2019-02-14T07:20:12+00:00 Essays

How Could the Family Genogram be Applied to the Treatment of a Family with Addiction Issues?

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How Could the Family Genogram be Applied to the Treatment of a Family with Addiction Issues?


five comments on students post about the question which all instructions are added students are Steve, Tim, Edwina, Vincent, and Kiara. Post are to be substantive with in text citations for each comment. No introduction just comment on the students post

6-2 question, how could the family genogram be applied to the treatment of a family with addiction issues? Please apply this to a hypothetical family.


6-2 Steve post.

1. The family genogram can be apply to the treatment of family addiction issues through the process of using family genogram as a tool to collect inform and date from clients or family members to trace or determine the family history especially if a client or family members are struggling with addition or substance abuse to figure out if it is part of the family long term history, struggle, or challenge. “Genograms are used to create pictorial maps of families that can be used by the therapist to provide interpretations of relationships and family dynamics to family members” (Alexander). As a therapist, I would use the family genogram in a situation with a client who is dealing with alcohol addiction to determine if his or her family history tells me whether alcoholism has been a struggle or challenge in his or her family for over a long period of time and if possible how have they managed or dwelt with this struggle or challenge in the past? This date or information would enable me develop a care plan and focus on how to help the client manage or deal with their addiction, so that at the end of the day their goals can possibly be met.

2. Tim, the genogram has become a basic tool in many family therapy approaches. Physical, social, and psychological dysfunction may be added to it, and often times substance abuse counselors use genograms as part of assessment and for tracking the progress of their patients.   In family, if an individual presents with an addictive disorder, the therapist can work to develop a family genogram to help initiate therapy, as well as a method for therapy to move in a continuous process.   Genograms are a pictorial view of the larger multi-generational family that can be used to identify root causes of behaviors, loyalties within family, and potential causes of family shame. Working on a genogram can also help to create a strong bond and increased trust between the therapist and client.  Creation of a family genogram may also point to members of the client’s family who may have been “covered up”, due to their addictive personalities or behaviors.  More sophisticated genograms can display this activity by the lack of close relationships with specific individuals in the family history.  By using a genogram the client may see similarities that exist with their own place in the greater family unit.  Utilizing this technique in counseling can provide the client with a better understanding that their illness is often hereditary.  Doing so may or may not provide them a level of comfort, but it can offer them the willingness to face their addiction from the perspective of their being the first family member to succeed in overcoming their addiction.  It can also offer a client the opportunity to speak to those identified family members who may be willing to share their story, contributing to their growth also.  The effective therapist may also include social network mapping, and by doing so provide their client with an overview of their trusting relationships outside of family.  Those outside relationships can then be determined to be helpful, or hurtful to providing their client with ongoing resistance to addiction.

                3. Edwinda, a genogram is a multi-generational diagram of a person`s family and social network. It allows users to view multiple relationship dynamics, review developmental influence and identify trends. Each person on a genogram is represented by a symbol. The symbols are then linked with lines to depict various dynamics and significant individual qualities. Genograms are used by professionals in many fields which study and work with people including doctors, researchers, psychiatrists, counselors and psychologists.  Genograms may also be used to study how factors such as the environment or socio-economic status influence personal or family development and functioning.  Substance abuse counselors use genograms as part of assessment and for tracking progress. A genogram can help the client identify current relationships which act as triggers or support active use. They can also be used to identify and create new relationships which can act as supports in maintaining abstinence and constructive social interactions.  Genograms assess the current support networks, the influences on personal development and interpersonal relationships which need improvement. Information obtained by creating a genogram can also be used in treatment planning by targeting undeveloped, underdeveloped or unhealthy relationships (McGoldrick, 1985). In a family with a son whose addicted to drugs, the genogram can help the therapist find the triggers that led to the addiction and the dynamics of the family structures.  It will help therapist identify the current relationship of the son with the family and guide the treatment process.

4. Kiara, a family genogram is somewhat similar to a family tree (Murdock, 2013). A family genogram could be applied to the treatment of a family with addiction issues because it allows for therapists to look back into a family’s history. Genograms permit therapists to analyze an individual’s family history, traits, genetics, and relationships. According to the GenoPro website (2016), the genogram can include information pertaining to disorders that may run in the family, such as depression, alcoholism, diseases, etc. In this case, in a family with addiction issues, a genogram can be helpful in determining and underlying cause to an individual’s addiction issues. The presence of a previous addiction can possibly increase the possibilities for a related individual to become an addict. Murdock (2013) stated that genograms are the primary use for assessments in Bowenian family systems theory.

5. Vincent, Much like a family tree, the genogram graphically presents demographic information about the family and highlights the index client providing the reported genogram information. Other types of information that can be reported include individuals’ medical and psychiatric histories, their health behavior, and their genetic information (Shellenberger, Dent, Davis-Smith, Seale, Weintraut & Wright, 2007). Moreover, genograms allowed therapist and client to work together in quickly identifying and understand various patterns in the client’s family history over three generations which may have an influence on the client’s current state of mind (Murdock, 2013). Furthermore, Bowen was the first family therapist to pay extensive attention to genograms which are used to increase awareness of family history and process, develop treatment goals, and identify targets for exploration (Lebow, 2014).

The family has a central role to play in the treatment of any health problem, including substance abuse. When a family member abuses substance, the effect on the family may differ according to family structure. Genogram can be applied to the treatment of a family with addiction issues by identifying recurring pattern, interviewing individuals from different generations and coding the information to provide possible causals of addiction. Additionally, genograms can vary significantly because there is not limitation as to what type of data can be included. For example, a parent’s substance use can have cognitive, behavioral, psychosocial, and emotional consequences for children including: impaired learning capacity, a propensity to develop a substance use disorder, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.


Comments Name Institution Comments Steve is of the idea that family genograms can be used as tools to collect information from clients. These genograms are particularly useful in cases where these patients belong to families with addiction issues. Genograms can then be used to determine whether these addiction issues are as a result of family history or not. The genogram would then enable one to develop a care plan that would be beneficial to the mana


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