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Genogram. When a picture is worth a thousand words

Who am I and where do I come from? Every human being is asking this question . And there is a very creative way of answering it. More than that, by using this creative way you are going to find more answers than you ever imagined.

I invite you to create your family genogram. The genogram is a schematic model of the structure and processes of a family. There are a number of conventional signs that represent people, the various structures, functions, relationships, etc. Understanding and learning how to use these symbols will be the first step in building a genogram.

Creating a genogram involves three levels: (1) the layout of the family structure; (2) the registration of family information, and (3) the outline of the family relationships.

A good genogram must have information about at least four generations. Of course, many of you might not know all people and all the stories of your family. This is why building a genogram will guide you to other members of the family and as a result, will improve your communication and relationships. It can be a family project, real teamwork.

Genograms can include:

· members of the nuclear family and the annexes of that family(brothers-in-law, cousins, grandparents, etc.;

· summary of the family situation, problems and life cycle in which that family is;

· important vital events in the family, for example, a suicide, an accident, an important work problem, a change of population due to a critical situation, sickness, emigration, etc.;

· demographic facts, like dates of births, deaths, marriages, separations, place of origin, etc.;

· functional information, like cultural level, education and employment status;

· family resources;

· relational family patterns.

The genogram is a family map that allows you to have an aerial view of family history. It provides a view of the family structure and relationships between family members as a photograph and can be created just on one page. Yes, a big one! It takes time, but it is fun and it is rewarding.

As a mental health professional, I use the genogram a lot in my practice of individual counseling, family therapy, perinatal work, and group facilitation. Genogram works like a therapeutic organizer that summarizes the information and simplifies the complexity of the family relationships. Also, I help people to explore and to discover repetitive patterns in family stories and to make sense of “unexplored” details in family tapestry. Genogram really can reveal an abundance of information.

A genogram can be built online and shared with other members of the family.

The best instruments I use in my work are and

I wish creating your genogram will help you to understand better who are you and where did you come from.

You are most welcome to download genogram symbols and building instructions here


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