Psychology and TV Families Starring "The Golden Girls"

When you think of family, it doesn't have to be in the traditional sense. Although this show consisted of four women, they were just as much of a family as anyone else.....and fought like one too.

The Golden Girls

It couldn't have been more perfect that Natalie suggested I blog about this TV Series. I watch the re-runs all the time. I've even taken the Lifetime TV Channel "Which Golden Girl Are You?" quiz. These 4 ladies are just as dysfunctional as any other family, yet would give their life for the other one. Isn't that what family is about?

Sophia is the spunky, spit-fire mother-figure who gives great advice. She's very wise, however, she's not emotionally safe. She'll make fun of you at the drop of a hat and remind you of past mistakes and be the first one to call you a name. She makes it very clear to her daughter, Dorothy, she's disappointed Dorothy didn't turn out to be more in life, and got pregnant in high-school. She has her moments of softness which keep them all coming back for more mothering from her.

Dorothy is deeply sarcastic and bitter. She easily makes fun of everyone just like her mother, (hard to break that generational cycle, huh?) and shows the most anger out of all the characters. She thinks she's smarter than everyone else, and she's insecure about her looks, to which the other members of the "family" pick on her about that very insecurity. But, her "take charge" attitude allows the others to feel protected and safe when things go wrong.

Rose is the one who is innocent, cheerful and thinks the world is a great place to live. She easily gets taken advantage of, and is the brunt of all jokes. Her feelings get hurt easily, but she's quick to forgive and forget. Very rarely does she make fun of anyone and she's smarter than she looks. When the others get down on themselves, or are headed down the "wrong" path, Rose is there to cheer them up or tell a St. Olaf story to get them back on the right course. Rose is the best example on the show of unconditional love.

Blanche is the selfish one. She's only interested in what concerns her, and will listen to the others when Dorothy makes her listen. She is oblivious to how her actions affect others, and is unable to apologize for when she hurts other people. She seeks out male attention as a way to make herself feel important and needed. Despite her selfishness, Blance has a confidence that she is able to help the others find within themselves. She's able to help them balance their lives with play & fun.

Notice any of your family members in the descriptions above? I'm sure all the personalities conflict from time to time in your family. The goal would be just like these Golden Girls, when life events happen to hit the family (illness, job loss, death, or threat of disease) that you pull in close and come up with a game plan. I'm not saying sitting and eating a cheesecake will solve your problems, but it may get you started on the right path.


Written by: Tamara McCord MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.