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  • Jonace Alexander, SWT

Genograms

Family dynamics can be difficult, confusing, or hard to comprehend the different relationships. We have an aunt no one understands but always seems to have gloomy day or an uncle that disappeared but no one in the family talks about anymore. Okay, I might be talking the family in Disney’s new Encanto movie. BUT what a great example of generational family interactions and dynamics. Genograms can help visually layout a person’s family and the family relationships.


Genograms are tools used by a therapist to compile and process information. It can also help provide the therapist considerations for the psychosocial factors impacting the family. Genograms represent complex family information in a visual representation to make it easier to understand. Additional changes and evolution of relationships can be added to over time. The focus of the genogram can vary will depend on what the clinician and client are focusing on.


What are genograms intended to do and how can they be helpful in therapy?

Genograms are designed to process family information. Specifically to create picture of the relationships and connections that surround you. It can be really helpful for those who have more complex family situations.

They are useful in connecting with diverse clients no matter the language, because it is based on a code. Genograms can give the clinician an overview of your family and all the various relationships in your life. A genogram will challenge and inform you by showing patterns in your family relationships. For example if there is a history of distance and neglect, the genogram will create a visual display for you to view.

So what does it look like?

A genogram might be digital or on paper and it might be small or big depending on your family. It also is defined by codes which represent the relationships you have with different family members/friends.



This is an example of what a genogram could look like with the person of focus in the middle circle.


Consider looking into doing a genogram on your own or with a mental health professional. Maybe you’ll find more information about your “Uncle Bruno.”


Until next time…. stay motivated.

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