Genograms: Family Therapy

Topics: Family therapy, Psychology, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 2 (542 words) Published: July 29, 2010
1. Title of Assessment:
Monica McGoldrick and Randy Gerson developed the genogram in 1985 in the book Genograms: Assessment and Intervention. A genogram is a pictorial diagram which can show anything from family relationships to medical history. Genograms allow individuals to identify patterns of behaviors and hereditary tendencies.

2. Primary Purpose:
The primary purpose of genograms is to engage the family in visually summarizing and illustrating familial relationships and patterns of behavior within a family system in support of family assessment and intervention planning. They have been known to record family problems, medical issues, psychological issues and personal relationships going back at least three generations of the family. Important factors include age, sex, ethnicity, religion, race, sexual orientation, migration information and class to be able to make accurate diagnoses.

3. Target Population:
When using a genogram as an assessment tool, the target population usually includes families that have experienced some unexpected stressor or a new experience. Experiences leave the family shaken up as a unit and alter the nature of family relationships. These families that aren’t able to reorganize or adjust their structure and relationships are eligible for a genogram assessment. Healthy families are usually able to reorganize their structure and relationships to accommodate new circumstances. Some of these families may be characterized by relationship difficulties, such as conflictual or being distant, which involves isolated separateness of family members from each other physically or psychologically (Gladding, 2002). Other relationship difficulties may be defined as cut off, where members avoid each other because of unresolved emotional attachment and Fusion or fused relationships, which is defined as the merging of intellectual and emotional functions so that an individual does not have a clear sense of self and others...
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