The Healing Room at Heartspace

Module Twelve - 30 minutes

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What is a Genogram?

A genogram is a family diagram, which can be thought of as an elaboration of the family tree. Genograms provide a way of mapping family patterns and relationships across at least three generations. They are a practical tool in counseling and are used to explore the quality of relationships and behavioral patterns across generations.

Relationship conflicts, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, domestic violence, emotional enmeshment and other factors can be traced generationally with a genogram.

Genograms are used in medicine to evaluate health risks by tracking diseases and other medical issues, such as diabetes, Alzheimers, cancer, or depression, generationally.

Instructions for the Genogram

Take a look at the examples, and find the printed Basic Genogram Symbols pages.

Use some scratch paper first and make a basic genogram of your nuclear family of origin.

Start with making a male & female symbol for your birth parents and indicate whether they were married or otherwise, then use the appropriate connecting lines. From there draw yourself and any siblings from that union, starting with first born and go from left to right in brith order using circles or squares for appropriate gender. Put names and current ages for all living members, mark an X for any deceased. Put date of death and age at death for deceased members.

Use another scratch paper for your family of procreation, using the same instructions.

Use additional symbols to fill out other facts & details, for both genograms.

Add any additional details in the form of notes on the page.

Notice Your Parts

During this Module and any other, it is important that you pay attention to any parts that become activated. Use colored index cards to write them down if you haven't yet made a card for that part. Use breathing, grounding, mindfulness as needed. Acknowledge your parts. Let them know you will work with them and can help them if they don't take over.

Second Time Around in Genogram

Go through the Genogram module a second time and make a large-drawing-pad fuller Genogram using your scratch paper sketches as a start. Expand the Genogram to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, even great-grandparents if possible.

Look for important details regarding substance use, divorce, abuse, and interactional patterns. Indicate these on the Genogram. Take your genogram home and try to obtain additional information from family members if you feel comfortable doing that.

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Examples of Genograms

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Journal About What You Discover

There is scratch paper (recycled junk faxes on one side, blank on the other), writing pads, and sketch pads for you to use to make drawings and writing notes about your Healing Room experience. Take a moment at any time during your Modules, or at the end to do so.

You may also want to bring along your own private journal for this purpose.

Take Your Time

All modules are intended to be done unhurried & at your own pace. The designated timeframes are really just a guess. If you don't finish the module you are doing in the allotted timeframe, just note where you left off and schedule another time where you can finish the module.

For example if you get most of the way through Module One in your first scheduled hour, You can review Module One the second time and leave out a few things, allowing time for the part you didn't get to. Or you could just start out by finishing Module One, and then go on to do a 30 minute module during your hour.

Providing feedback in the private Facebook group will help us make modifications in estimated time, and improve the overall experience of using The Healing Room.

Alternating Bilateral Stimulation

Remember, The Healing Room is set up with a stereo system that can provide audible Alternating Bilateral Stimulation (ABS) which is a component of EMDR therapy (Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing). The unique Alternating Bilateral Stimulation sample played continuously in The Healing Room is called Ocean Crossover and mimics ocean waves moving back and forth across the room at a gentle low volume in the background. It has a relaxing effect and supports the neural integration of new perspectives and healing of negatively charged memories, particularly when it is paired with specific tasks.

*Having the ABS playing at a volume loud enough to hear it, but low enough that it seems to fade into the background while you learn these skills, is optimal.