Genograms are a tool for exploring family relationships across multiple generations. Using symbols and lines, genograms reveal patterns between family members that can be otherwise hard to spot. This systems-oriented approach is a powerful way to visualize and understand the impact of family dynamics.
The Genogram Template worksheet offers a straightforward and accessible template for mapping family relationships. A legend provides many of the commonly used genogram lines and symbols, such as those for indicating gender, birth order, friendship, parents, and children, as well as relationship events (e.g., marriage and divorce) and interaction styles (e.g., estranged, very close, and conflictual). Enough options are included to make the tool effective without being overwhelming.
Even if you are already familiar with the symbols used within genograms, the included legend will make the exercise more accessible to your clients. If you provide a take-home copy, the legend will provide your clients with a simple reference.
Use this resource to explore clients’ family histories, both as part of the intake process and in your therapy work. When appropriate, involve clients in the identification and interpretation of important family patterns and insights. Try this tool for your work with individuals, couples, and families, or share it with colleagues looking for a compact, user-friendly genogram.
For more information on genograms, see our treatment guide on Genograms for Psychotherapy.