Genograms & You: A Tool for Understanding Ourselves, Our Families & Our Clients

Cynthia Newman, MSW, LCSW and Jennifer Blanchette McConnell, PhD

The genogram, a graphic representation showing the evolution of an individual’s family tree/kinship network over time/multiple generations, can be particularly useful in supporting work with diverse clients. This interactive, 2-hour workshop will explore how the genogram can assist practitioners in identifying family patterns, strengths, resources, beliefs, cultural contexts, social and emotional patterns/functioning and challenges related to family of origin, and enhance our understanding of ourselves, our families, and our clients.

Learning Objectives:

  • List 3 of the basic components of a genogram
  • Describe 3 benefits of using genograms in clinical practice
  • Define 2 ways of using genograms to assist practitioners and clients in understanding the complex patterns/history of families as the family has evolved over time
  • Describe how using genograms can enhance reflective practice and examination of one’s own thoughts, feelings, strengths, & challenges emanating from family of origin and the interaction between the practitioner & client/family’s life cycle
  • Develop strategies for working with clients and families from diverse backgrounds

Overview of genograms: Definition and purpose
Usefulness in illustrating complex family patterns

Case study: Analysis of a genogram
Resource sharing

CEs: 2 Cultural Competence
Level: Intermediate

About the Presenters
Both presenters are employed at Mid-Jersey CARES Regional Early Intervention Collaborative (REIC), a program of Central Jersey Family Health Consortium. The REIC is funded by NJDOH, Early Intervention with funds from Part C of IDEA. Both also serve on the Board of the NJ Association for Infant Mental Health.

Cynthia Newman is a family therapist with post graduate training from the Multicultural Family Institute, NJ & the Ackerman Institute, NYC. Cynthia has a MSW (Rutgers) – GSSW & a Developmental Disabilities certification from the Boggs Center/Rutgers GGSW. Has served as an adjunct instructor at Rutgers GSSW. Cynthia is a child/family advocate, instrumental in the passage of the NJ Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund. Cynthia also maintains a private practice.

Jennifer Blanchette McConnell received her PhD in Social & Developmental Psychology (Rutgers) with a focus on infant & child development/infant mental health. Her background is in infant/child development, developmental evaluation/ assessment, infant mental health, & professional development/ training. Jennifer achieved Endorsement as Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor in 2014 from NJAIMH. She also served as an adjunct psychology instructor (Rutgers).

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