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Depict your family of origin with the use of a genogram and a few paragraphs. Give a brief overview of the family structure, some family history and your perception of how well members relate to one another on an emotional and cognitive level (e.g. was it easy to talk about uncomfortable issues within the family? How do members usually manage conflicts? Do people tend to solve problems as a collective unit or do they function more independently?)

Based on your completed family genogram and brief overview, discuss your family of origin's Describe and analyze, using specific examples of events, situations and issues the following themes: 

.Issues of culture, ethnicity, religion, occupation, and education 

.Transactions between family members (past and present). (Has patterns of communication remained similar or has it evolved over time? If it has evolved, do explain why and how so? Was it easy to talk about uncomfortable issues within the family, why?) 

.Family values, family rules and problems, and responses to problems. (Do explain, in your perception, the origins of the above, how it was maintained and the function it served. How were conflicts usually resolved and whether the family tends to come together as a collective unit in trying times or do they tend to solve problems independently?) 

The Importance of Genogram in Understanding Family of Origin

Figure 1: Geneogram

(Source: As created by Author)

As per the genogram, the family tree has six members. The family tree starts with the grand- parents. The age of the husband is 40 years and the age of the wife is 35 years. They have two children that are one boy and one girl children. The age of the boy is 10 years and the age of the girl is of 6 years.   The family of origin is the significant caretaker as well as the siblings, which the person grows up. The person may belong to the initial social group. Moreover, the family tree shows the biological family of the person. Platt and Skowron (2013) mentioned that the experience have the major influence on the biological background. However, in the above genogram, the clear picture of a family is seen. Both the grand- parents are healthy. Hence, their children are also healthy and there is no carrier. If the grand- mother were the carrier then the disease would transfer to the husband. On the other hand, in case of the maternal side, if the grand father would be the carrier then the disease would transfer to the wife (Rigazio-DiGilio & Kang, 2015). If the husband would be the carrier then the disease would be transmitted to the daughter. From the mother, the disease would transfer to the son. The square sign refers to the male and the round signs denote the female. The carrier would be signed as black or red circle (Sherman & Fredman, 2013). However, as there is no carrier, then it can be said that the family tree is healthy.

The family dynamics and the experience can have the important and the complex effects on the function of the people. The family experience can be detrimental to the health as well as to the well- being (Lerner, 2014). The emotional, physical, psychological, and cognitive behavior of the people of a particular family is interlinked. Hence, it is necessary that the family members get proper support and safety in the family. They need to communicate appropriately and mutual understanding is necessary in the family. If the husband and wife do not have appropriate understanding in between them, the children cannot grow up appropriately (McGoldrick, 2016). This would affect their cognitive behavior. The head of the family that is the grand parents can play the significant role in case of the growth of the grand children. They need to provide proper guidance to them so that they can understand about the positive and negative things of the daily life and can protect themselves from the harms (Cross, 2014). The families differ from each other in case of work, emotion, self- sufficient, and flexible. The relationship between the family members needs to be healthy so that they can share their feeling, and emotions. Moreover, they need to maintain he relationship with others such as friends, neighbors, and others (McVay, 2017). If they have any problem regarding the family, then they can consult with the family therapist.

Overview of Family Structure and History

Issues of culture, religion, education, ethnicity, and occupation

I was raised in a city of Singapore. I am the only child of my parents. Both of my parents were raised up in a lower- middle class family. However, my born and brought up was different from them. I rose up in the higher middle class family. I was raised in 1980s as a white kid. In childhood, I had very little sense of race, and ethnicity. My childhood was like other children. I liked to eat fast food, watching TV, playing games and other things. However, my father belongs to the white ethnic community, whereas my mother belongs to the black ethnic community. Originally, they were from New York City. The black ethnics and the white ethnics were rivals. The cultural background of my parents is different as they belong to different ethnicity. After marriage, they had to shift to Singapore due to their family related issues and due to the civil right movement. I grew up in a small apartment building in Singapore. Outside our apartment, there was a big playground, where the street boys usually play.

My parents admitted me in an integrated school, where most of boys were white. My parents never allowed me to make friendship with the black people. I watched the black people more on TV than the social life. My parents never talked about the race with me I wanted to know about the black people and discuss about the race and ethnicity, but they did not allow me to talk about it. With the age, my loneliness also increased. I started to feel uncomfortable and understood that I have to do many things with my ethnicity. We have never visited to New York.  With the maturity, I came to know that my father was not the biological father as he was unable to conceive. They did not keep the record of my biological father who donated sperm. After knowing the fact, I emotionally broke down. In my college life, I met with my wife for the first time. As she belongs to the white ethnic group, my parents did not have any problem with her. However, I have been passed through various mental traumas in my childhood as my parents were from different race and ethnicity.  

In my family, the communication was not strong. Both of my parents were working persons. They were busy in their working life and I had to stay alone in home. After returning home, they became tired and hardly communicated with me. I could not share my feelings and emotions with my parents.  I became habituated to live alone. For this reason, I had faced some problems in my married life also. The born and brought up of us was different. However, she is also the single child of her parents. She also belongs to New York originally. Due to my different lifestyle, I cannot communicate in appropriate way with my spouse. As I cannot share my emotions and feelings with her, there is a big communication gap in between us. In present days, I have a small business of fruit vending that my father started after shifting in Singapore. I have two children in present days. Our first child is a son who is now 10 years old and a daughter, who is 5 years old.  I have a great curiosity about my grandparents from the childhood as I have never seen them. Sometimes my mother talked about her mother that she was very genius and how fought for the civil rights.  

Issues of Culture, Ethnicity, Religion, Occupation, and Education

I have no knowledge about my grandparents as my father never told me about his family. I was suffering from the problems of miscommunication that has a negative impact on my married life as well as on my children also. Therefore, my wife took me to the family therapist who suggested me some medication and some practical therapy. I regularly practice those therapies and as a result, my communication skills are developed. I try to spend times with my parents, partner, and the children as much as possible. I knew that while growing children need their parents the most. The parents of my wife belonged to poor families hence, my wife also has faced ups and down in her life. I never forbid my children to make friends of black ethnic group. I want that my children should know about different communities and cultural background, which will help them to gain knowledge about the international cultures.

As my parents belong to different communities and classes, hence I have faced problem in my childhood. There was a conflict in between my parents as one belong to the working class and white ethnic community and mother belongs to the lower middle class and black ethnic community. In my childhood, I was confused about the ethnicity and money. The family background of my father was orthodox, which has a great positive impact on my father. On the other hand, the family background of my mother was not so much conservative. In my childhood, I have seen my father to get involved in other relationship for which, mother had suffered a lot. In terms of family protection, I cannot consider my family as the best. However, there are various similarities and dissimilarities in my family and my wife’s family. With my wife, I have decided to join a social work school to help the individuals and the families who need the help.

After joining the school, I came in contact with the people who belong to the black ethnic group. In such way, I was able to overcome the barriers and mix freely with others without any hesitation. Sometimes, our children also go with us. Me and my spouse, both are working persons. When we go for the working, our children usually spend their times with their grand- parents. They need to provide proper guidance to them so that they can understand about the positive and negative things of the daily life and can protect themselves from the harms. In weekends, sometimes we go on small holiday trips, which provide pleasures to all of us. Sometimes, my parents also join us. As they have no working ability, they choose to stay at home rather than going outside. I also enjoy the family trips by seeing the happiness of my family. As our family has grown from then past days, we have taken a big apartment, which is well decorated and ventilated. In the playground, near of our apartment, our children used to play. My wife recently left her job and decided to help me in the business. I am glad that the childhood of my children is not same as me and we are able to give adequate time and space to them for their growth.

Transactions Between Family Members

In my life, my parents have played the crucial role and they helped me to grow up. According to Alexander et al., (2013), the subsystem is one of the smaller part of a big system, which is composed of different individuals, gender, function, and interest. My parents never talked about the race with me I wanted to know about the black people and discuss about the race and ethnicity, but they did not allow me to talk about it. Marital subsystem refers to the relationship in between the two people who get married (Gil, 2014). As human being, marital subsystem needs a strong bonding in the two people for the welling of the family members and children (Walrond-Skinner, 2014). Moreover, I tried to provide a healthy environment to my family and children, which can help them to grow up in appropriate manner. The parental subsystem refers to the molds of the future adults. It plays the leadership role and the structure of a family. It helps to make the executive decision of the family and balance the family. It is the responsibility of parents to maintain the healthy environment at home. My parents played the huge role. By the help of them, I developed my skills and became able to make the important decisions of my life.

Moreover, I got inspiration from my parents that helped me to overcome the challenges of my life. The family background of my father has a great positive impact on me. Moreover, after marriage, my wife also influenced my thoughts and emotions that help to build the communication skills. From the past time, I have learnt different communication skills such as verbal, and non- verbal communication. As my parents were working people, they did not get enough time to spend with me, which had affected me negatively. . I am glad that the childhood of my children is not same as me and we are able to give adequate time and space to them for their growth.

References

Alexander, J. F., Waldron, H. B., Robbins, M. S., & Neeb, A. A. (2013). Functional family therapy for adolescent behavior problems. American Psychological Association.

Cross, L. B. (2014). Basic concepts in family therapy: An introductory text. Routledge.

Gil, E. (2014). Play in family therapy. Guilford Publications.

Lerner, S. (2014). Constructing the Multi Generational Family Genogram: Exploring a Problem in Context. Multimedia Collections & Services, University at Buffalo Libraries.

McGoldrick, M. (2016). The Genogram Casebook: A Clinical Companion to Genograms: Assessment and Intervention. WW Norton & Company.

McVay, R. J. (2017). The Image and the Storm: Using the Archetypal Genogram in Therapy (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute).

Platt, L. F., & Skowron, E. A. (2013). The family genogram interview: Reliability and validity of a new interview protocol. The Family Journal, 21(1), 35-45.

Rigazio-DiGilio, S. A., & Kang, H. (2015). Using Community Genograms to Position Culture and Context in Family Therapy. Fundamentals of couples, marriage, and family counseling, 25-52.

Sherman, R., & Fredman, N. (2013). Handbook of measurements for marriage and family therapy. Routledge.

Walrond-Skinner, S. (2014). Family therapy (psychology revivals): The treatment of natural systems. Routledge.

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