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What is a genogram? 

A genogram is a family diagram, which can be thought of as an elaboration of the family tree. Genograms provide a way of mapping family patterns and relationships across at least three generations. Genograms report information on family structures like family trees do. Genograms are widely used by family therapists as a tool to map family relations, giving both therapists and clients an overview of family relationships and patterns. The genogram may help the therapist get to know the family and help them deal with their current issues. Genograms are used by medical professionals to better understand their patients' medical, genetic and psychosocial history. Genograms reflect an individual's point of view. Although most members of a family agree on the basics of a family tree, there may be major differences when describing the relationships among family members. Interpretation is influenced by the creator of the genogram. There is no absolute "right" genogram for one family. Different family members may have differing perspectives on the relationships in the family and may therefore construct genograms of the same family very differently.

 

What is a strengths-based assessment?

Clay Graybeal wrote an awesome article entitled "Strengths-Based Social Work Assessment: Transforming the Dominant Paradigm." The idea of a strengths-based assessment is to inquire clients in a way that is both clinical & person-centered so that focus is not just on pathology or "what's wrong" but there is also a focus on "what's right" and going well for you.

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