Welcome Back to Seminar!


You've probably constructed a family tree at some point in your life. A genogram is very similar and gives a lot more information (typically more specific information) than a family tree. Many fields use genograms- biologists, social scientists, counselors, doctors, teachers, and researchers, just to name a few. For today's assignment:

  1. Construct a genogram using the guidelines to the right. Include your generation, any children you may have (optional), your parent's generation, and your grandparents.
  2. Choose a theme for your genogram.
    • It may be related to your major.
      • A Physiology major may choose Sports as a theme.
      • A Biology major may choose Pets as a theme.
      • A Psychology major may choose Achievements as a theme.
    • It may be related to a specific interest (Hobbies, Cars, Fashion, Food, etc.)
  3. Indicate the following information for each person:
    • Biological sex and/or social gender
    • Education level
    • Career or master status
    • Something related to your theme
      • Sports: Indicate if someone participated in sports in school, and if so, which ones
      • Cars: Indicate if someone owns a car, and if so, what make/model, etc.
      • Fashion: Indicate each person's general style or favorite "statement" item
      • Food: Indicate the person's favorite food or what the person always brings to family gatherings
    • One to three words to describe the person, in addition to the information above
  4. Pair up with a classmate. Interview each other about your genograms. Not sure what to ask? Consider the following:
    • Do you notice a pattern? You might ask the person about it and what he or she thinks it means. Example: "Your family seems to have a strong military background. What does serving in the military mean to you?"
    • Ask questions about the person's theme or even about your own theme as related to the person. For example, if someone with a Sports theme is paired with someone with a Food theme, the Sports person can ask the Food person if any of his or her family members participated in sports.
    • Does anyone in the family stand out? In what ways? You might ask, "I've noticed that everyone in your family is really into outdoor activities except your Aunt Tam. Which family activities does she prefer?"
    • It's usually helpful to ask things like, "What stood out for you during this activity?" or "Is there anything you think is important that I haven't asked about?"
    • Be respectful. It's fine to be curious about someone's family structure or culture, particularly if it is very different from your own, and there is a way to ask questions and express curiosity in a respectful manner.

Remember to include yourself on your genogram!

Announcements and Reminders

  • Countdown to FINAL exam (December 13): 26 days! What are you doing to prepare?
  • First Year Symposium (November 29): 12 days!
    • Your attendance is required.
    • If you haven't confirmed your time slot, please do so.
    • Remember, we won't be meeting the week before, so make sure you have it ready before that time.