What is a family genogram


The family genogram is a very important and quite useful tool within the field of psychology and family therapy. It consists of graphically representing family relationships and the history of a family throughout different generations. Thanks to a genogram, patterns and conflicts can be identified regarding family dynamics. This is key to achieving good family therapy and when solving different emotional problems that could affect certain individuals.

In the following article, we are going to talk to you in more detail about the family genogram and the importance it can have. in the therapeutic field and in other areas such as medicine or research.

What is a family genogram

A family genogram is a visual representation of the structure and history of a specific family. Although many people confuse it with the family tree, the genogram goes far beyond traditional genealogy, since it focuses on family relationships and in the identification of numerous important events for said family.

In a genogram, people They will be represented with symbols and lines, that connect the different members of the family taking into account the relationships and roles within it. In addition to all this, the genogram can include information that is relevant to the family itself, such as certain events such as births, marriages or deaths.

What are the basic elements of a genogram

A series of basic elements are present in a genogram:

  • Each member of the family will represent themselves through a symbol. These symbols will vary depending on the age, gender or marital status of the person.
  • The lines They will serve to connect the different members of the family. The types of lines are used to represent the different types of relationships that occur within the family.
  • Apart from the use of lines or symbols, a genogram may also include iadditional information as is the case with the names or dates of birth of different individuals. This information is key when it comes to understanding the family's history much better.


How to create a family genogram

  • The first step would be the collection of information. This includes the names of family members, their dates of birth, important events, and any information that is relevant to the family. It is also important to interview family members and review certain documents such as birth or death documents.
  • The second step would be to design the genogram. To do this you have to draw a family tree that includes to parents, grandparents and siblings. It is good to use symbols that help identify different family members. Use lines to connect family members to represent family relationships.
  • The third step will consist in adding details to the genogram to gradually complete it. It is good to include important events for the family such as marriages or divorces. Symbols can also be used to represent certain relevant events such as illnesses or conflicts.
  • The fourth step would be to identify patterns and trends in the family. All these types of observations and notes are essential when providing information that is key to the genogram itself.
  • The last step would be to interpret all the data collected in the genogram. Interpretation is key when it comes to fully understanding the events and patterns related to family problems. In many cases, to achieve this it may require the help of a family therapist or mental health professional. Interpretation involves identifying how different patterns and events in the family may be related to current problems that the people involved in said family may have.


The use of the genogram in therapy and in other areas

  • Family therapists use genograms to help families understand their dynamics and behavior patterns. This is quite useful when to deal with conflicts, improve communication and promote family unity.
  • People can use genograms to reflect on their own family history and how that history may have directly influenced their values ​​and behaviors. It is therefore a wonderful tool to solve emotional problems.
  • In the field of medicine, geneograms are important in identifying possible genetic risk factors. A genogram can help doctors understand much better the history of family illnesses and advise patients on preventive measures regarding such diseases.
  • Other uses of the genogram can be that of a useful tool when it comes to genealogical research. The genogram can be used to trace the history of a particular family over the years.
  • Being able to directly understand the history of a family can be quite useful when making certain decisions. about family planning and raising children.

In short, the family genogram is a very important tool that will help visualize and understand the relationships and history of a family. By developing a genogram, families and therapists can identify patterns or conflicts that are key to family therapy and personal growth. Analyzing a family in an objective way is important when making appropriate decisions and promoting great cohesion in the family. Finally, it must be said that the family genogram is a good resource when it comes to strengthening emotional health and resolving possible conflicts that could arise in a certain family.

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