Systograms, beyond Genograms
A proposal of symbols and conventions for use in service-based systemic consultation
Background: Despite the widespread use of Genograms by family therapists, psychologists and other practitioners such as social workers, it wasn’t until the 1980s when a more generally agreed-upon practice and diagraming convention became to be accepted. Even amongst practitioners with similar theoretical orientations there was only a loose consensus about what specific information to seek, how to record it, and what it all meant.
Result: More recently there has been an increase in the recognition and use of systemic therapies and methods to augment more traditional behaviour assessment, clinical formulation and case consultation. Genograms and Sociograms have been used effectively to support and facilitate systemic consultation (Rhodes et al. 2013).
Conclusion: Despite the growing use of Genograms however the set of diagraming symbols and relational markers (McGoldrick., et al) has not necessarily kept in step with this practice. We feel an extended set of symbols and relational conventions may assist in recording and presenting structures associated with more formal support service systems. This paper describes the need for this as well as offering an extended set of symbols and conventions.
Discussion: It is conceivable that these symbols and relational markers may also have utility within various forms of psychology and associated disciplines including organisational, industrial and social psychology.