The Family Genogram places the individual profile of the subject within a framework that spans the three generations, providing information on his or her registry location, family relationships, communication skills within the family, major biographical events and any traumatic events, which may have directly or indirectly marked the subject and his or her family members.
In the most articulated form, the model that in our experience has proven to be the most effective in dealing with patients allows, after collecting the main biographical information on the three generations, to reflect together with the subject on psychological similarities and ‘affiliations,’ the main individual characteristics and specific relational dynamics. It also explores the ‘possible presence of psychiatric pathology, alcohol or substance abuse behaviors, and manifestations of compulsion to repeat. The psychological resonances of possible traumatic events, bereavements, or other particular vicissitudes of family history are traced.
The ‘processing of family information has multiple roots: Adler’s individual psychology had highlighted determining aspects of position in the family dynamic; systemic family therapy and the Palo Alto school developed, among other elaborations, Watzlawick’s important concept of the double bond as a serious dysfunction of family communication; Minuchin’s structural family therapy reflection studied the relational habits of the family and the dysfunctions created when these become stereotyped; Borzomenyi-Nagy’s psychoanalytic family therapy values, rather than communication problems, those of transgenerational relationships and the concepts of psychological loyalty, justice, family account balance and parenting, family myth and role fixity; Anne Ancelin Shutzenberger’s transgenerational psychotherapy studies the complementarity of roles, experiences of injustice and resentment, and the concept of passive aggression; Cesar Liendo’s recent elaborations develop the concepts of drama and melodrama and the relationship between victim and victimized