Creating a Genogram
A genogram, or family diagram, is a pictorial representation of the facts of a family system for at least three generations. It is a springboard to help you think about your family and a useful format for drawing a family tree.
The genogram is a widely used tool in psychotherapy and family assessment. Some therapists use it simply to keep track of the cast of characters and dates in a particular family. For others, the genogram serves as a rich source of hypotheses regarding complex family emotional patterns. The genogram shows the strengths and vulnerabilities of a particular individual, or a particularly troubled family relationship, in a much larger context, to give new meanings to problems and behavior.
Although the genogram is widely used by therapists of varying orientations (as well as by family physicians, historians, biographers, and the like), it is most frequently associated with Bowen family systems theory as described in Chapter 5 of your textbook.
A complete genogram should include:
- Names and ages of all
- Exact dates of birth, marriage, separation, divorce, death, and other significant life events
- Notations with dates about occupation, places of residence, illness, and changes in life course
- Information on three or more generations
Complete a genogram on your family. Use these Basic Genogram SymbolsPDF in your creation. You can draw your genogram by hand or use an online program to help you create your genogram. You can download and use GenoPro 2.0 beta at no cost to make your own genogram. GenoPro Beta 2.b13h does not require a registration or activation key. Download GenoPro 1.70 or 2.b13h from the GenoPro download archives.
If you created your genogram by drawing it, you will need to take a picture using your cell phone or a digital camera and upload it to the following assignment link. If you use a software program, such as GenoPro, to create your genogram, upload the file to the following assignment link. Review these instructions for help in uploading your file: File Upload Instructions.
Then, reflect on your genogram. In a well-written summary, discuss the significance of family history and genograms (looking at the family tree and identifying significant life events). What were some recurring themes and patterns in your family of origin? What were the strong and weak connections? How might the experiences and connections of your past generations have affected later generations? This summary is to be submitted to the Critical Thinking Activity link.
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