4 Benefits of Creating a Genogram

A genogram is a family tree that emphasizes the emotional connection between its members. It’s a lot more complicated than a simple family tree due to the inclusion of additional informationon a person’s behavior, lifestyle, and health. This special diagram is often used by professionals to better understand their patients and guide them toward building a better life.

But how exactly does a genogram help professionals and individuals? In what way can it be used to improve the health, relationship, and attitude of a person?


Here are the advantages of creating a genogram and a brief explanation of how people can benefit from them.

1) It reveals more about a family’s medical history

More than tracing genealogy, people are interested in knowing the medical history of their entire bloodline. Hereditary diseases and common medical issues can be seen in genograms, allowing them to adjust their lifestyle and seek medical attention to live a healthier life.

A medical genogram

One of the major advantages of a genogram is its ability to predict the possibility of an illness like diabetes and cancer from manifesting. The occurrence of perturbations like sexual abuse, alcoholism, and suicide can also be forecasted using the descriptive diagram.

Drawing a genogram reveals a pattern related to past and present illnesses. GenoPro makes these patterns easier to identify, enabling people to immediately see their susceptibility to certain diseases that run in the family.

2) It describes the emotional connection between family members

One of the advantages of a genogram compared to an ordinary family tree is the description of the emotional relationship between each family member.

A genogram uses symbols and different line designs to depict emotional connections. For instance, a dotted line connecting one member to another may describe indifference, while a solid line describes a normal relationship. A jagged line, on the other hand, symbolizes a variety of hostility, abuse, or violence between the members.

Therapists and psychiatrists often use a genogram to aid them in their treatment sessions. Usually, they’ll ask patients to construct a genogram as an outlet where they can let out feelings that they’re not open to discussing.

They say that acceptance is the key to move forward in life. Creating a genogram helps patients see the reality of the whole family relationship. From here, therapists can devise ways to resolve issues and improve the emotional connection of their patient to other family members.

3) It presents a better way for understanding family dynamics

What are the values upheld within the family? What kind of culture or traditiondo children adopt at home? A genogram can give an in-depth view of these factors and how they affect the attitude of an individual.

A three-generation family genogram

A child failing at school despite having sufficient intellectual capacity and financial means may be undergoing an issue that can’t be easily detected on the surface level. Most of the time, issues like this stem from family problems and they affect the overall performance and behavior of the child.

Lack of ambition, contempt for money, and even low self-esteem can be attributed mostly to the culture practiced within the family.A genogram helps families realize these aspects, as well as the strengths and the weaknesses of their bond with every member of the household.

There are also instances when a certain event repeats from one generation to another, resonating with what happened in the past.

Oftentimes, families repeat – or worse, multiply – their problems throughout their evolution. Issues, actions, and culture are passed on from one generation to another, with members failing to identify, much less question, the root of the complications they’re encountering.

Preventing this unhealthy cycle from continuing further down the line is one of the benefits of creating a genogram. Resolution starts when an individual succeeds in writing about the taboos, prohibitions, vulnerabilities, and issues that the family often underrates or disregards. The act of writing itself translates an intangible thought into something concrete and definite, and this could be the start of accepting the reality of the situation and opening the path toward reconciliation.

Seeing things from a different perspective encourages a better understanding of one’s actions. Since a genogram depicts both past and present relationships between family members, it becomes easier to make sense of certain events and behaviors affecting an individual’s life.

When creating a genogram, individuals get the chance to recall past events and reinforce their observations with interviews and accounts from other family members. This can help uncover the source of family dramas and dysfunctional relationships which were overlooked before.

4) It helps professionals make better assessments

A genogram holds a lot of information in it even though it’s only a drawing ofsymbols and lines. As simple as they may be, these legends represent medical history, psychological status, and emotional connections of the members simultaneously.

For medical doctors, genograms present the medical history of the whole family, allowing them to determine potential medications and possible complications that may arise during treatment.With one look, therapists can already see the underlying factors that affect the behavior of the patient.

Confronting family members without the supervision of a qualified therapist and facts to back claims can result in relational dead-ends and possible breakdowns. The situation is bound to repeat itself when a person doesn’t know their family history and how similar clashes in the past resulted in unhappy scenarios.

Creating a genogram and analyzing it with family members can help them get over the generational problems they’re stuck with. It canhelp people understand the nature of their family issues, allowing them to correct their habits, actions, and perspective towards a fruitful relationship with household members.

A painful experience can make it hard for an individual to talk about the situation, especially with a therapist who isn’t related to them. Genograms can help reveal unspoken events that are hard to discuss and communicate. Using the information provided by the genogram, professionals can make better assessments of the situation and devise ways that will benefit everyone involved in the case.

Despite the many benefits of genograms, they’re not without limitations.

For instance, there’s the problem of accuracy and reliability of the information depicted on the genogram. This happens when the interview and research were not thoroughly done. One family member may say that the husband-and-wife relationship of a relative is going smoothly, when in fact it’s not that simple.

Basing the emotional relationship of a relative from the perspective of a single member of the family, much less someone not in close relationship with the subject, can give inaccurate and unreliable results.This can be resolved with a thorough interview of family members and exhausting all resources available to get as much factual data as possible.


A genogram offersnumerous benefits to individuals who want to understand more about their family history. If you aren’t sure how to build a genogram, have a look to our guide. It can reveal the medical background of the whole bloodline and depict the emotional connection between family members. The information it carries can help professionals identify behavioral patterns and find the best method to improve a patient’s life.

It’s difficult to create a genogram when your focus is split between researching on family relationships and learning all the symbols needed for the diagram. With the help of GenoPro, making a genogram becomes easier and more organized. It features functions that let you build complex genograms like a professional without any hassle.

The software is available for a free trial and can be bought for individual, academic, or enterprise use.