Widely used by both family therapists and all health care professionals, the genogram is a graphic way of organizing the mass of information gathered during a family assessment and finding patterns in the family system for more targeted treatment.
Now updated and expanded in its third edition, and featuring revised genograms for easier reading, reflecting the growing and widespread use of genograms for clinical intervention, this best-selling text provides a standard method for constructing a genogram, doing a genogram interview, and interpreting the results. Genograms of famous families—Sigmund Freud, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, the Kennedys, Jane Fonda and Ted Turner, Bill Clinton, Princess Diana, the Roosevelts, and Thomas Jefferson, to name a few—bring the text to life, and help to elucidate the principles of family systems theory and systemic interviewing, which form the basis of genogram work. Once these principles have been explained, the authors go on to present the important clinical applications of genograms in both family therapy and family medicine. These applications include the effective assessment of patients’ risk for emotional problems such as anxiety or depression; structural patterns among families such as divorce and remarriage; relationship patterns such as enmeshment, conflicts, and cut-offs; recent and chronic life stressors such as pregnancy, acute illness, poverty, and racism; and family life cycle transitions and developmental crises, among other uses. By providing a fascinating view into the richness of family dynamics, McGoldrick and her co-authors provide an invaluable guide to clinicians for accurately charting a family’s structure, making it easier to scan for potential problems and take proactive steps to utilize resources when necessary.
Monica McGoldrick, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D., is co-founder and director of the Multicultural Family Institute in Highland Park, New Jersey, and adjunct faculty at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Randy Gerson, Ph.D., was Director of Atlanta College for Systemic Thinking until his death in 1995.
Sueli Petry, Ph.D., is an Associate Faculty Member of the Multicultural Family Institute and is in private practice.
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