Creative Geongrams & Play Therapy

A play therapy genogram is basically a family tree and represents the relationships between families and family systems. The actual genogram was developed by Monica McGlodrick and Randy Gerson in 1985.

The play therapy genogram is more extensive than the family tree, as it looks deeper into the psychological relationships within a family system past and present. play therapy genogram When I use a play therapy genogram on a client I am shown the client's unique perspective on their family system.

I also see the history and family traits that have played a part in shaping the belief system of my client.

Genograms are now extensively used in the medical and mental health fields. One can trace genetics, disease, addictions, and mental illness by using a genogram.

Family patterns can also be traced when using a play therapy genogram. A therapist can help a client identify family abuse, emotions, social behavior, attitudes, and beliefs with a genogram.

The basic genogram used in therapy and the medical field can be quite extensive. If you have never used a genogram before it can be a bit overwhelming.

With the Creative Counseling Play Therapy Genogram method one can explore and use the genogram with clients in a more creative and effective manner. I usually use a play therapy genogram activity with clients after the first two or three sessions.

This activity works well when used in conjunction with the family portrait (See Family Portrait in Art Counseling on this site.).

I utilize miniatures in my basic play therapy genogram. I start out with the family of origin in the basic genogram. The client picks miniatures to represent family members.

These miniatures can be animals or symbols. One of my clients used a spider to represent her father. This told me a lot about her relationship with her father. This is a quick and easy genogram to use.

I then use more extensive genograms such as the Solar System Genogram, Legacy Genogram, and Future Family Genogram.

Play therapy genograms can also be used in the sand tray with miniatures.

One does not have to follow the "rules" when they use a genogram in Creative Counseling. The client leads the way with how they want the genogram to be presented.

It is up to the therapist to only present the idea of the play therapy genogram. Allow the client to finish it in the way they need to complete it.

The basic idea of the play therapy genogram is to understand and identify with the client's perspective of their unique family system. Then the therapist can question and possibly confront the view of the client with the family system once they fully understand the client's perspective.

The therapist needs to let go of "control" when working with the client, especially when using the play therapy genogram, sand tray, doll house, art counseling, etc.

One of my students used the "Legacy" genogram and was able to identify a family helping trait. His great great great grandfather lost his life because he was trying to stand up to a bully. This student was able to see this pattern of behavior in his grandfather, father, and himself.

I recommend using the play therapy genogram several times throughout therapy to see if any family dynamics have changed with the onset of therapy.

The below links can show you different ways of doing the play therapy genogram in a creative way.

Creative Play Therapy Genogram to Solar System Family Genogram

Creative Play Therapy Genogram to Family Legacy Genogram

Creative Genogram to Basic Family Genogram

Creative Genogram to Creative Counseling Home

Play Therapy Creative Genogram to Art Counseling

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