Genograms essay

Agenogram is a graphical display of an individual’s medical historyand family relationships. The show exceeds the family tree with theuser being allowed to picture genetic patterns as well aspsychological features that punctuate relations. It can be utilizedto pinpoint repetitive designs of behavior and also realizehereditary tendencies. In the family perspective, a genogram gives amap using certain symbols to indicate relations, dynamics of familiesand leading events. It is a detailed family tree. In that regard,some researchers have come up with various methods of designing thetree to be highly effective. Some have developed a 14 step process,where one can look back at the family generation and all the dynamicsinvolved in each.

MonicaMcGoldrick came up with the publication in the year 1985 and hassince been used by many groups in fields like social work, education,psychiatry, generic research, psychology, and medicine. In additionto that, some family therapists utilize genograms to keep personalrecords so that they can learn its dynamics. Since the publication ofthis book, numerous fields have referred to it to make individualjudgments. Its essence has been profoundly felt within the society.The paper will look to give an in-depth analysis of the book. Byanalyzing the book, appealing aspects will be mentioned. It is alsovital to expound on some issues that I disagree. Though the genogramis highly efficient, some details tend to bring confusion if not wellunderstood. Before looking at the various aspects entailed within thebook, it is crucial to view the components and purpose of thegenogram [ CITATION McG85 l 1033 ].


Familyrelations is one of the components. The genogram utilizes color-codedlines to describe the diverse kinds of connections like emotional,social and family relationships. In the family relationship, a usercan demonstrate whether a couple is divorced, engaged or marriedamong others. The emotional one gives a detailed assessment of howpeople are linked to each other. They are represented usingcolor-coded lines that bond each one of them together. The socialrelationship, on the other hand, allows the user to create linksbetween individuals who are not related, but are connected within thesociety like neighbors, boss-employee, teacher-student, and co-workeramong others. It can also demonstrate a person’s link to a socialunit. Social relations enables the genogram to be utilized in thebusiness world to develop organizational charts [ CITATION McG85 l 1033 ].

Importanceof the genogram

Inthe education sector, it is used by educators as well as students todemonstrate musicians, scientists, book reviews and philosophersamong others. A student gets to see the bigger picture of the bookshe/she is studying and focus on particular details. A genogram isalso beneficial to family therapy where people study and recordrelation patterns among the members. The features making up thepatterns are also examined to visualize the picture adequately. Atherapist is also able to make an analysis of certain relations toidentify areas where help is needed. are also importantwhile doing research. The scholars can view the multi-generationalprocedures in different animal and plant species. They alsoillustrate the techniques of survival among the different species.

are also widely used in medicine to assess a person’s health risk.A medical practitioner can look at the family tree to establish thekind of disease associated with it and hence, offer guidance on thesame. Administering medical assistance becomes quite easy using thegenogram as the basis. Genealogists in the geology field utilizegenograms to understand family relations like adoptions. They areemployed to assess various facts within the family history of siblingrivalry and naming patterns. Another vital aspect of genogramsentails social work. By utilizing it, a social worker can identifycohesiveness in a group or family. Marital issues among othersproblems within the family are clearly illustrated, and a user canfollow them.

Ingeneral, the book has led to the adoption of the ideas in variousfields. Using genograms to track back a family’s medical record ishelpful. In the current world, there are so many diseases some beinginheritable. For instance, hemophilia, color blindness, fibrosis, andsickle-cell disease among others. In that regard, a medicalpractitioner saves a lot of time when conducting tests if the medicalhistory of the family is well represented. The book can be concurredwith viewing at the means by which medical records are kept. Medicalrecords can be helpful even if it covers the 4thgeneration. Some viruses such as HIV can be contracted from mother toinfant. By having records of such, it assists to prevent the samefrom happening. As elaborated above, eye problems are mostlyinherited. If a parent has eye issues such short-sightedness or colorblindness, the same can be developed among the children. Representingthe history in genogram helps alleviate matters like wrong treatmentor even delaying in tests.

Thebook’s usage of layman’s terms makes it quite enticing. The wordsare easy to grasp. By viewing repetitive patterns overmultigenerational transmission procedures, it elaborates how certainfeatures are passed on from generation to the others. They can be somuch revealing especially if only facts are involved. Just by goingthrough the first chapters, one gets to understand the essentialaspects of the genogram.


Onemain issue with this book is the complexity involved. A reader mustbe careful not to confuse the symbols used. There are many symbols,information, and shapes representing a family connection throughoutthe generations. In that regard, it is very confusing, especiallywhen deriving a link. Analyzing and understanding the conceptsinvolved may be quite hard to some readers. Probably people readcertain sects affecting them without finishing it entirely [CITATION McG85 l 1033 ].

Oneother aspect entails the representations and links betweengenerations. As implied within the book, behavioral and socialfeatures can be traced back through generations. If a particulartrait existed in a member of the family, then there is a high chanceit will be relayed. Though noble in stating, the actual thing mightbe hard to understand. As a matter of fact, there is no limitation asto what kind of data can be incorporated in the genogram. As currentbehavioral scholars illustrate, most of the traits are acquiredthrough influence. It may be an environmental influence, friendshipsamong others. They rarely link character traits to previousgenerations. People can inherit bodily and medical features but nottraits. In fact, habits are instilled in kids as they grow up. Inthat case, utilization of the book in psychology dealing with humanbehavior can be rather confusing. It becomes even harder tounderstand the concept owing to the numerous symbols used [ CITATION McG85 l 1033 ].


Asportrayed by the book, a genogram provides an exceptional techniqueto assist in awareness and insight by looking at the traditions,strengths, and beliefs in families. Some use it to explore thereligious matters and their impact on current generations. They canillustrate spiritual and cultural factors as well as family dynamics.A therapist can utilize spiritual genograms to understand a client’sview on religious matters. For instance, how they treat medication,customary relations among others. It is a structure that assistscommunities in maintaining their cultures. A good example is aHaitian culture. A medical practitioner in the United States canunderstand how Haitians view particular sickness and offer medicationquickly. By just viewing the genogram, he/she gets the knowledge ofthe entire family background.

Eventhough the representations are quite clear, chances of inaccuracy arealso there. For instance, in the African setting, some families areso much extended to an extent that associating them becomes hard. Asillustrated by the book, most aspects of a family can be traced backto its heritage. That notion can be quite intricate in cases wherethe extended families are quite large. In addition to that, theaspects noted may be inaccurate.

Thoughlimitations exist especially in some concepts, the book is quiteessential in the current world. Many fields can adopt and utilize theconcepts entailed in it successfully. By going through it, one gainsa lot of knowledge concerning the family, community, and society as awhole. Helpful details such as the medical history can also beobtained by utilizing the information entailed within this book.


McGroldrick, M. &amp Gerson, R. (1985). : Assessment and Intervention. W. W. Norton &amp Company.