Genogram Guidance

STEP ONE

Family processes relate to any of the seven categories of family functioning we have discussed so far this semester:

  • Family paradigms which relate to the core values and beliefs that connect a family
    • Example categorizes:
      • Open, closed, random, and synchronous
  • Family boundaries which relates to the flow of information between the family and their environment
    • Example categories:
      • Open, semi-open, and closed
      • Olson’s Circumplex Model: Enmeshed, connected, separated, disengaged
  • Family routines which relates to the flow of daily family life
    • Example categories
      • Olson: Rigid, structured, flexible, or chaotic
      • Family specific routine, such as church or school attendance, etc.
  • Family rituals which relates to family connections and celebrations
    • Example categories:
      • Olson: Rigid, structured, flexible, or chaotic
      • A family-specific ritual, such as a holiday, religious experience, etc.
  • Family roles which relates to who completes which tasks and fulfills which responsibilities in family life
    • Example categories:
      • Olson: enmeshed, connected, separated, disengaged
      • Family-unique roles, such as homemaker, primary breadwinner, caregiver, etc.
  • Family rules which refers to how families can do family life
    • Example categories
      • Olson: rigid, structured, flexible, or chaotic
      • Type of rule, such as implicit or explicit
      • Family-specific rule
  • Family communication which refers to how families talk and resolve conflict in family life
    •  Example categories
      • Olson: enmeshed, connected, separated, disengaged
      • Love Languages: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gift giving, acts of service
      • Conflict styles: conflict seeking, conflict avoiding, conflict resolving

STEP TWO

For your Family Theme, you are welcome to either select a different family process from the one selected above from which you want to make comparisons and contrasts (for example, you could look at how communication patterns and roles impact emotional relationship lines), or you can choose a completely different element of family life, such as:

  • Religious beliefs & practices
  • Educational attainment
  • Employment patterns
  • Illnesses (physical and emotional/mental) & diagnoses
  • Marriage and/or parenting patterns
  • Major events

STEP THREE

After you have selected a family process, a family theme, and determined how you will categorize the information, you will choose a color (if you use GenoPro, this is located on the top toolbar) for each category. For example, if you have selected boundaries as a process, you might use:

  • Green for open boundaries
  • Blue for semi-open boundaries
  • Red for closed boundaries

After you have color-coded the boundaries on the genogram, you will right-click on the genogram page and select to add legends. Genopro will have already pre-labeled these colors as something else, but if you will double click on the label for the blue, green, and red labels, you can re-name them with the appropriate information.

Note: It is easier to add labels when you are completed with adding all categories for the theme, process, and all emotional relationship lines.

Please remember: You are free to use any program you choose. For example, many students find it desirable to use PowerPoint due to the ease of creating shapes, lines, etc.

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