APPLYING CONCEPTS OF LIFE'S MEANING TO ADVANCED PRACTICE
This research considers the application of concepts of life's meaning to advanced practice nursing. The findings of this research are presented in a review of Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, a review of germane work by other theorists, and appropriate applications of the concepts covered in this literature in advanced practice nursing.
A Review of Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning
The practical manifestation of Frankl's ideas is logotherapy, which is a form of existential psychotherapy that is based on the meaning of one's existence. Frankl's logotherapy frequently is considered to be the third Viennese school of therapy, following those of Freud and Adler.
Frankl contended that human behavior is driven by a need to find meaning and purpose in one's life. Logotherapy, which derived from Frankl's contention that human behavior is driven by a need to find meaning and purpose in one's life, is a humanistic psychotherapy based in existential philosophy. Thus, the application of his concepts are especially appropriate for persons who consider their lives to be empty, meaningless, or hopeless (Gorsch, 1998).
Frankl (1984) held that human suffering can be transcended. Further, logotherapy is based in part on the premise that the process of transcending of one's suffering is not only strengthened by the mutual help of persons who are suffering, but that such mutual help often is a requisite for the attainment of such an outcome (Berti & Berti, 1996). Logotherapy, thus, represents, in part, an extension of one's self to others (Roberts & Whall, 1996). The advanced practice nurse frequently is in a caring position to guide patients through such a process.
An especially important concept for persons feeling great mental or physical pain that is incorporated into logotherapy is the meaning of the moment (Frankl, 1984). Frankl (1984) contended that one's ...