I love to read and love to “analyze” the plots and the characters using my therapy knowledge. Because of the HIPPA privacy, I can’t talk about the “real” clients. So, why not use the fictional clients? I hope you enjoy the lives of these characters and hope my analysis will help you to understand yourself and your life a little more.
The first one I want to share with you is Cedar Cove. This series of the book caught my eye because of its TV series on the Hallmark Channel. One night, I was browsing the channels and heard “veteran’s court” that caught my attention. I started to follow up this series that led me to borrow the books.
I have only finished the first four books and I have to say, I am delighted to have read this series. It contains my passion for the veterans and the relationship issues between the couples. Surprisingly, the author depicts a lot of the issues were clinically seen. In this series of the article, I am going to let you into the secret of how the couple’s therapist makes a diagnosis of the couple relationship and hope you will also learn from this to help your marriage go into a positive direction, instead of falling into the traps to end up in my office.
So, here are the main characters and their relationships in the books:
Judge Olivia Lockhart divorced her ex-husband Stan after their oldest son Jordan died of a drowning incident. They have a daughter Justin who is Jordan’s twin sister and a younger James. Her mother Charlotte also lives in Cedar Cove. In the storyline, she is dating Jack Griffin, an editor of the newspaper for Cedar Cove.
Justin and Seth Gunderson are Judge Olivia’s daughter and son-in-law. Seth and Justin’s brother Jordan were very good friends. They came together after spending the time to plan the high school reunion and eloped after dating for a short period of the time. They bought a restaurant and have a child within two years in their marriage.
Jack Griffin is an editor of the Cedar Cove. He was an alcoholic and has been sober for more than 20 years. His alcohol abuse started when his son Eric was diagnosed with cancer as a little boy. He and his wife got divorced because he used alcohol and work to bury his pain. In the storyline, he and Eric, an adult now, went through rocky relationship.
Grace Sherman is the head librarian in Cedar Cove. She is Olivia’s best friend. She married to Dan Sherman with two daughters Maryellen and Kelly. Dan is a Vietnam veteran. Grace and Dan got married when they were pregnant with Maryellen. Then, Dan went to Vietnam and came back with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He committed suicide in the story.
Bob & Peggy Beldon are the owner of the bed and breakfast in Cedar Cove. Bob is Jack’s sponsor and good friend from Alcohol AA. Bob and Dan Sherman are best friends from high school and served in Vietnam together. Bob started drinking after coming home from Vietnam. Peggy went to Al-Non and started to set the boundary that led Bob to join the AA.
Cecilia and Ian Randall are a young couple whose case made Olivia the headline in the town. Ian serves in the Navy. He and Cecilia got married when she found out she was pregnant. While he was deployed, Cecilia gave birth to their daughter who died because of the heart condition. After Ian came back, she filed for divorce.
Zach and Rosie Cox got divorced after 17 years of marriage. They have two children, Alison (age 15) and Eddie (age 9). This is the second case in the storyline that Olivia gave a controversial ruling.
In the following sections, I will talk in detail about the family life cycle theory and use these characters to better illustrate the theory and the couple relationship.