Role Of A Genogram In Your Marriage

GenogramWhat is a genogram and what is the role of a genogram in your marriage? It is much like a family tree with all the connections and family ties throughout the past generations. A genogram differs in that the connections are not just birth and death dates and who is whose cousin. It illustrates the emotional patterns of the family. The chronic behaviors that get passed down through generation. When you ask you partner, “who in the family are you most alike?”. The need is to uncover the patterns of behavior that link to your partner. For example, one side of the family has a history and a comfortability to keeping secrets.
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If this is in your family or in your partner’s family you may want to take a look at why are there secrets. What is keeping the family form sharing truths with each other. Has there been unspoken code about shame, distrust or inappropriate behavior that would stigmatize the family from the outside. Has there been incest, that the family has a kept a secret, alcoholism, substance abuse, domestic violence, rage? What about the fact that on one side of the family there has been a history of mental illness, autism, cut offs from other family members. Has there been trauma that has never been treated. When a couple marries it has been said that they marry the entire family. You better believe it. This is not to only say when you marry into a family you become part of the tribe but you are also a witness to generations of learned behavior that has kept the family functioning, and not necessary positive functioning. It is important for every who marries that they know that these patterns of behavior can get triggered when you are in a situation that causes the re-injury of trauma. Divorce is trauma recreated. When divorce hits a dysfunctional nerve in the spouse, many child hood trauma situations get triggered.
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Abandonment, rejection, shame, power discrimination, re-stimulated and now playing out in the process of divorce.  You many never know your spouse has trauma buried until the divorce and then it may be too bitter of a process. This is why Mediation can be extremely helpful rather than litigation. Mediation is a calmer much more gentler way to move through the process. If early trauma has not been detected in the marriage and the couple go for litigation it is guaranteed all of the demons will show up in court. Mediation gently address the emotions that start to brew and moves through the process with a supportive understanding and empathetic approach so if there is early childhood trauma these raw emotions do not become the focal point causing the divorce process to derail.

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Dana and Don, are co-founders of The Mediation and Family Counseling Group.   We can be reached at, or 1-888-281-2725.


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