Meaning-making: a underestimated resource for health? A discussion of the value of meaning-making in the conservation and restoration of health and well-being


  • Birthe Loa Knizek Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Sissel Alsaker Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Julia Hagen Regional center on violence, traumatic stress and suicide prevention, St. Olavs Hospital
  • Gørill Haugan Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Olga Lehmann Institutt for psykologisk rådgivning
  • Marianne Nilsen Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Randi Reidunsdatter Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Wigdis Sæther Norwegian University of Science and Technology



meaning, meaning-making, health, spiritual practices, everyday activities


This article discusses the function, development and maintenance of meaning and the importance of meaning-making from different perspectives, as it is based on a collaboration between professionals from health science and psychology. The aim is to discuss how meaning-making processes can be employed in the health context to enhance individuals’ well-being. Starting point is a description of the common basis of the understanding of meaning-making. Afterwards brief examples from the different professional areas will show how meaning-making can improve health care practice. We will focus on the processual nature of meaning-making, its existential layers, as well as the ways in which meaning-making is at play in everyday activities and limit situations, such as illness or suicidality.


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How to Cite

Knizek, B. L., Alsaker, S., Hagen, J., Haugan, G., Lehmann, O., Nilsen, M. ., Reidunsdatter, R., & Sæther, W. (2021). Meaning-making: a underestimated resource for health? A discussion of the value of meaning-making in the conservation and restoration of health and well-being. Encyclopaideia, 25(59), 5–18.