Genograms Genograms



Genogramsare a useful tool that shows the family relations of an individual aswell as the medical history of that family. Unlike a typical familytree, genogram results in the establishment of significantinformation about the family, which includes major events, eventillness, and experiences (Nichols,2012). Genogramshave three major benefits, which have increased their popularity inthe contemporary health care sector. First, genograms establishpatters of different diseases, indicating how they have been ruing inthe family (Nichols, 2013). This information is then used todetermine the susceptibility of an individual to a given disease.

Secondly,genograms are useful tools that can be used to illustrate emotionalrelationships among the family members. Different symbols are used toillustrate the connection between different family members. Forexample, a black and dashed line can be used to indicate hostilefamilies (Nichols, 2013). This type of information can be used in thetherapeutic processes intended to resolve health issues related withfamily relations and reduce self-blame among patients.

Third,the fact the genogram facilitates the use of symbols and to representhistory and ties makes it possible for the inclusion of a plethora ofinformation. This allows the health care professionals to see boththe historical as well as the medical connections of the family inquestion at the same time (Galvin, 2010).

Althoughgenograms are significant tools in the health care sector, they havetwo major limitations. First, genograms may at times lack the desiredlevel of accuracy since their constructions relies on the informationprovided by family members and friends of those families, which inturn reduces their reliability (Nichols, 2013). Secondly, genogramscreates the difficulty of recognizing the medical history for severalgenerations because they illustrate the history of a few generationsat a time. In conclusion, genograms are important tools forrecognition of family and medical history, but they should be usedwith care since they could be inaccurate.


Galvin,K. (2010). Genograms: Family patterns of communication. Genograms.Retrieved January 3, 2014, from

Nichols,L. (2013). Whatare the advantages and disadvantages of constructing genograms?Santa Monica: Demand Media.

Nichols,M. P. (2012). Familytherapy: Concepts and methods (10th ed.).Boston: Pearson.