Assessment and Intervention

Monica McGoldrick (Author, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School), Randy Gerson (Author), Sueli Petry (Author)


Widely used by both family therapists and all health care professionals, the genogram is a graphic way of organizing the mass of information gathered during a family assessment and finding patterns in the family system for more targeted treatment.

Now updated and expanded in its third edition, and featuring revised genograms for easier reading, reflecting the growing and widespread use of genograms for clinical intervention, this best-selling text provides a standard method for constructing a genogram, doing a genogram interview, and interpreting the results. Genograms of famous families—Sigmund Freud, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, the Kennedys, Jane Fonda and Ted Turner, Bill Clinton, Princess Diana, the Roosevelts, and Thomas Jefferson, to name a few—bring the text to life, and help to elucidate the principles of family systems theory and systemic interviewing, which form the basis of genogram work. Once these principles have been explained, the authors go on to present the important clinical applications of genograms in both family therapy and family medicine. These applications include the effective assessment of patients’ risk for emotional problems such as anxiety or depression; structural patterns among families such as divorce and remarriage; relationship patterns such as enmeshment, conflicts, and cut-offs; recent and chronic life stressors such as pregnancy, acute illness, poverty, and racism; and family life cycle transitions and developmental crises, among other uses. By providing a fascinating view into the richness of family dynamics, McGoldrick and her coauthors provide an invaluable guide to clinicians for accurately charting a family’s structure, making it easier to scan for potential problems and take proactive steps to utilize resources when necessary.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • February 2008
  • ISBN 978-0-393-70509-6
  • 7 × 9.2 in / 416 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“[H]ighly recommend this book for all who would like to supplement their practice with this valuable therapeutic tool.” — Milton H. Erickson Foundation Newsletter

“[S]eminal….While aimed at psychologists, family therapists, and social workers, this book is not overly scientific and certainly not too technical for the lay reader….Genealogists may find this book valuable on several levels.” — Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly

“Starred Review. Readers welcoming diverse perspectives will benefit from this inquiry into a relationship uniquely freighted with historical meaning.” — The British Journal of Psychiatry

“[A] fascinating snapshot of the divergent ways two towering intellects responded to the 20th century's darkest moments.” — The Family Psychologist

“The author is an advocate for both Heidegger and Arendt—though he is far harder on the former, calling the philosopher's actions 'shameful'—and he provides a lengthy defense of Arendt's most controversial work, Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963), and its analysis of what she called 'the banality of evil,' a phrase that continues to foment fiery debate nearly a half-century later.” — Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic

Also by Monica McGoldrick All

  1. Book CoverThe Genogram Casebook: A Clinical Companion to Genograms: Assessment and Intervention


  2. Book CoverThe Genogram Journey: Reconnecting with Your Family


  3. Book CoverLiving Beyond Loss: Death in the Family


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