Navigating Life Transitions for Meaning

Navigating Life Transitions for Meaning

1st Edition - July 7, 2020

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  • Editor: Elizabeth Altmaier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128188507
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128188491

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Navigating Life Transitions for Meaning explores the central human motivation of meaning making, and its counterpart, meaning disruption. The book describes different types of specific transitions, details how specific transitions affect an individual differently, and provides appropriate clinical approaches. The book examines the effects of life transitions on the component parts of meaning in life, including making sense (coherence), driving life goals (purpose), significance (mattering), and continuity. The book covers a range of transitions, including developmental (e.g., adolescence to adulthood), personal (e.g., illness onset, becoming a parent, and bereavement), and career (e.g., military deployment, downshifting, and retiring). Life transitions are experienced by all persons, and the influence of those transitions are tremendous. It is essential for clinicians to understand how transitions can disrupt life and how to help clients successfully navigate these changes. 

Key Features

  • Covers cultural transitions, such as immigration and religious conversion
  • Examines health transitions, such as cancer survivorship and acquired disability
  • Uses a positive psychology framework to understand transitions
  • Includes bulleted ‘take-away’ summaries of key points in each chapter
  • Provides clinical applications of theory to practice


Those in psychology, social work, counselling, and nursing

Table of Contents

  • 1. Meaning in Life Amidst Life Transitions
    Elizabeth M. Altmaier
    2. Navigating the Teenage Years: What Do We Know About How Adolescents Find Meaning and Purpose?
    Areana Eivers and Adrian B Kelly
    3. Men’s Transitions in Late Life: Exploring the Influence of Male Norms
    Nicholas C. Neibergall and Francisco J. Sánchez
    4. Transitions and Transcendence: Transgender Individuals’ Identity Negotiations and Meaning Construction in Context
    Eric C. Chen, Hannah Sugarman, and Melissa Brenman
    5. Meaning Making in Bereavement Transitions: Review and Clinical Relevance
    Evgenia Milman and Robert A. Neimeye
    6. Transitions in an Uncertain Labor Market: Implications for Meaningful Work
    Blake A. Allan and Tracie Liu
    7. Meaning Making and Chronic Illness: Understanding through Narratives
    Cara E. Bigony and Merle Keitel
    8. Resilience Trajectories of Cancer Survivors: A Meaning-Making Perspective
    Crystal. L Park, Kate E. Dibble, Sinead Sinnott, Tara Sanft, and Keith M. Bellizzi
    9. At the Heart of Meaning Making: An Acceptance and Commitment Approach to Developing Adaptive Meaning Following Acute Cardiac Events
    Maja Bergman and Merle Keitel
    10. Finding and Creating Meaning in Life During Reversals and Revisions
    Elizabeth M. Altmaier

Product details

  • No. of pages: 196
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2020
  • Published: July 7, 2020
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128188507
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128188491

About the Editor

Elizabeth Altmaier

Elizabeth Altmaier, PhD, is Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations, College of Education, University of Iowa. Professor Altmaier’s research interests concern adjustment to and coping with challenging events and circumstances; her publications focus on cancer and its treatment, interpersonal offenses, and chronic illnesses. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Push back the dark: Companioning adults sexually abused as children (Wipf and Stock). Professor Altmaier is Fellow of the American Psychological Association. She is an active community volunteer, including serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Leaders, Believers and Achievers organization for at risk youth in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Affiliations and Expertise

Counseling Psychology Program, University of Iowa, USA

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