Why Use Genograms to Track
Family Patterns?

A genogram is a graphic representation of a family tree that displays detailed information on relationships among individuals. It is more detailed than a family tree and allows the user to analyze hereditary patterns and gather information about family members and their relationships over at least three generations.


Genograms contain information such as name, gender, date of birth, education, occupation, major life events, chronic illnesses, emotional relationships, cut-off’s, as well as information on disorders running in the family such as alcoholism, mental illness,

depression, etc.


Why begin therapy with a genogram? A genogram allows a therapist and his patient to quickly identify and understand certain patterns in the patient’s family history which may have influenced the patient and his/her current relationships and family.


Family systems work suggests that therapy based on family-systems principles is more likely to produce desired lasting change than working with individuals. The goal of family systems therapy is for family members to understand and accept their individual responsibility in the emotional functioning of the family unit. By learning to recognize the emotional patterns and how anxiety is handled in the family, individual members can manage themselves in healthier functional ways. If anxiety is present in one family member, it can easily spread to others within the family. Learning about your family history is an exciting way to gain insight about yourself and your family members.


At the Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey we offer individual, family and marriage therapy. It is very common for us to invite family members into our sessions so that we can track patterns in the family system. We believe that when one person is affected in the family system, it also affects other members in the family. We begin all our therapy sessions with genograms whether we are working with individuals and/or families or couples.


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