Existentialism, Logotherapy and Health


Joyce Travelbee was born in 1926 and is well known for her contribution and work as a nursing theorist. In 1956 earned her degree as a Bachelor in Nursing from Louisiana State University, later in 1959 received the degree of Master in Science at Yale University. During most of her carrier she dealt with psychiatric nursing and also education. Died tragically while trying to obtain her PhD degree in 1973. Key Points of her Theory There are some main or mayor concepts on this theory defined by Joyce Travelbee to assist nurse to understand the model nursing, hope, meaning, suffering, communication, and self-therapy.

Existentialism and Logotherapy are important in this theory, Existentialism states that humans remain constantly under the influence of choices that creates conflicts and are responsible for the results of those choices they made. Logotherapy is also a concept on this theory based on the assumption that emotional stability is best protected by meaningful fulfillment in life, it focuses on the future.

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Health is another concept included in this theory is describe as an equilibrium of every person physically, emotionally and spiritually in relation with the environment where the loss of this equilibrium bring an uneasy feeling called suffering.

Historical Background

The historical surrounding of this theorist was the calamities and human suffering during and after War World Two and the bases for her theory, philosophy and model are on Soren Kierkegaard’s philosophy of existentialism and Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy. Existentialism stated that people are accountable for the choices they make in life and the repercussion on the people who make those choices.

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Logotherapy, was first proposed in Frankl’s book Man’s Searching for Meaning (1963), a type of psychotherapy that include the idea that fulfillment is the greatest protection against emotional instability.

This was part of idea proposed by a Jewish prisoner of the Auschwitz concentration camp who found meaning for his life in the midst of extreme suffering, this is described on his account of the experiences he had while working in the harsh conditions while in the concentration camp.

Term Definition

  • Applied to Nursing Practice
  • Applied to Nursing Education
  • Applied to Nursing Research


Person is define as a Human being with physical, emotional and psychological component.

Both the patient and the nurse are consider as a human being with its own uniqueness that allow to take in consideration when we are developing the nursing process taking care of the mind and the body too. As a nurse is important to develop the rapport between nurse student, educator and patient as a person and share each one experiences. A human being as a unique individual, in constant evolution and change. Important to define this with the new changes related with genetics.


The physical, mental or psychological and spiritual balance in a person. By knowing the different components of health we can comprehend and target better factors that affect the individual and measure the health status by physical examination, laboratory test and assessment. The optimal equilibrium of the individual or person, state of well-being. Knowing the objective component of health give us the opportunity to research about diseases. Nursing Is a process establish between the nurse professional, the individual, family or community to assist with disease prevention, health promotion or coping with the illness finding a meaning in this conditions. Establish a better understanding of the nursing process where no only the patient is important but also the family and the community. Assist to target in the education process no only the patient direct but also family and the community to better fulfill our roles as educators. As researchers investigation should include all the persons involve in the nursing process.


As experiences we encountered during our life and the response to it as sufferings, pain, hope, and illness. Promotes nurses to get familiar with external factors that may impact the individual health stage that should be targeted during the nursing process. In the education process knowing the factor that may bring emotional instability will give us a proper tool to educate on how to deal with them. Nurse involvement in search how the external factors may affect the individual health.


  1. Octaviano, E. F. & Balita, C. E. (2008). Theoretical Foundations of Nursing: The Philippine Perspective. Philippines: Ultimate Learning Series, 93-98.
  2. Tomey, A. M. & Alligood, M. R. (2002). Nursing Theorists and Their Work. 5th ed. Missouri: Mosby, 418-425.

Cite this page

Existentialism, Logotherapy and Health. (2016, Jul 27). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/existentialism-logotherapy-and-health-essay

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