How do you assess one's  family genogram using Solution Focused theory to critically examine the family issues that may affect your professional use of self in practice and your (and/or family...

How do you assess one's  family genogram using Solution Focused theory to critically examine the family issues that may affect your professional use of self in practice and your (and/or family members') social and psychological functioning?

Expert Answers
yscorse eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A genogram is a representation of family relationships that goes beyond a typical family tree by showing emotional , behavioral, and psychological factors that characterize relationships. Family genograms may be used in social work to better understand family dynamics and recognize relational patterns.

In the context of solution focused therapy, a family genogram would be used only to the extent that it may shed light on the current problem that someone is trying to solve. Unlike Freudian psychoanalysis that focuses on delving into an individual’s past, solution focused theory concentrates on the present and future. This goal-oriented approach is often called solution focused brief therapy because the therapy is no longer needed once the problem has been dealt with satisfactorily.   

Social workers may find it enlightening to analyze their own family issues that may affect their professional use of self, meaning the integration of one’s knowledge, values, and skills acquired through social work education and one’s personal traits, beliefs, culture, experiences, etc. Being aware of one’s use of self can lend greater authenticity to a social worker’s practice. From a solution focused therapy approach, if a social worker’s goal is to better understand his or her family relationships, a genogram may be a useful tool for doing so. The genogram may reveal relationship patterns that the therapist identifies with personally or issues that are absent from one’s personal experience. An analysis of the genogram may also help a social worker recognize areas of personal bias or issues that could lead to countertransference, or emotional entanglement, with a client.