Adjustment Case Study

“Reborn at 40, She uncovered new life in a ‘dream’-looking at skulls”

Sharon Long is a woman who struggled with life and never liked her job until she was 40 years (“Reborn At 40,” 2016). Sharon’s previous works included being a secretary and cleaning a dentist office at the Dairy Queen. Besides being unhappy, Sharon had a breakthrough at the age of 40. Sharon enrolled for an anthropology class and found it interesting and pursued it with keen interest. Over the time, Sharon transformed into a forensic artist and used skulls in reconstructing human faces. She now works for museums and enforcements agencies. Sharon views her current life as fulfilling and now focuses on helping other people realize their potential in life. The resuscitation of Sharon’s life dreams is as a result of constant practicing and observation.

The case study shows how Sharon used effective adjustment strategies to pursue an exciting career at that stage of life despite having lived for 40 years. In this context, Sharon used learning and education to acquire knowledge and skills as part of life adjustment. Constant commitment and practicing were the keys to the success of Sharon anthropology (Moss, 2013). In several occasions, Sharon practiced her anthropology skills with friends by studying their craniums. It is important to note that Sharon’s dissatisfaction of the experience was fundamental in motivating her to reach new goals. The level of commitment as portrayed by Sharon in getting things done is appalling. One notes that she does not eat, and she works for long hours as a show of commitment and dedication to the newly found passion. Acting as an agent of change is important in adjusting to a new life stage. At the age of 40, Sharon acts as a mentor and such helps acts as a guidance and control in reaching the desired life goals. Importantly, having a good social support system like family and friends is essential for adjusting to new life at the age of 40. Basic learning skills like observation are imperative to achieving desired life goals (Moos, 2013). Through observation, Sharon is in a position to get feedback and learn how her actions are critical to the implemented life changes. It is through observation that one adjust thoughts and corrects any mistakes related to the respective stage of life. Importantly, life-changing ideas are derived from observation techniques that are complemented by meditation. Consequently, observation is essential to implementing actions based on the feedback.

Army Col. David Taylor is a man who has lived with the guilt because one of his colleagues died in an operation he led. The guilt has taken the toll over Taylor for over 25 years (“For Decades,” 2016). Taylor remembers almost every detail that happened during the Gulf War in 1991. It is in this war that Army Spc. Andy Alaniz was killed after a tank unit was mistaken for the enemy. Although the United States emerged victorious 24 hours later, Taylor feels the guilt for not raising any concern about the danger of friendly fire in the operation he was in charge. The decision for not talking have haunted him for decades. The stress and self-guilt are also because Alaniz had just married and was expecting the first child with his wife, Catherine Alaniz-Simonds. After 25 years, Taylor met the Alaniz-Simonds and by talking to her, he felt whole and recovered from the guilt. According to Alaniz-Simonds, it was not Taylor’s mistake that her husband died. In fact, she does not see it necessary for Taylor to carry such burden and the best thing to do is to honor Alaniz memory.

From the article, it is evident that Taylor is trying to adjust his life from stress and guilt. In this cases, using a good social support system is recommended to overcome grief (Turk & Gatchel, 2013). For example, Taylor has the privilege of meeting Alaniz-Simonds, who is the wife of the deceased. Talking with the wife and getting the assurance that the accident a not his mistake is life-changing. Of course, Alaniz-Simonds cares about Taylor and would want him to remain healthy and honor the memory of the deceased.

Taylor has taken a crucial step of acknowledging his feelings of guilt. In any cases, the first step to adjusting from such negative thoughts is admitting they exist (Turk & Gatchel, 2013). Taylor has made the resolve to tackle the guilt which is an effective strategy for those who want to make clear decisions about dealing with the psychological problem.  Self-talk or talking to a support group is effective as and counters the suppressed negative emotions (Turk & Gatchel, 2013). In the article, Taylor and Alaniz-Simonds are surprised that no one thought about the almost forgotten issue. The decision by Taylor and Alaniz-Simonds to join hand sin forming a group session where they honor the deceased is effective. In this context, it is easy to ease the burden of guilt by trying to have positive memories and perspective about life. The case offers a perfect opportunity for engaging a therapist who is competent in helping people burdened by guilt adjust to a normal life.














For decades, he carried guilt for another soldier’s death. (2016, April 9). Retrieved from

Moos, R. (Ed.). (2013). Coping with life crises: An integrated approach. New York, NY: Springer.

Reborn at 40, She uncovered new life in a ‘dream’-looking at skulls. (2016, April 29). Retrieved from

Turk, D. C., & Gatchel, R. J. (Eds.). (2013). Psychological approaches to pain management: A practitioner’s handbook. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

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