Dr. Shannon Hodges, professor of clinical mental health counseling at Niagara University, shared the insights and experiences that inspired him to write “Creating a Meaningful Life: A Practical Guide for Counselors, Therapists, and Other Helping Professionals” during the sixth installment of the Niagara University Library’s Faculty Book Launch Series on April 26, 2023.

Dr. Hodges, who has traveled extensively throughout remote locations in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Central America—including two months in 2013 when he volunteered with the Katherine Remote Area Group Schools, which educate Aboriginal children and adolescents in Australia’s remote Northern Territory—noted that all cultures seek meaning in life, and this motivated him to help others find their “why” through self-reflection.

“Creating a Meaningful Life” builds on the tenets of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and guides readers to use a variety of techniques, including journaling, grounding exercises, and cognitive self-talk restructuring, to find the answers to some of life’s basic questions, such as "How do I create a meaningful, purposeful life?" and "Is the life I am living one that brings me fulfillment, purpose, and a sense of inner peace?"

Dr. Hodges has over 30 years of teaching experience and 25 years of counseling experience and is the author of numerous professional publications, including books, book chapters, journal articles, and essays. He also wrote a mystery novel with a counselor as the protagonist, “City of Shadows.” He formerly authored a monthly column for Counseling Today, the American Counseling Association’s monthly magazine.

A longtime member of the American Counseling Association, the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and several ACA affiliate divisions, Dr. Hodges has been awarded both for his research and his teaching. He has also served on national committees, most notably the ACA Publications Committee and the ACA Ethics Review Task Force, along with serving on the editorial review boards of several journals, including the Journal of Counseling & Development, Journal of Counseling and Values, Journal of Mental Health Counseling, and was a founding member of the Journal of College Counseling.

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