Counselor's Corner September 2016

  September Counselor’s Corner

Pivotal Choices in Life
by Stu Jaffe, LCSW

At a time of loss or crisis in our lives, we’re often faced with a pivotal choice. A death, divorce, illness, job loss or other negative event can lead us to a pivot point. The direction in which we choose to pivot can have a great impact, setting a pattern for the way we will respond to other challenges going forward.

I thought of this during a recent vacation, as I faced a minor “pivot” of my own. I spent two weeks with about 45 extended family members, honoring a 30-year tradition in a lovely Delaware beach town. This time was magical for me, and the only drag on my spirits was an injury I sustained during the trip. Nothing truly serious – but as a runner for the past 40-years, I have a hard time accepting any circumstance that disrupts my exercise. For me, this injury presented a

pivotal moment – the moment I decided to engage in physical therapy and to accept the limits that will allow my body to heal.  

I also thought of this the other day when watching “Regarding Henry,” one of my favorite films from the early 1990s. Harrison Ford plays an attorney who is shot and, as a result, suffers significant cognitive impairment and memory loss. After he is released from rehabilitation, Henry and his wife attend a party where he overhears a disparaging comment about his diminished cognitive capacity. The incident devastates Henry, sending him into a dark period. His physical therapist comes to visit him and shares a story of a pivot in his own life – the injury that ended his college football career but led him to a new, fulfilling path. This story, in turn, provides a needed pivot for Henry, enabling him to move forward.

When facing a loss or major challenge in life, we often face a pivot of some kind. The choices we make can help determine our quality of life going forward – and they can influence the options that will be open to us.


In our monthly newsletters, we feature an article by one of our experienced, licensed clinical staff.  Is there a topic you are particularly interested in?  Then please feel free to contact us to get answers at or 205.879.3438.



Older Adult Issues -- "Never Too Old for Love and Adventure", by Catherine Findley, LCSW- August 2016

For Everyone -- "A Good Therapist", by Catherine Findley, LCSW- February 2016

For Everyone -- "Struggling with Sleep", by Robin McMilin, LGSW- Jan 2016

Older Adult Issues -- "Depression and Anxiety are NOT a Normal Part of Aging", by Gail Schuster, LCSW- June 2015

For Everyone -- "On Forgiveness," by Stu Jaffe, LGSW - May 2015

Older Adult Issues -- "Making Friends as We Age" by Catherine Findley - April 2015

Older Adult Issues -- "On-line Brain Games -- Help or Hype?" by Robin McMilin - March 2015

For Everyone -- "On Change," by Gail Schuster, LCSW - February 2015

For Everyone -- Stu's Thoughts for 2015," by Stu Jaffe, LCSW  - January 2015 

Senior Issues -- "Stress Reducers for Dementia," by Pam Leonard, LBSW  - December 2014 

Senior Issues -- "Fountain of (Brain) Youth"  - November 2014 

Senior Issues -- "What's In Your Medicine Cabinet?" by Robin McMilin, LCSW  - October 2014 

Senior Issues -- "Sharing the High Holy Days with your Interfaith Grandchildren", by Gail Schuster, LCSW  - September 2014 

Senior Issues -- "Reducing Stress to Age Well", by Stu Jaffe, LCSW  - August 2014

Senior Issues -- "Tossing & Turning?  The importance of sleep for older adults", by Catherine Findley, LCSW  - July 2014

Senior Issues -- "Senior Life in the Fast Lane - Driving for Older Adults," by Gail Schuster, LCSW  - June 2014

Senior Issues -- "Regret: The Burden and the Blessings," by Robin McMilin, LCSW  - May 2014

Seniors & Community -- "Exercise Matters," by Stu Jaffe, LGSW - April 2014

Parenting Issues -- "Parents, Getting the Cold Shoulder?," by Catherine Findley, LCSW - March 2014

Counseling & Community -- "The Need for Social Support," by Gail Schuster, LCSW - February 2014

Senior Issues -- "Aging With Grace: A new sharing group," by Robin McMilin, LCSW - January 2014

Caregiving -- "Getting the support YOU need as you support a loved one," by Stuart Jaffe, LGSW - December 2013

Senior Issues -- "Keeping Holiday Gatherings Enjoyable and Safe," by Robin McMilin, LCSW  - November 2013 

Parenting -- "Dealing with Cliques," by Catherine Findley, LCSW - October 2013