Read the posted case vignette. Create a genogram of the family. Consider what you can learn from your genogram regarding:
- What are the roles of the members of the family?
- What are the relationships among the members of the family?
- What are the relational patterns within and across generations? (Who fights with whom? Who gets along with whom?)
- What happened to the family around a major event?
- How did the family handle major developmental stresses/transitions?
- Describe what you would consider the atmosphere of the family.
- What structural patterns do you notice about the family across generations? (What are the patterns among siblings of different generations, marital couples across generations, patterns of marriage, divorce, death, etc.?)
CREATE GENOGRAM AND ANSWER QUESTIONS
Your client Bob is 30 years old. He is an accountant. He currently lives with Melinda, who is also an accountant. They have no children. Bob describes his relationship with Melinda as close but they argue a lot over petty things.
Bobâ€™s parents are divorced. His mother is currently a store manager but she was a stay-at-home mom until Bob was in high school. His father is a construction worker. His parents were married in 1965 and divorced in 1970. He described their relationship as conflictual. His dad remarried in 1971 and had a son in 1971 and a daughter in 1973 with his second wife. The son is married with three boys and the daughter is divorced with a daughter. His dad has a history of conflictual romantic relationships and got divorced again in 1975 and is now married to his third wife since 1987. They do not have any kids.
You learn that Bob is an alcoholic and so is his dad. His dad is the youngest of four kids. His two brothers are older than his sister. Both of the other brothers are alcoholics. Bob’s dad’s oldest brother committed suicide when he was 32 years old. Bob’s grandfather was also an alcoholic and worked in construction. His grandfather is the youngest of five kids. There was a girl, then two boys, then a girl, and then Bob’s grandfather. Bob’s grandfather’s oldest brother killed himself when he was 32 years old. Bob’s paternal grandfather hated Bob’s dad but loved Bob’s aunt. Bob has always fought a lot with his dad and reports that his dad has always gotten along with Bob’s half-sister.
Bob’s paternal grandmother was the oldest of seven children and he doesn’t know much about them. Apparently his grandmother’s dad died when they were young and they had a stepdad who drank a lot. His grandmother was addicted to morphine. She attempted suicide once shortly after Bob was born.
Bob’s mom is the oldest of seven kids; only three are living. She had two younger sisters (both deceased), then two younger brothers and two younger sisters, in that order. Bob’s maternal grandfather was known to have had a long-lasting affair and his mother talked about two half-sisters she had whom his mother has never met. Bobâ€™s maternal grandfather was gone a lot on business trips for the railroad and his maternal grandmother was left with the kids. Bob shares that his mom’s brothers are both divorced and remarried. Mom’s youngest sister died from pneumonia at the age of 41. Bobâ€™s mother, her second youngest sister, and his maternal grandmother have all experienced depression. His motherâ€™s sister has been hospitalized for depression several times. Bob continues to have a close relationship with his mother, which is sometimes a problem in his relationship with Melinda.