Client Handouts

Genogram Reference

By Byron Kehler, M.S.

Your therapist may ask you to create a Genogram. This document is a reference to show you the symbols you’ll need, and what a completed Genogram can look like. A Genogram is a visual diagram of family relationships over the course of generations. This allows you and your therapist to notice patterns that exist in your family system.  Your therapist will explain the process to you in detail.

The Genogram, also called a family diagram, was invented by Murray Bowen in the 1970s as a part of their model of Family Systems therapy. It became widely used following the 1985 book,  Genogram: Assessment & Interventions (McGoldrick & Gerson). The diagram and symbols in this reference guide are based on and adapted from the presentation of Genogram resources at

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