Genogram: A Graphic Representation

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A genogram is a graphic representation of a family tree that provides detailed information on relationships among individuals. More than a traditional family tree, it provides data that can be used to analyze hereditary patterns and psychological factors that characterize relationships (GenPro, 2012). One use for the genogram is therapeutic; genograms provide a visual for a therapist and his/her patient that can help quickly identify and understand various patterns in the patient's family history. These patterns may have an influence on the patient's current state of mind, and may also help to explain past feelings and events. A traditional family tree does not provide as much detailed information. Genograms were first developed and popularized in clinical settings by Monica McGoldrick and Randy Gerson in 1985. Genograms are now used by various groups of people in a variety of fields such as medicine, psychology, social work, genealogy, genetic research, and education. Genograms can vary significantly because there is no limitation as to what type of data can be included. Also, there is no absolute 'right' genogram for any one family. Interpretation is influenced by the person who created it (Galvin, 2010). Shown is a three-generation genogram that illustrates, among other factors, cultural influences on women in the 1960s. All of the women in my family genogram were, first and foremost, homemakers. Some of them went into the workforce at a later date once the children

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