You're welcoming new people into your team; trying to know them more can be challenging. With an ecomap template, people can provide helpful information about themselves and their relationships with the external world. In other situations, the template is also beneficial to medical personnel or counselors to help them understand individuals better.

What is an ecomap?

An ecomap is a visual tool that provides valuable information about a person and their connections. The structure was first developed by researcher Ann Hartman in 1975 to illustrate individuals' or groups' ecological systems. While creating the ecomap template, you'll have to use various symbols to represent connections of people more simply. In short, it gives the audience a better overview of the individual's surroundings.

One must know that an ecomap has vast uses. With this, it also comes in different types, including the following:

  • Child ecomap
  • Social relationships ecomap
  • Individual ecomap
  • Family health assessment ecomap
  • Family service plan ecomap
  • Seniors ecomap
  • Parent-child ecomap

What should be included in an ecomap?

An ecomap highlights the person in question. They can be any member of the society. As previously mentioned, different ecomaps come with different elements. Let's say you're about to illustrate a family ecomap template, so you must include the following components.

  • Friends
  • Schooling
  • Religious connections like places of worship
  • Sports team
  • Social clubs
  • Hobbies
  • Place of work
  • Social services
  • Extended family members
  • Community engagement
  • Medical health services

Also, you must remember that an ecomap template has various symbols, including the following:

  • Thick lines. If you don't want them thicker, you can have them darker. They represent stronger relationships between two endpoints of the line.
  • Curvy lines. They usually come in red. In any ecomap, the curve line means a negative or stressful relationship. In some instances, they're usually broken, indicating the source.
  • Single lines. These lines have arrows to emphasize the energy flow and directions toward something.

Benefits of using an ecomap template

There are evident advantages when you use an ecomap template. The following are some of them.

  • Understand individuals better. With an ecomap template, you can dive deeper into knowing individuals better. As you consider various factors in the map, you'll also understand who they are, including their social connections, family dynamics, and community.
  • The template is customizable. Since ecomaps have different kinds, you can customize your template depending on its purpose. You can personalize it how you want so the illustration can be easily understood.
  • It's easy to share. Most online platforms, like Boardmix, have an ecomap template in their library. These templates are predesigned, so you must only fill in the sections and reorganize the connections. It has a link to the template to share with your peers. Using the link, they can view or edit your template.

How to use the ecomap template in Boardmix

Everyone can quickly create an ecomap using the ready-made ecomap template in Boardmix.  Refer to the guide below.

  1. Create an account with Boardmix.
  2. Go to the Boardmix workspace, explore the template library, or create your ecomap from scratch.
  3. Consider the lines discussed in this article while formulating your ecomap. You can include colors or insert photos and stickers.
  4. Get the link to your template and share it with others.

As you create your template, it might also be beneficial to consider some of these best practices.

  • You can have sample questions to find or clarify connections. In a family ecomap template, questions like 'who is dear in your life, who among the people do you spend most of your time with, or what is your job' will be beneficial to establish the connections.
  • Create a legend and ensure to maximize relationship lines. In some illustrations, you might use dotted lines to show weak relationships, while in other sections, it may be represented with a single line.
  • Colors can be a game-changer. You can have one color for formal relationships and another darker tone for informal relationships. In this way, your ecomap will look organized and easy to read.

FAQs about ecomap

What is an ecomap used for?

Essentially, the ecomap is used to describe different relationships between people. These relationships are useful for understanding an individual's behaviors, context, and circumstances. Furthermore, the ecomap can also convey the strength of every individual relationship.

What is the difference between genogram and ecomap?

A genogram refers to the graphic illustration of the structure and composition of a family. It's closely related to a family tree. Meanwhile, the ecomap generally focuses on family and personal social relationships. Consider the structure, as genograms are relatively more complex than ecomaps. While an ecomap focuses on the social environment, the genogram sticks to the history of a family and extended members.

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