Genograms are a comprehensive and uphill version of a family tree. This diagram tackles generational relationships, medical history, behavioral patterns, and other essential details of a kinship. genogram

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Genogram Definition & Meaning

A genogram is a substantial and more comprehensive version of a family tree.

A genogram is a visual representation of family history, relationships, interactions, health history, behavioral patterns, and other essential well-being data, including social, mental, emotional, and physical information.

What Is a Genogram?

Genogram defines the relationship and interaction of the different generations of a family. This diagram outlines essential data and information to understand behavior, medical condition, and certain occurrence in the family. This diagram contains various symbols to depict someone or something in the kin, such as square means men, a circle means women, family relationships are symbolized through lines connecting with one another, and divorce is depicted as lines with two slashes in the center.

10 Types of Genogram

Family Genogram

There is always something that will be passed down from one generation to the other, either physical appearance, medical condition, behavioral traits, etc. With a family genogram, everything will be visually presented from genetics to behavioral patterns to other medical and health information. A family genogram will come in handy for treatment, assessment, therapy, and family studies.


Social Genogram

Social genogram deals with social relationships and interactions. This type of genogram is helpful to understand social conditions and network. A social genogram is used in social work.


Work Genogram

Work genogram is a diagram that illustrates family relationships, interactions, and other essential information. This diagram will come in handy for human resource professionals in checking the background of employees. This will also help in understanding behavior and character.


Relationship Genogram

A relationship genogram is a visual representation of the different lineages of a family. This also shows other relevant familial information. A relationship genogram is used in analyzing different relationship factors of immediate family and extended kin.


3-Generation Genogram

A genogram is used to show the relationship and interaction between one generation to another. A three-generation genogram is a diagram showcasing the relationship, behavior, traits, and family factors of three generations. This type come in handy in analyzing a section of a larger genogram.


Medical Genograms

Medical genograms are tools to help medical assessments. This type of genogram highlights the different medical conditions and health factors of a family. Medical genograms help patients understand their disease, why they got it, and how their kin dealt with it.


Nursing Genogram

nursing genogram is a good assessment tool and treatment strategy. This type aids nurses to understand why and how a patient acts. This will also come in handy for research and nursing tactics.


Counseling Genogram

counseling genogram helps in dealing with mental and emotional situations. This diagram is equipped with different symbols that represent a certain relationship, a condition, a diagnosis, and other information. A counseling diagram can aid in treatment and other counseling needs.


Career Genogram

career genogram indicates the careers and jobs of family members. This does not only show their relationship and interaction but their position, and career, and sometimes includes the company, years of work, and retirement date. This helps you in deciding on your career path and picture yourself in the future.


Safety Genogram

A safety genogram states the safety practices and useful actions for your clients. This type of genogram ensures that clients are safe and protected from harm. A safety genogram is completed with names of family members, interactions, relationships, and notes.


Genogram Uses, Purpose, Importance

Like family trees, a genogram is used in a variety of ways. Genogram goes beyond the traditional purpose of knowing one’s family and allows members to understand a more thorough explanation of something. Know more about a genogram’s uses, purpose, and importance below.


Medical professionals use genograms in the assessment stage of the treatment. A genogram helps in understanding certain information on a patient’s health, upbringing, history, and other medical information, and in return makes informed assessments.


Genograms are used in therapy and in the early stage of counseling. Family relationship is among the important factors to take note of during medical therapy as it reveals different information that can potentially help in the process.

Emotional Connection

Genograms are tools used to acknowledge emotional connection in the family. This tool will identify weak points, strengths in the relationship, and points to take note of for present and future use.

Medical History

Among the difference between a family tree and a genogram, is its presentation of the medical history of the family. Genogram shows the different health instances of the family, like medical diseases, psychological status, emotional state, possible behavioral addiction, etc.


A genogram is used to improve a family’s relationship, health, and well-being. Since this diagram reveals different information that is not usually talked about in the family every day, this will be a visual narrative of everything and in return improves the way things go.

What’s in a Genogram? Parts?


A square symbolizes men in the family. Most of the time, a square is used as the head in the genogram, and from there different symbols will be added to depict different areas and persons in the genogram. Moreover, a square with a circle inside means a transgender male.


Circles are women. All the female in the family is symbolized as circles in the genogram. While a circle with a square inside means a transgender female.

Family Relationship

Family relationships are shown by connecting two genders with a line beneath them. Different lines depict different family relationships— complete line means marriage, line dots are for a casual relationship, dashed lines mean committed relationship, divorce is a line with two slashes in the center, legal separation is a line with one slash in the center, a love affair is a dashed-dotted line, and a whole lot more.

Emotional Relationship

Emotional relationships are depicted using lines that directly connect family members. Among the common ones are slashed lines means distant, dotted are indifferent, straight complete lines means harmony, bold zigzag lines with complete arrowhead means physical abuse indicating the victim, two parallel lines means friendship or very close, and many more.


Children are pictured using lines and symbols and arranged from oldest to youngest. Male children are shown through a square with a line to connect, same goes with female children, a circle with a line. Adoption is pictured through dashed lines and the symbol of gender. Pregranny is a line with a triangle. Twins are shown as two gender symbols connected side by side.


Birth is symbolized as the gender symbol, while death is depicted as “X” inside the gender symbol. A circle with x means a deceased female member, while a square with x is a deceased male member.

Other Information

Other information like medical conditions, behavioral patterns, and the like are depicted using various symbols, such as a gender symbol with a 1/4 colored part of red in the upper left side meaning someone with a heart condition, same-colored 1/4 part but in green located at the lower left side means a person with diabetes and a lot more symbols for different health and medical conditions.


How to Design a Genogram?

1. Choose a genogram size.

2. Decide on any genogram ideas that you will use.

3. Select a genogram template.

4. Choose the number of generations.

5. Gather all information, such as names, birthdate, date of death, health conditions, etc.

6. Find a genogram make or create your own using software or application of your choice.

7. Secure a copy.


Genogram vs. Family tree 

A genogram is a substantial and comprehensive version of a family tree that shows the family relationship, interactions, behavioral patterns, medical conditions, and other essential information.

A Family tree is a chart showing family lineages from one generation to another.

What’s the Difference Between Genogram, Ecomap, and Generation?

A genogram is a visual representation of an internal family relationship and interactions including the different medical information and well-being factors.

Ecomap is a diagram showing the external connection of a family to the world.

Generation is a period of time in which a group of people is living.

Genogram sizes

Presenting the genogram in the right size is just as important as the content itself. The standard genogram sizes are as follows:


Genogram Ideas & Examples

There are different genogram ideas and examples to use and present genograms. Among the many are the following:

  • Community Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • Standard Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • History Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • Social Care Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • 2 Generation Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • Cultural Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • Four Generation Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • Assessment Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • Safety Genogram Ideas and Examples
  • Conflictual Genogram Ideas and Examples


What should be included in the genogram?

A genogram must include the family members, their relationship and interaction, medical and health conditions, behaviors, and other important well-being information.

How do you read a genogram?

Reading a genogram varies for every symbol; hence, it is important to know and familiarize yourself with all genogram symbols.

What is the impact of genograms in business?

In business, a genogram is not commonly used, but for a family-owned business, a genogram helps members understand and prepare for different patterns and conditions that can affect the family business.

What are the steps to create a genogram?

In creating a genogram the first thing that you have to do is choose a size, next is to decide the generation, then choose a template, gather all information, and create the diagram proper accordingly.

How do you start a paper genogram?

To create a genogram on paper, the first thing that you have to do is create a simple genogram and work from there while constantly adding symbols to represent something.

What are the elements of a genogram?

The essential elements of a genogram is symbols representing genders, lifespan, offspring, other essential relationship, and lines representing different relationships.

When is a genogram required?

A genogram is required during the early days of treatment specifically during the assessment, medical practices, and other important family instances.

What are the values of the genograms?

Genogram opens the conversation in the family and faces the reality of the past.

Are genogram symbols universal?

Yes, genogram symbols are universally used.

What is a family of origin on a genogram?

A family of origin on a genogram means the beginning of the family which is often depicted in the first few elements in the genogram.

Where to make a genogram?

Genograms can be created using the traditional pen and paper method, any word-processing software, design software, template maker, and online genogram generator.

Is there a blank genogram available to use on the internet?

Yes, there are plenty of blank genograms that you can directly fill in with your information at template software like

What are legends on a genogram?

It is important to indicate every line and symbol in a genogram as a legend because the wide variety of symbols can be challenging to remember.

What are examples of genogram?

Some common examples of genograms are medical genograms, career genograms, emotional genograms, and relationship genograms.

What genograms look like?

Genograms looks like a typical family tree in a graph or chart form which represents different relationship and interactions of different family members in various generations.

How helpful is a genogram?

Genogram allows you to easily understand family relationships, interactions, medical conditions, behaviors, and traits.