Assignment: Family Genogram Project

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Assignment: Family Genogram Project

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

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Family Genogram Project Instructions

Building Your Family Genogram

Part I (GenoPro Genogram Software)

A genogram (pronounced: jen-uh-gram) is “a pictorial representation of family relationships across several generations. It is a convenient organizing device to help you identify family patterns or develop hypotheses about family functioning” (GenoPro.com). The genogram resembles a family tree; however, it includes additional relationships among individuals. This instrument facilitates the practitioner and his client’s identification an understanding of patterns in family history. The genogram also does a better job than a pedigree chart in mapping out relationships and traits.

Even though there are a plethora of books and websites on the subject of genograms, it is worth noting that Monica McGoldrick and Randy Gerson are responsible for its initial development and popularity in clinical settings. The structure of a genogram is by and large determined by the imagination and creativity of its author. Some of the most common features on a genogram are information related to the number of families, children in a given family, and the birth order of the family members—including the number of births and deaths.

Index Person: In constructing the genogram, identify yourself as the “index person” and complete the genogram on your family.

Focus: The focus of this genogram will be on family strengths and resilience, family patterns, rules or ways of being, and the overall health of the family. Of course, you should also address any issues and concerns that may be discovered; however, do not make the genogram problem-focused, even though this is typically how it is used in counseling.

Construction: You will submit your genogram through the assignment manager via GenoPro, found by clicking the “assignments” button. This submission will come in as a GenoPro document. You will also need to attach your narrative on an MS Word document. Make sure to include the following items:

· Two preceding generations—that is, the genogram must include the index person, his/her parents, and his/her grandparents (three generations, in all). It would also be imperative that, in the event of the index person being involved in a marital or significant relationship, mention must be made of the significant other involved, including their immediate family such as their parents, siblings, and children. In the case where the index person is either a parent or a grand-parent, his/her children must be included in the genogram.

· Use the symbols as illustrated within the GenoPro software to indicate the nature of many of the relationships among family members. Be sure to indicate yourself as the index person by drawing a double circle or double square around yourself. Do not for

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

get to include the current date on your genogram.

· Use the relationship lines to indicate significant relationships within the family system. Do not use the “normal” line provided by GenoPro. This only crowds the graphic and makes it difficult to read.

· Include a legend at the bottom right corner of the genogram document. The legend must only include items represented on the genogram.

· In order to make it easy to understand, ensure that there are notes on the genogram graphic regarding people, family events, etc., in their appropriate places (for example, on the side of a relevant person or generation). Even though this is not required for the successful completion of the assignment, it may be helpful to interview other family members about important areas of their family history. It would also be a good idea to include labels (a word or two will do) about each family member’s strengths—especially those that are either known by the index person or have a relevant connection to them.

· GenoPro gives you the freedom you need to manipulate your genogram to allow enhanced viewing on a computer system. You can shorten or lengthen lines, move entire family units around to maximize space, and more. Your objective is to work with the graph to create a genogram that is easy to view and can be understood at a glance.

Analysis: Once you have completed your genogram, you will need to interpret your family map. Analyze the genogram and who you are in the context of the family based on race/ethnicity, culture, class, gender, spiritual tradition, family life cycle, etc.

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

Part II (Microsoft Word document)

Written Narrative: After analyzing your genogram graphic following the guidelines above, state your interpretation of yourself in clear terms. Do this by writing a paper that describes the contributions that religion, gender, race, culture, etc., and your own unique family history have made to your personal identity. Do not forget to demonstrate your understanding of key concepts learned in this course. Apart from the quality of your written work, you will also be graded on your ability to widely, deeply, and accurately analyze and utilize theoretical concepts in describing your family’s interactional process.

Rest assured that this paper will be kept confidential. Be reminded that you are solely responsible for any information you choose to disclose in this project. Also note that you are under no obligation to reveal any information that you choose not to reveal.

The following outline must be used for your paper, using current APA format:

I. Briefly introduce your family. Discuss the sociopolitical, cultural, economic, spiritual, etc. issues in your family. Do not spend a lot of time describing demographic details that can be observed on the genogram.

· You can use first person in this narrative.

· You will not need an abstract; however, you will need a cover page. A reference page must be provided if you use citations.

II. Using the data gathered and the analyses you have made based upon your genogram and other resources, address the following questions:

A. What do you understand about yourself within the context of this multigenerational family?

B. How do the cultural, historical, and personal characteristic aspects of the information impact your understanding of the self?

C. If at all, what are the family lifecycle-related issues in the past or present that have influenced your family and/or interface with question D?

D. What intergenerational dynamics, patterns and/or themes that you have identified influence you (or others) in your current family? Jump to the last section of the present document, “Interpreting Genograms” and then draw a conclusion about your analysis.

E. What areas do you need to work on in order to become a better spouse, parent, counselor, and godly person?

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

Conclude this part of the assignment with personal reflections on the development of this project. Were there any issues that came to light? What did you learn?

This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 6.

How to Build a Genogram

(Many of the symbols and definitions are adopted from GenoPro.com)

Although there is general agreement on the basic genogram structure and symbols, there are some variations from one author to another and some in the GenoPro software program on how to depict certain family situations, such as cutoffs, adoptions etc. (Bowen, 1980; Kramer, 1985; McGoldrick, Gerson, & Shellenberger, 1999). The following are the common to genogram construction. The male is represented by a square and the female by a circle. You may also use a diamond for a pet and the question mark for unknown gender.

Deaths are typically represented by putting an “X” through the symbol. (If you ever do a genogram with a client, ask the client how he/she would like to represent the death since putting an “X” through the symbol without their permission could be traumatizing.)

For one to be called a parent, they would have to have at least 1 of the 3 types of children: biological/natural, foster, or adopted. On the genogram, a triangle is the standard diagrammatic representation of a pregnancy, a miscarriage, or an abortion. While an abortion is represented with a horizontal line on top of the triangle, a diagonal cross in the same position indicates the death of a baby through a miscarriage. As for a still birth, it is displayed the same as its gender, though the gender symbol is two times smaller, while the diagonal cross remains the same size.

The reason is obvious as to why the children on a genogram are placed below the family line, starting from the oldest to the youngest, and from the left hand to right. Take note that these are vitally important rules to remember down the road, as the family system becomes labyrinthine. The GenoPro software, however, does allow variations in this area.

Birth, marriage, divorce, and death dates may be indicated by the initial and year (i.e., b. 89). The ages of the individuals are put in as numbers in the markers. Alcoholism (or other relevant issues) is frequently indicated by filling in the bottom part of the individual’s marker.

image1.png Genogram symbols for child links and special birth

The child links are joined together for multiple births, such as twins, triplets, etc. Identical twins (or triplets, etc.) are displayed with a horizontal line between the siblings. In the example below, the mother had two fraternal twin brothers, two identical twin sisters and triplets, one of which died at birth.

image2.png Child links are joined for multiple births such as twins and triplets

There are 4 general rules to keep in mind:

1. The female is always at the right of the family and the male is always at the left.

2. Where there is ambiguity, it is recommended to assume a male-female relationship instead of a same sex relationship.

3. It is assumed that a spouse must always be closer to his/her first partner than to subsequent partners (if any).

4. The youngest child is always at the right of the family and the oldest child is always at the left.

Family Relationships

The next genogram component is the family relationship to describe the union of 2 individuals, typically through marriage. Other family relationships are divorce, separation, cohabitation, engagement, etc. Each completed genogram needs a legend to describe the various symbols. This legend should include the emotional relationship and family relationship lines indicated on your genogram.

GenoPro uses this type of indicator for emotional and relationship lines. When there may be a discrepancy between this document and GenoPro, use GenoPro.

image3.png Legend of family relationships

Each type of family relationship is described in the table below:

image4.png This family relationship represents a married couple. There is no special symbol to distinguish a civil marriage and/or a religious marriage.
image5.png This is the generic symbol to describe a married couple no longer living together. A separation is displayed by a single oblique bar.
image6.png The married couple is separated and started legal procedure for an eventual divorce. If you know a couple is separated but you are not sure about the legal procedure, it is recommended to use the separation in fact symbol.
image7.png The married couple has divorced. No comments.
image8.png The marriage was annulled. This is a rare case, but it must be included.
image9.png One of the spouses died while married. Use this symbol only when the surviving spouse re-married. Otherwise, everyone in your ancestry will be widowed.
image10.png The two individuals are in the process of getting married.
image11.png Same as above except the individuals are living together before getting married.
image12.png There is a legal paper trail about the cohabitation. The two individuals have written contract about the cohabitation status, involving benefits such as parental responsibility, common ownership, and inheritance.
image13.png The two individuals no longer live together and are in the process of terminating their cohabitation contract.
image14.png The cohabitation contract has been terminated.
image15.png One of the partners is deceased. This situation is similar to widowed; the difference is the two individuals had a cohabitation contract rather than a marriage contract. Again, use this symbol if the surviving partner has had other partners, or every legal cohabitation will end by either a separation or a death.
image16.png Although there is no legal definition of cohabitation, it generally means to live together as a couple without being married. Use this relationship to define the generic common law spouse. There is no such thing as illegal cohabitation.
image17.png The generic symbol of two individuals no longer living together.
image18.png The two individuals lived together until one of the partner died. Same as legal cohabitation and decease, but no cohabitation agreement had been written.
image19.png A relationship where two individuals live together, but there is no affection towards another.
image20.png The action of seeing someone or dating. Be aware the terms boyfriend and girlfriend are often used for cohabitation, but not exclusively.
image21.png The two individuals are no longer dating. This could be called ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Be aware, the term ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend may also be used for cohabitation and separation, but not exclusively.
image22.png This is the polite term for having a mistress or a one night stand. Select this relation if children are the product of such a relationship.
image23.png One individual is abusing or has abused the other individual, including date-rape, drug-rape, and wife-rape. This type of relationship is mostly used in therapy or when a child was the product of such relationship.
image24.png A relationship not specified in the list above or is unknown to the creator of the genogram. Use this symbol to highlight an unusual type of relationship.
image25.png A blank value is used to describe an unspecified relationship when creating a new family. This is the symbol used to indicate that the user has not yet specified the type of relationship.

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

A family always has two parents. Use the appropriate family relationship symbol to describe the status of the family. For instance, a single parent family (single mother or single father) is still a family of two individuals, but one individual left. If a new partner or spouse is replacing one parent, create a new family to describe the relationship of the new couple.

Emotional Relationships

Because quantum mechanics is physics that describes the interactions of very small objects (i.e. molecules, atoms, and electrons), this week you will need to know how to multiply very small numbers. Remember that scientific notation writes very small or large number in terms of powers of 10. For example, .0008 can be written in scientific notation as 8 x 10-4 or as 8E-4. The power of 10 (-4 in this case) tells you to take the number 8.0 and move the decimal 4 places to the left giving us .0008.

Assignment: Family Genogram Project Instructions

Building Your Family Genogram

Part I (GenoPro Genogram Software)

A genogram (pronounced: jen-uh-gram) is “a pictorial representation of family relationships across several generations. It is a convenient organizing device to help you identify family patterns or develop hypotheses about family functioning” (GenoPro.com). The genogram resembles a family tree; however, it includes additional relationships among individuals. This instrument facilitates the practitioner and his client’s identification an understanding of patterns in family history. The genogram also does a better job than a pedigree chart in mapping out relationships and traits.

Even though there are a plethora of books and websites on the subject of genograms, it is worth noting that Monica McGoldrick and Randy Gerson are responsible for its initial development and popularity in clinical settings. The structure of a genogram is by and large determined by the imagination and creativity of its author. Some of the most common features on a genogram are information related to the number of families, children in a given family, and the birth order of the family members—including the number of births and deaths.

Index Person: In constructing the genogram, identify yourself as the “index person” and complete the genogram on your family.

Focus: The focus of this genogram will be on family strengths and resilience, family patterns, rules or ways of being, and the overall health of the family. Of course, you should also address any issues and concerns that may be discovered; however, do not make the genogram problem-focused, even though this is typically how it is used in counseling.

Construction: You will submit your genogram through the assignment manager via GenoPro, found by clicking the “assignments” button. This submission will come in as a GenoPro document. You will also need to attach your narrative on an MS Word document. Make sure to include the following items:

· Two preceding generations—that is, the genogram must include the index person, his/her parents, and his/her grandparents (three generations, in all). It would also be imperative that, in the event of the index person being involved in a marital or significant relationship, mention must be made of the significant other involved, including their immediate family such as their parents, siblings, and children. In the case where the index person is either a parent or a grand-parent, his/her children must be included in the genogram.

· Use the symbols as illustrated within the GenoPro software to indicate the nature of many of the relationships among family members. Be sure to indicate yourself as the index person by drawing a double circle or double square around yourself. Do not forget to include the current date on your genogram.

· Use the relationship lines to indicate significant relationships within the family system. Do not use the “normal” line provided by GenoPro. This only crowds the graphic and makes it difficult to read.

· Include a legend at the bottom right corner of the genogram document. The legend must only include items represented on the genogram.

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

· In order to make it easy to understand, ensure that there are notes on the genogram graphic regarding people, family events, etc., in their appropriate places (for example, on the side of a relevant person or generation). Even though this is not required for the successful completion of the assignment, it may be helpful to interview other family members about important areas of their family history. It would also be a good idea to include labels (a word or two will do) about each family member’s strengths—especially those that are either known by the index person or have a relevant connection to them.

· GenoPro gives you the freedom you need to manipulate your genogram to allow enhanced viewing on a computer system. You can shorten or lengthen lines, move entire family units around to maximize space, and more. Your objective is to work with the graph to create a genogram that is easy to view and can be understood at a glance.

Analysis: Once you have completed your genogram, you will need to interpret your family map. Analyze the genogram and who you are in the context of the family based on race/ethnicity, culture, class, gender, spiritual tradition, family life cycle, etc.

Part II (Microsoft Word document)

Written Narrative: After analyzing your genogram graphic following the guidelines above, state your interpretation of yourself in clear terms. Do this by writing a paper that describes the contributions that religion, gender, race, culture, etc., and your own unique family history have made to your personal identity. Do not forget to demonstrate your understanding of key concepts learned in this course. Apart from the quality of your written work, you will also be graded on your ability to widely, deeply, and accurately analyze and utilize theoretical concepts in describing your family’s interactional process.

Rest assured that this paper will be kept confidential. Be reminded that you are solely responsible for any information you choose to disclose in this project. Also note that you are under no obligation to reveal any information that you choose not to reveal.

The following outline must be used for your paper, using current APA format:

I. Briefly introduce your family. Discuss the sociopolitical, cultural, economic, spiritual, etc. issues in your family. Do not spend a lot of time describing demographic details that can be observed on the genogram.

· You can use first person in this narrative.

· You will not need an abstract; however, you will need a cover page. A reference page must be provided if you use citations.

II. Using the data gathered and the analyses you have made based upon your genogram and other resources, address the following questions:

A. What do you understand about yourself within the context of this multigenerational family?

B. How do the cultural, historical, and personal characteristic aspects of the information impact your understanding of the self?

C. If at all, what are the family lifecycle-related issues in the past or present that have influenced your family and/or interface with question D?

D. What intergenerational dynamics, patterns and/or themes that you have identified influence you (or others) in your current family? Jump to the last section of the present document, “Interpreting Genograms” and then draw a conclusion about your analysis.

E. What areas do you need to work on in order to become a better spouse, parent, counselor, and godly person?

Conclude this part of the assignment with personal reflections on the development of this project. Were there any issues that came to light? What did you learn?

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 6.

How to Build a Genogram

(Many of the symbols and definitions are adopted from GenoPro.com)

Although there is general agreement on the basic genogram structure and symbols, there are some variations from one author to another and some in the GenoPro software program on how to depict certain family situations, such as cutoffs, adoptions etc. (Bowen, 1980; Kramer, 1985; McGoldrick, Gerson, & Shellenberger, 1999). The following are the common to genogram construction. The male is represented by a square and the female by a circle. You may also use a diamond for a pet and the question mark for unknown gender.

Deaths are typically represented by putting an “X” through the symbol. (If you ever do a genogram with a client, ask the client how he/she would like to represent the death since putting an “X” through the symbol without their permission could be traumatizing.)

For one to be called a parent, they would have to have at least 1 of the 3 types of children: biological/natural, foster, or adopted. On the genogram, a triangle is the standard diagrammatic representation of a pregnancy, a miscarriage, or an abortion. While an abortion is represented with a horizontal line on top of the triangle, a diagonal cross in the same position indicates the death of a baby through a miscarriage. As for a still birth, it is displayed the same as its gender, though the gender symbol is two times smaller, while the diagonal cross remains the same size.

The reason is obvious as to why the children on a genogram are placed below the family line, starting from the oldest to the youngest, and from the left hand to right. Take note that these are vitally important rules to remember down the road, as the family system becomes labyrinthine. The GenoPro software, however, does allow variations in this area.

Birth, marriage, divorce, and death dates may be indicated by the initial and year (i.e., b. 89). The ages of the individuals are put in as numbers in the markers. Alcoholism (or other relevant issues) is frequently indicated by filling in the bottom part of the individual’s marker.

image1.png Genogram symbols for child links and special birth

The child links are joined together for multiple births, such as twins, triplets, etc. Identical twins (or triplets, etc.) are displayed with a horizontal line between the siblings. In the example below, the mother had two fraternal twin brothers, two identical twin sisters and triplets, one of which died at birth.

image2.png Child links are joined for multiple births such as twins and triplets

Assignment: Family Genogram Project

There are 4 general rules to keep in mind:

1. The female is always at the right of the family and the male is always at the left.

2. Where there is ambiguity, it is recommended to assume a male-female relationship instead of a same sex relationship.

3. It is assumed that a spouse must always be closer to his/her first partner than to subsequent partners (if any).

4. The youngest child is always at the right of the family and the oldest child is always at the left.

Family Relationships

The next genogram component is the family relationship to describe the union of 2 individuals, typically through marriage. Other family relationships are divorce, separation, cohabitation, engagement, etc. Each completed genogram needs a legend to describe the various symbols. This legend should include the emotional relationship and family relationship lines indicated on your genogram.

GenoPro uses this type of indicator for emotional and relationship lines. When there may be a discrepancy between this document and GenoPro, use GenoPro.

image3.png Legend of family relationships

Each type of family relationship is described in the table below:

image4.png This family relationship represents a married couple. There is no special symbol to distinguish a civil marriage and/or a religious marriage.
image5.png This is the generic symbol to describe a married couple no longer living together. A separation is displayed by a single oblique bar.
image6.png The married couple is separated and started legal procedure for an eventual divorce. If you know a couple is separated but you are not sure about the legal procedure, it is recommended to use the separation in fact symbol.
image7.png The married couple has divorced. No comments.
image8.png The marriage was annulled. This is a rare case, but it must be included.
image9.png One of the spouses died while married. Use this symbol only when the surviving spouse re-married. Otherwise, everyone in your ancestry will be widowed.
image10.png The two individuals are in the process of getting married.
image11.png Same as above except the individuals are living together before getting married.
image12.png There is a legal paper trail about the cohabitation. The two individuals have written contract about the cohabitation status, involving benefits such as parental responsibility, common ownership, and inheritance.
image13.png The two individuals no longer live together and are in the process of terminating their cohabitation contract.
image14.png The cohabitation contract has been terminated.
image15.png One of the partners is deceased. This situation is similar to widowed; the difference is the two individuals had a cohabitation contract rather than a marriage contract. Again, use this symbol if the surviving partner has had other partners, or every legal cohabitation will end by either a separation or a death.
image16.png Although there is no legal definition of cohabitation, it generally means to live together as a couple without being married. Use this relationship to define the generic common law spouse. There is no such thing as illegal cohabitation.
image17.png The generic symbol of two individuals no longer living together.
image18.png The two individuals lived together until one of the partner died. Same as legal cohabitation and decease, but no cohabitation agreement had been written.
image19.png A relationship where two individuals live together, but there is no affection towards another.
image20.png The action of seeing someone or dating. Be aware the terms boyfriend and girlfriend are often used for cohabitation, but not exclusively.
image21.png The two individuals are no longer dating. This could be called ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. Be aware, the term ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend may also be used for cohabitation and separation, but not exclusively.
image22.png This is the polite term for having a mistress or a one night stand. Select this relation if children are the product of such a relationship.
image23.png One individual is abusing or has abused the other individual, including date-rape, drug-rape, and wife-rape. This type of relationship is mostly used in therapy or when a child was the product of such relationship.
image24.png A relationship not specified in the list above or is unknown to the creator of the genogram. Use this symbol to highlight an unusual type of relationship.
image25.png A blank value is used to describe an unspecified relationship when creating a new family. This is the symbol used to indicate that the user has not yet specified the type of relationship.

A family always has two parents. Use the appropriate family relationship symbol to describe the status of the family. For instance, a single parent family (single mother or single father) is still a family of two individuals, but one individual left. If a new partner or spouse is replacing one parent, create a new family to describe the relationship of the new couple.

Emotional Relationships

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