive symptoms. Eighteen patients presenting mild to moderate depression and diagnoses of psychogenic pain disorder were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment groups. One group was designed to facilitate the release of constrained and overcontrolled negative affect while the other was designed to provide information about pain and depression. Findings suggest that initial incongruity between patient's and significant other's ratings of family relationships retard changes in pain status and depressive symptoms. No significant differences were noted between patients who were taught to express negative feelings and those who were taught simply to understand those feelings. Results are discussed in terms of theories about family dynamics in the initiation and maintenance of pain conditions and in terms of the role of constrained affect as a precursor to both psychogenic pain and depression.