Your family name might just be another entry on the census, but it matters when it comes to your health and well-being. Tracing your lineage and flipping through your family’s history book is more than just learning about your grandparent’s war stories or your parent’s childhood. It’s valuable information to professionals to help you assess yourself. This is where the genogram comes to the picture. Genograms are an important diagram to help you know your family’s background better, as well as help you know what potential health and mental risks you might be facing. Go through our different genogram collections below and find out how you can make a genogram on your own.
A genogram is often described as a detailed family tree. While it takes on the format of what you used to draw in primary school, it provides more than your granny’s name. It shows health conditions, relationships, and significant events that happened to your family in different generations through the use of symbols.
Digging your family’s rich history is important because it establishes connection and understanding. Your roots are your core, and whether you like it or not, it creates an impact in your life. Family genograms show what these “impacts” are as it attempts to make its way through your family’s background with much more relevance. Learn how you can make a genogram using the following tips:
Just like any project you take on, start by asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Knowing your motivations allows you to drop any extracurricular agendas and help you focus on what matters. For example, if you’re making a medical genogram to trace your family’s health history, you’ll start digging for medical files immediately. If your purpose is to look for mental health patterns, get ready to make the necessary phone calls to your family. Commencing with a goal helps you make a list of tasks that’s relevant to your result.
Deciding on the number of generations that you’re doing research on helps you identify all the “who” in the family tree. Genograms commonly use a three-generation organizational structure, but you can add further if your sources permit. There might be family members that you won’t be able to get in touch with anymore. The best thing you can do is to keep a list of living relatives that you can still communicate with. With the peak of technology, distance doesn’t matter anymore.
Now that you have all the written content, you can’t jump right into the actual genogram-making just yet. It’s best to create a rough draft of your information first. Bring in a pen and paper and try to put together the best family tree or a genogram from all the details you’ve gathered. The oldest in the family goes at the top, and it goes all the way down to the youngest. This way, it easier to understand the layout. Make the right connections through your arrows. When you’re down, revisit your notes or ask the help of a family member who’s well-versed with your blood history.
Now that you have your relatives in their right places, it’s time to find out what you’re looking for: the genogram patterns. Genograms use unique symbols to aid whoever is evaluating the layout to assign information to each person. As an example, there are symbols dedicated to alcoholism, addiction, and cancer placed on a family member’s spot on the genogram. There are more, which is why you should know what these symbols are. To make this easier, you can fill out a family history questionnaire where you can get your answers. It may be physical conditions or an emotional or mental health problem. It can also be relationship statuses such as divorce, separation, or remarriage. This might sound like it only features a family’s not so beautiful side, but this produces important information.
While a genogram shows health history and family relationships, a family tree only traces lineage.
Genograms can be used by medical professionals and family therapists to help trace patterns of disease and behaviors.
The oldest should be on the left side while the youngest should be on the right side.
A genogram can uncover not only what you don’t know about yourself but from your family as well. It helps you understand their behavior and yours. If you’re making one, no matter what goal you wish to accomplish, these samples and templates could certainly help you. Check out our genograms and download them now.