Chapter 2: Using Genograms to Understand Family SystemsPresentation Transcript
Using Genograms to Understand Family Systems HDFS 444: Spring 2011
What is a Genogram?
A graphical representation of a family tree that displays detailed data on relationships among individuals.
Commonly known as family tree.
Basic family data: name, gender, date of birth, date of death
Relationships: nature of family relationships, emotional relationships, social relationships
Provide a way of mapping family patterns and relationships across at least three generations.
History of the Genogram
Developed in 1985 by Monica McGoldrick & Randy Gerson
Together they published Genograms: Assessment and Intervention
quickly became a classic on the use of genograms in family therapy and family medicine.
Purpose of the Genogram
” Widely used by both family therapists and family physicians, the Genogram is a graphic way of organizing the mass of information gathered during a family assessment and finding patterns in the family system.”
McGoldrick, Gerson, & Shellenberger, (1999). Genograms: Assessment and Intervention (2nd ed.). New York, NY, US: W. W. Norton & Co, Inc.
What Does a Genogram Illustrate?
Shows not only the names of people who belong to your family lineage, but how these relatives relate to each other.
Genograms look for patterns that connect (Bateson,2000 ).
Patterns indicate how family members pass on their view of the world, including strengths , resiliencies as well as dysfunctional patterns.
How Is It Helpful?
To see the “presence of the past” in day to day living and the emotional responses to this.
one wants to look backward, in order to make sense of the current situation, so one can have choices about what is passed on to the future.
Visually shows that the nature and the degree of intensity of the emotional responses that are passed down from generation to generation
Genogram vs Ecomap
A Genogram is a pictorial display of a person's family relationships and social, psychological and medical history.
An Ecomap is a graphical representation that shows all of the systems at play in an individual's life.
Questions to consider:
What do you remember about the family with whom you grew up?
Where did you live?
Did you have any pets?
What was your relationship like with your parents and/or siblings?
What did your father and mother do together that made an impact on you?
More “Interesting” Questions:
What was uncle “Joe” like?
Do you know anything about your great grandparents?
Did your parents or grandparents ever talk about their parents to you?
What were you like as a little girl/boy?
Who did/do you most resemble physically and in personality?
Don’t Forget to Illustrate:
Family Relationship: used to describe the emotional bond between people involved in a union. Click here for more information.
Emotional Relationships: used to describe the emotional bond between any two individuals in the genogram. Click here for examples and more information.
Attempt to get as much factual data about the family as possible.
Ask questions about relationships, transmission of ideas, and world-views that can be gathered.
This is not an inquisition but simply a dialog.
If the person you are talking to does not want to talk about a subject, say, “That’s OK, but can you help me understand if it is a painful memory or why you are uncomfortable?” If they continue to resist, respect their boundary and move on.