A genogram is a particular diagram that contains precise information about family members, with a focus on emotional ties. More than just tracking a person’s ancestors, it shows the family’s medical history and values that may impact an individual’s attitude. It allows you to better understand if someone needs medical treatment and to identify behavioral patterns that may be used to enhance someone’s life. Genograms may appear difficult at first, but they are simpler than you think. Below, we will explain the symbols, principles, and present family genogram examples to give you an idea of how to create one yourself.
Genogram Symbols, Examples and Tutorial
Similar to other diagrams, a genogram comes with figures that make up this special diagram. Each symbol has a function that you need to remember in order to build a coherent genogram. You may refer below to understand the symbol and their roles.
Square– a gender symbol for males
Circle– represents the female gender
Triangle– triangle shape represents pregnancy. You can also show miscarriage in a genogram example with a diagonal cross on top of the triangle. For abortion, you will only add a horizontal line along with the diagonal cross.
Straight-line– a symbol that represents a natural/biological child
Broken line– a symbol for an adopted child
Dotted line– a symbol used for a foster child
Note: There are also members in other family genogram examples in which gender is unknown. The usual symbol used for it is a question mark. Moreover, multiple births like twins and triplets should join siblings with a line connecting the two.
Genogram Building Rules
There are general rules that will guide you in building a genogram to effectively show social and emotional connections within a group. This is particularly helpful as the diagram gets complex and avoids any confusion. Without further discussion, here are major rules to keep in mind to lay out a genogram example yourself.
- First of all, the male parent should be placed on the left side. On the other hand, you should place the female parent on the left side and they are connected using a horizontal line.
- Underneath the family line is where the child/children should appear. The order will be left to right, from oldest to youngest.
- If a spouse had multiple partners, the first partner must always be closer to him/her. In any genogram example, follow the left to right order rule.
- Suppose that a relationship falls under the category of male-male or female-female, always assume it is a male-female relationship then follow the same rules to avoid ambiguity.
Genogram Templates Free to Download
Now you gained knowledge about the basic symbols and general rules for constructing genograms. It’s time to apply what you’ve learned. However, if you are still unsure where to start, we have prepared some different genogram template-free examples that you may use as a reference.
Relationship GenogramDownload this example
The Relationship Genogram identifies how people are linked to one another. The style of this free genogram template varies to represent the sort of relationship. Marriage, a casual connection, a committed partnership, or a transitory relationship can all be represented by the relationship genogram. They also cover separation, separation, and partnership.
Family relationshipDownload this example
This figure displays a simple example of a family relationship diagram using a genogram. As you can see, there are two families at the very top. It includes grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunt, niece, and nephew. Supposed that you have a family line here, you will see in this family genogram example that you have 2 siblings. The youngest sibling already has offspring who became your nephew and niece.
Emotional relationshipDownload this example
Another diagram is an emotional relationship that will enable you to identify the current status of members with each other. Using the same genogram, we add symbols that define each emotion of one member to another. Here you will see emotions like harmony which is a straight green line, a conflict which is two red broken lines, etc. There are a lot more emotional bond symbols that you can add to your genogram depending on the situation of one’s family.
Medical genogramDownload this example
A medical genogram is another helpful genogram example that allows you to understand hereditary patterns and other health-related factors. In this template, you will see from a family who had heart disease and the carriers over generations. As you would also notice, there are red shades at the top corner of each symbol. This denotes heart disease while the red center shape indicates heart disease carrier. Also, there’s a green shade that represents who among the family had diabetes and carriers of the disease.
You will be able to explain family member interactions and comprehend dynamics across generations by using a genogram. Consider it an in-depth family map of your family history that may be used to assess one’s actions or trace genetic disorders. Meanwhile, genograms may appear difficult, but it is worthwhile to grasp some of the fundamental principles and symbols and to look at several free genogram examples.
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