There are so many ways to look at our genealogy and military family history in deeper ways than just compiling a family tree. The Genogram, a diagram outlining the history of the behavior patterns (as of divorce, abortion, or suicide) of a family over several generations, is one tool that can be useful to dive deeper into your past and also heal your present.
What Does a Genogram Look Like?
The best way to show you what a genogram looks like is to give you something interactive. View a short Genogram video depicting the Skywalker family from Star Wars.
How are Genograms Helpful?
Genograms can show us through various symbols showing relationships, births, marriages, deaths, patterns, and some biographical data, what is happening in a family at a point in time. Therapists use genograms to explore what a new client is dealing with at the time they start therapy. One nice thing about a genogram is it can be continually expanded as new information comes in or the therapy sessions continue.
So if this is a tool for therapists, why should family or military historians or those seeking to do self-healing use it? I use it because it shows the family patterns and issues we may not otherwise see. Sometimes a visual example is better than a story. Additionally, being able to see the military connections and patterns that surfaced after World War II were surprising. Visual representation of the effects of war were more powerful than family stories.
When I completed my genogram in December 2019, while reading the book Family Secrets by John Bradshaw, I was astounded and shocked that I was living pieces of my paternal grandparent’s lives. Not the blessing part of their lives but the burdens. Expanding this again in May 2020 I learned even more patterns I was carrying forward in my life and relationships, not only on the paternal side relating to my WWII Navy grandpa, but also the maternal side. John’s book helped me explore many aspects of my family history and he gives many examples of how family historians can use genograms in a simple way. Now I am able to look more deeply at my grandpa’s story and do some inner healing so I stop living parts of his life. This brings enormous peace.
This knowledge created a turning point for me in which I had to choose to continue these patterns or allow them to surface and look at the dark side of my family and personal history. Look at the choices I’ve made unconsciously, that now I can bring to the conscious level and explore. What is working? What is not? What can I let go of or change? Do I still have to repeat negative or destructive patterns? It is all a choice.
Other Uses of a Genogram for Self & Family Healing
Interestingly, this diagram can be used for so much more than behavioral patterns. We can map out the beliefs and patterns for an individual and family relating to the following topics. This information can help us explore our personal patterns and negative traits in relationship to different areas of our life. Looking at these areas can allow old patterns and inherited ancestral burdens to come out of the dark into the light to look at. Once we are able to look at these things, we can heal and release them so they not longer affect us or our ancestors or descendants.
- Health history
- Religion or Spirituality
- Ethnicity, Immigration, Migration
- Business, Government, or other Institutional relationships
- Family Constellations
Would you like to explore this more?
Join my mailing list to be the first to hear about my new Ancestral Souls Healing Circle Membership, launching in June 2020. In this healing circle we will have monthly Zoom meetings to explore topics like this and other deeper genealogy and family pattern topics. When you join the mailing list you also get access to the free member’s area of Finding the Answers Journey, which is my course and webinar website.
Do you have questions or would you like to work with me? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Disclosure – the book link is an affiliate link. I make a tiny percentage off the sale. This does not affect the price you pay.
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