Academic journal article Family Relations

Focused Genograms: Intergenerational Assessment of Individuals, Couples, and Families

Academic journal article Family Relations

Focused Genograms: Intergenerational Assessment of Individuals, Couples, and Families

Article excerpt

DeMaria, R., Weeks, G., & Hof L. (1999). Focused Genograms: Intergenerational Assessment of Individuals, Couples, and Families. Philadelphia, PA: Brunner/Mazel. 220 pages. Paperback ISBN 0-87630-881-7, price $24.95.

Originally elaborated by Monica McGoldrick and Randy Gerson, family genograms have become widely used among family professionals of various kinds of theoretical orientation. The authors of this book modify and expand the standard genogram, and call it the Multifocused Family Genogram (MFG). MFG is comprised of four elements: (1) The Basic Genogram, (2) Family Maps, (3) Time Lines, (4) Focused Genograms. It can be used to explore "the client's family and its intergenerational themes, intrapsychic and interpersonal dynamics, interactional patterns, and developmental adjustments" (p. 8).

This book is divided into three parts. Part I starts with an introduction to MFG and its clinical application. Part II discusses the first three elements of MFG mentioned above. Part III introduces five types of Focused Genograms, which are specific to the MFG, including attachment genograms; emotions genograms; anger genograms; gender sexuality, and romantic love genograms; and culture genograms.

The uniqueness of this book lies in its integrative framework. The authors borrow concepts from Bowen family systems theory, family life cycle theory, and Bowlby's attachment, and then delicately blend them together. MFG also perfectly combines into one method of several widely used family assessment tools (e.g. Satir's family chronology, Minuchin's family mapping, and Hartman's family eco-map). …

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