Using Genograms & Timelines to Highlight Family Patterns

CE Hours: 4.5
Instructors: C. Wayne Jones, PhD, Scott Browning, PhD, ABPP

A Live, Interactive Webconference
Thursday, December 16, 2021, Norristown via Live Interactive Zoom
Friday, December 17, 2021, Philhaven via Live Interactive Zoom

Genograms and Timelines are two clinical interviewing tools that have a long and rich history in family therapy practice.  They are useful both in assessment and in creating a relational frame for intervention.  As an assessment, a genogram interview helps therapists identify who is in the larger family system and the pivotal events that have created personal and relational challenges for family members. The genogram creates an opportunity for family members whose perspective has been constrained by survival instincts to see themselves as part of a larger family stems with a shared history.   The timeline places presenting symptoms in a historical and relational context. 

 This workshop demonstrates how to conduct both a relational timeline interview and a genogram interview.  A basic symbol legend is described for constructing a three-generational genogram.  In addition, a method for highlighting qualitative dimensions of family relationships, the Genogram Based Interaction Measure (Browning, Hull & Rozovsky) is introduced and demonstrated.  This workshop uses videotapes to demonstrate a genogram interview.  Connecting the genogram to specific case conceptualization will be discussed. Workshop participants’ genograms, based on their current cases, will be shared to demonstrate analysis and interpretation of genogram data.

As a result of participating in this training, attendees will be able to:

  1. Explain the role of genograms and timelines in family assessment and family treatment
  2. Utilize the genogram as a tool in forming a case conceptualization
  3. Describe how to introduce the genogram and timeline interviews to families
  4. Describe the basic genogram symbol legend and the expanded genogram-based interaction measure.
  5. Describe how to conduct a timeline interview so it evokes empathy in caregivers and reframes presenting problem as relational.


8:25am-10:30am: Focus on Objectives 1-2
10:30am-10:45am: Break
10:45am-1:10pm: Focus on Objectives 3-5

This is an intermediate level course. The target audience is behavioral health professionals working within an Ecosystemic Family Therapy Model. This is a live synchronous distance learning activity conducted in real time, allowing for simultaneous participation of participants and instructors from different locations.

About Scott Browning, Ph.D., ABPP

Dr. Browning is a professor in the Department of in the Department of Professional Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.  He is a noted authority on psychological treatment with stepfamilies, families of homicide, and families on the spectrum.  He has published numerous books, chapters and articles on these topics, as well as on the genogram.  Dr. Browning is a diplomat in couple and family psychology and is part of the clinical training team of the National Stepfamily Resource Center.  In 2017 Dr. Browning was given an award for Distinguished Contributions to Family Psychology by division 43 of the American Psychological Association.

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