A genogram example is a very useful tool that finds multiple applications. Its most well-known form is the family genogram example that depicts the family tree. Nevertheless, this invaluable diagram can be adapted to other cases. For instance, you might encounter a medical genogram, a community genogram, or even cultural genogram examples.

In this article, we are going to get into more detail about this diagram and show various examples of genogram psychology.


What Is a Genogram

In its essence, a genogram example is a visual representation of a family tree. However, it is more complex than a simple tree since it contains more information, thus giving it various uses.

The new elements that genogram psychology adds the family relations and medical history. This way, the genogram in counselling can show the psychological factors that affect the relationships of the members of the family. In addition to this, a medical genogram can visualize the hereditary conditions that might pass from one member of the family to the next.


When to Use Genograms

The great thing about a genogram is that it has numerous uses that show what a powerful tool it really is. Below, you will find when to use a genogram.

  • In psychotherapy: a genogram in counselling is one of the most common use cases of this diagram. The genogram psychology is used both in individual and family therapy to highlight the relationships between family members and help all underlying issues emerge.
  • In medicine: a medical genogram is a useful tool for every doctor who wants to trace a hereditary disease. In the medical genogram, you can visualize how the condition passes from one generation to the next, thus providing you with invaluable information on the medical history of the individual.
  • In social work: a genogram insocial work is often used to highlight the relationships between the members of a social unit. With this diagram, the social worker can assess the balance and the power dynamics between the members. A genogram in social work can also show the places that the individual attends, such as a church or a school. The same can also be applied to a community genogram.
  • In genealogy: in many cases, you will find cultural genogram examples. These diagrams trace the genealogy of an individual based on ethnicity to fully paint their background.

Symbols & Components of Genogram

To create a genogram, you will need a particular set of symbols to show the different relationships between the members within the family tree. However, even a simple family genogram example contains more than one component that you need to note. Namely, there are the basic symbols, the family and emotional relationship notations, as well as the medical symbols.

#1 Genogram Symbols

The basic ones are used to showcase the gender, the lifespan, and even the sexual orientation of the individual. In addition to the symbols, you can also write down the date of birth and the date of death if applicable.


Image source: EdrawMax

#2 Family Relationship Notations

Another level in a family genogram example consists of the relationships between the members. These relationships are indicated by the lines that connect the two symbols. For instance, a straight line that connects two symbols in a family genogram example indicates marriage. However, if you add two lines in the middle of it, the meaning changes to divorce.


Image source: EdrawMax

#3 Emotional Relationship Notations

Another very useful element in a genogram example is the emotional relationships between the members included in the graph. For instance, this is very helpful in a genogram in social work, a community genogram, or a genogram in counselling. These emotional relationships are indicated with colored lines. Namely, the positive relationships are showcased with green lines, the bad relationships with red lines, and the abusive relationships with blue lines. This way, a genogram psychology can uncover any underlying issue between the members.


Image source: Edrawmax

#4 Medical Genogram Symbols

A medical genogram is a tool that doctors often use to visualize the diseases in a family tree. To indicate the different diseases, which are often hereditary, you must use a symbol that contains a smaller colored shape. For instance, a heart disease is shown with a red shape, while Alzheimer’s disease is shown with a yellow shape. This way, the medical staff can trace these diseases within the family history based on the medical genogram.


Image source: EdrawMax

7 Genogram Examples in Real-life Situations

To better illustrate all of the above, we are going to see several examples taken from real life. Therefore, we will see a family genogram example, a genogram example in social work, a genogram  in psychology, a medical genogram, a community genogram, a genogram in counselling, and cultural genogram examples.

Family Genogram Example

A family genogram example is definitely the simplest genogram example that you are going to encounter. In this case, we are taking a simple case where we see the family line of a single couple. The first generation is the two grandparents that are both alive. These two had three children, 1 boy and 2 girls, one of whom had died. From the remaining two, one child got married and had two kids, while the other remained unmarried.


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Genogram Example in Social Work

A genogram example in social work is a tool that many social workers use to show the relationships between members. This diagram is different from the family genogram example since it adds information about the medical history of the family members, as well as the relationships between them.

In this case, we see that the first generation had three kids. The father abused the two boys, one of whom developed depression and the other started doing drugs. Only the girl married and had two kids of her own that are both estranged from their grandparents.


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Genogram Example in Psychology

The following genogram example is used in therapy. In reality, a genogram in psychology resembles a genogram example in social work since it also highlights the relationships between family members.

In our genogram in psychology example, we are examining an individual who has a love affair with a married man. In the diagram, we see the man’s relationship with his wife is hostile. However, the interesting thing is that the woman’s parents are divorced and her father has remarried and had two other kids. The woman’s mother and father have cut off relationships, even though the woman has a good relationship with both. Therefore, the genogram psychology might explain why this woman is attracted to a married man.


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Medical Genogram Example

A medical genogram is widely used to track hereditary diseases in a family line. For this example, we are using the family genogram example from above. In this case, we note that one of the grandparents has Alzheimer’s disease and the other one has diabetes type 2. Of the three kids, the one that has passed away suffered from depression. Of the rest, one has Alzheimer’s disease and the other has asthma. Since the sibling with Alzheimer’s disease has two kids, the doctor will infer that they have a high chance of showing signs of this disease when they get older.


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Community Genogram Example

A community genogram is another type of genogram example that departs from the instances we have already examined. In this case, we aren’t examining a family genogram example but rather a whole community. The same can be applied to an organization or any type of facility we wish to dissect.

In this community genogram, we place the mayor of the town at the top. Then, the following levels are the police chief, the education director, and the healthcare director. Each one of them is followed by their respective facilities. For instance, the police chief manages the police station and the officers. Similarly, the education director manages the schools in town, and the healthcare director manages the hospitals. Thus, this community genogram shows the organization of the whole town.


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Cultural Genogram Example

Cultural genogram examples are widely used to explore the ethnic identity of an individual. These cultural genogram examples can also be used as a genogram example in social work to determine the exact identity of immigrants.

From all the possible cultural genogram examples, we will examine a fairly simple one. In this instance, we have two grandparents who are both from Poland. Their two kids are both women. One married a man from Japan and the other married a man from Germany. Therefore,  the whole family are living in more than 2 cultures.


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Genogram Example in Counselling

Apart from the genogram psychology, a genogram in counselling is another important tool that mental health professionals are using. For instance, a genogram in counselling is invaluable in family therapy since it has all the elements that will uncover the issues between family members.

In this genogram in counselling, we are bringing into focus a young couple that has a baby. The woman has been diagnosed with postpartum depression, which has affected her relationship with her husband. Due to this condition, we see that the young woman has cut off her relationship with both her parents and her own child. In addition to this, we also see that her mother has been diagnosed with depression. This genogram in counselling uncovers a hidden issue that needs immediate attention.


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Key Takeaway: A Genogram Template and a One-stop Tool

As you have seen from all these cases, a genogram example is super versatile. If you want to create one for your case, then you need Boardmix. This one-stop tool makes it easy to create a family genogram, a community genogram, and even cultural genogram with a few clicks. Boardmix has introduced a well-designed genogram template that you can adapt depending on your case from a medical genogram to genogram in psychology. Create your free account to start designing a thorough genogram for every possible case!


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