A genogram is a type of family tree diagram that can aid in tracking patterns in family behaviors. A genogram goes beyond the typical elements of a family tree by including relationships between family members, occupations and important family events.
Genograms are used by therapists in an attempt to map out how a particular problem within a family system develops over the course of several generations.
Genograms are constructed with a generalized set of symbols that represent gender, family structure and relationships.
Because a genogram contains so much detail, particularly for large or complex family structures, it is a time-consuming project.
A genogram can be drawn out manually or created by genogram software.
A genogram is a collection of potentially intimate family details, a fact to keep in mind when considering who has access to the information.
Even though genograms serve as a tool for many practitioners in various fields, aside from the few generalized symbols, there is no universal outline for creating a genogram.
- "Genograms in Family Assessment"; McGoldrick & Gerson; 1985
- family image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com