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Genograms and the Family

  • By: Victor Groza & Suzanne Brown
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

A genogram is an assessment tool that diagrams select aspects of family structure and history. Using symbols that represent each member of a family, it is a visual representation of family patterns, family definitions, and family issues across multiple generations. Genograms have been used in many different social service settings by social workers, nurse practitioners, psychologists, other mental health professionals, and medical practitioners. This entry describes their use in health care settings.

Guidelines, Uses, and Development

Ann Hartman suggests the following guidelines for conducting a genogram assessment. Starting with the presenting problem, talk about the problem in the larger context of what else is going on with the family. Assess the immediate household first, and then the current extended family, followed by previous generations. The practitioner should ...

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