Identifying negatives in family structures



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Family Genogram

Matthew Rosario

Walden University



With graph-like visuals, graphics, shapes, descriptions, and drawn lines, the genogram assignment will demonstrate how family structures may be read and evaluated utilizing a charted approach (Guerin & Pendagast, 1976). The purpose of a genogram is to enable a systematic method for identifying positives and negatives in family structures. As you shall see, one side of a family can have a favorable or negative impact on family members for decades to come. This is a summary of my family genogram

Family Dynamics

My family has a variety of dynamics that work well with our approach. My family is made up of homes with two parents, one parent, only children, married people, and blended families that come from two or more different cultural origins. Some of us have formed close-knit ties more than others, but that is sometimes how things work. We have all come together in some manner, shape, or form.. It has influenced our behaviors and the connections we have built, as well as how we interact with others and perceive the world. More of the distant family members have, so to speak, made their own decisions and fit the description of being “outside of our norms.” Example: In our tight-knit family, it would never be acceptable for a few male relatives to engage on worldly activities when they are in what you may refer to as “the streets.” Our family’s pattern has been oriented or aimed toward assisting others with all the responsibilities that have emerged (Guerin & Pendagast, 1976). The majority of people who work are employed as police officers, correctional officers, nurses, counselors, and therapists, among other public sector professionals. This blended family, in my opinion, has its differences yet still manages to support one another.


Communication Styles

I come to the conclusion that, when comparing various communication philosophies, I fall somewhere between my parents and my grandparents. Both of my parents have various ways of communicating, which they have taught me to use depending on the situation (sort to speak). Warm, dedicated, and sympathetic toward the female family members, but stricter with the men, my father and grandfather, who are both stern but with a tiny tendency toward tolerance, create a close bond between them. The ladies, however, are always stern and inflexible, despite their ability to be charming, hospitable, and kind. Nearly everyone in the family that has this disposition is someone I am close to.

Mental Health/Physical Health

This project required that I complete the genogram while sitting with my father and a great aunt on my father side in order to acquire accurate physical and mental information. I discovered that several members of my family battle with mental illness. This includes all branches of our mixed and biological families. These ailments included heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, ADHD, and terminal illnesses. I discovered that diabetes, hypertension, and depression were my grandparents’ primary health concerns. As a result of this knowledge, I am now aware of any potential health or psychological issues that may affect me.

Emotional Relationship

The genogram of a family is helpful to the counselor because it makes the connections between family members clear. The genogram can be constructed in a variety of ways to include details like wealth, social standing, and relationships on both a physical and emotional level. Problems that may have been hidden or undetected may become apparent in relationships. There are patterns in relationships that may be observed, and these patterns may affect how partners interact and manage one another. The genogram could be beneficial to the pair by educating them on each other’s families. The pair may benefit from being able to identify potential obstacles and current or past issues that might have a family history component. Instead of isolating someone and categorizing them as problematic or the problem, the family might find it beneficial to look at their issues from a larger viewpoint.

Genogram Usefulness in Couples/Marriage Counseling

The genogram of a family is beneficial to the counselor since it clarifies the familial relationships. The genogram can be constructed in a variety of ways to include data such as finances, social standing, and emotional and physical ties. Relationships have the power to reveal problems that were previously hidden or unknown. Relationships exhibit patterns, and these patterns may influence how partners manage and interact with one another. The genogram may aid the pair by revealing more about their respective families. This may assist the couple in recognizing potential obstacles and identifying recent or continuing issues that may have a genetic component. Rather than isolating someone and characterizing them as problematic or the problem, it could be beneficial for the family to view their issues from a broader perspective.

Understanding my own Impact as a Counselor

Understanding my genogram could reveal information regarding my family’s medical history, social and physical interactions, life experiences, and status, among other things. I may view the couple’s familial relationships very differently than they do, focusing on their flaws while disregarding their virtues, because their familial relationships are not my own. Instead of studying the conditions that led to the events or the change in the person, judging a person in a relationship mostly based on their current conduct.


Diagram, schematic  Description automatically generated

Diagram, schematic  Description automatically generated


Guerin, P. J., & Pendagast, E. G. (1976). Evaluation of family system and genogram.  Family therapy: Theory and practice, 450-464.


Kim-Appel, D., & Appel, J. K. (2021). Bowenian family systems theory: Approaches and applications. In D. Capuzzi & M. D. Stauffer (Eds.). Foundations of couples, marriage, and family counseling (2nd ed., pp. 149-168). Wiley & Sons.

Kim-Appel, D., & Appel, J. K. (2021). Bowenian family systems theory: Approaches and applications. In D. Capuzzi & M. D. Stauffer (Eds.). Foundations of couples, marriage, and family counseling (2nd ed., pp. 149-168). Wiley & Sons.

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