In life, people experience different kinds of family problems. It can be about money, work, or education. But, most family problems are about relationships. Some families struggle with connecting and communicating with each other, and due to this problem, many individuals suffer from different kinds of mental disabilities. That’s why family therapists use a family genogram so that they can understand and analyze as to why relationship problems occur in a family and help their patients how to cope up with their family problems.
Before we jump into a family genogram, let us first understand the definition of a genogram. A genogram is a graphical display of a persons’ family background and medical history. It is a tool that helps clinical practitioners analyze hereditary patterns so that they can determine whether their patients’ psychological behavior is genetic or not. The concept of a genogram was developed by Murray Bowen as a part of his family systems theory back in the 1970s. Now, genograms are used by professionals in various fields of our economy, such as psychology, social work, medicine, education, and psychiatry.
Now that we understand the meaning of a genogram, we can now discuss the definition of a family genogram. A family genogram is a pictorial display of an individuals’ family background and history. It is a better version of a family tree because other than the names of family members, and it consists of how members relate to each other. It can also include family members’ life events, medical history, and social behaviors. For example, a family genogram can present that an individual named John Doe came from a wealthy family, graduated as cum laude at Harvard University, has severe asthma condition, and is a closed-off person and doesn’t communicate well with others. A family genogram is useful when it comes to family assessment and counseling. Therapists use it to keep records and help them explain family relationships and dynamics to their clients.
In this section, we will distinguish the different purposes of a genogram in the various fields of our economy. Knowing how a genogram works in different areas is essential because it helps us understand why practitioners need it in their field of work.
In therapy, genograms are used to analyze and record a persons’ family relationship patterns. It helps therapists understand as to why an individual has a particular behavior by looking at family traits through a genogram.
In sociology, genograms are used to obtain information about a persons’ family so that sociologists can understand the persons’ issues in a wide context. It consists of a persons’ emotional relationships with his or her family that lets sociologists analyze possible family conflicts.
In the field of education, genograms are used by teachers in illustrating different kinds of topic so that students can easily understand the direction of each discussion. For example, a teacher can use a genogram to discuss the family history of Abraham Lincoln.
Genograms are used in social work to help social workers determine whether proper care is being established in a family or a social unit. It also displays the emotional connection between family members.
There are many people experiencing family relationship problems. Most of the issues are the relationship between their children, and they want to fix it by attending family counseling. The statista research department revealed that 30% of individuals want to improve their relationship with their children. In this part of the article, you will know how to develop a family genogram that will help you understand your patients’ family relationships.
In creating a family genogram, you will need the names of all the family members. You will need it once you structure the genogram and indicate how each member is related to one another. A family genogram can contain up to 3 to 4 generations of a family because the deeper you know about the family history, the more you can understand as to why a person has a particular behavior or why a family experiences a specific problem. Also, don’t forget to ask significant questions about the family background since it’s going to help you analyze the family relationship.
In your family genogram, each member should have a description of their names, birthdate, life events, social behavior, family connection, etc. It is going to help you trace why such behavior in the family exists or why the family deals with a specific problem. It also enables you to determine whether some family traits are hereditary or not.
A family genogram has its own symbols in determining family and emotional relationships. You must make use of its symbol because it will act as a guideline in tracing your patients’ family history. Make sure that you use the right symbol for each emotional and relationship connection of family members so that you can correctly trace every one of them. You can make use of the sample documents in this article as a reference for the genogram symbols.
Social relationships can also be a component of a family genogram. It is the relationship between a family member and someone outside of the family circle, such as friends, co-workers, or neighbors. Social relationships can also be one of the reasons why family problems occur. It will help you determine whether there are situations regarding family members’ social relationship that triggered a problem inside the family circle.
A medical genogram is a type of genogram used in medical facilities to illustrate medical conditions to determine the risks of illness. It is used to trace the cause of medical conditions by assessing a patients’ medical history through distinguishing hereditary diseases.
You can use a bit of creativity in making your family genogram. But, always remember that it is for clinical purposes, and too much creativity can make it look unprofessional and hard to understand.
Yes, you can give a copy of the family genogram to your patient. It will provide them with insight as to why a specific behavior exists in the family and help them communicate and connect in an improved manner.
It is not questionable when families experience problems. It is a normal thing because there is no such thing as a perfect family. When problems exist, and family members can’t handle the pressure anymore, they turn to a family therapist so that they can assess the problem accordingly. A family genogram is going to help the therapist in evaluating the situation of the family and help them communicate with each other. A family should always support and cherish each other as the saying goes, blood is always thicker than water.