Basic Genogram Symbols - Primary Requirement of Creating Genograms

Learning the basic genogram symbols is the primary requirement to create a professional and easy-to-understand genogram.

This article introduces part of the basic genogram symbols from different angels with pictures and hope it enable you to know more about genograms.

Male &Female Symbols

There are many standard symbols in a genogram, usually males are represented by a square while females are represented by a circle. Just like the below pictures shows.

Male &Female Symbols

Children Symbols

There are three types of children: biological/natural child, adopted child, foster child and they are showed differently in a standard genogram as the following pictures shows. A triangle has three meanings: a pregnancy, a miscarriage and an abortion. But there is a a diagonal cross drawn on the top of the triangle to indicate death, in other words, miscarriage. Abortions have one more additional horizontal line based on the miscarriage. A still birth is still represented by the gender symbols while with a diagonal cross drawn and twice smaller than them.

Male &Female Symbols

Multiple Children Symbols

Sometimes there are also multiple births and the child links are joined together to show them such as twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets and more. Identical twins are displayed by an horizontal line between siblings. It will be easier to understand the symbols with below example.

Multiple Children Symbols

Relationship Symbols

There are so many relationship between two individuals and so do relationship symbols. Following are part of common relationship symbols.

Marriage Symbol

An horizontal line connects the male and female means they are marriage relationship.

Separation in Fact Symbol

Legal Separation Symbol

If there is a slash towards the right, it means they are separated in fact, but not legal. If the slash is towards the left, then it means they are in legal separation and planning for divorce.

Divorce Symbol

Widowed Symbol

If they are divorced successfully, then there will be two slashes towards the left. A diagonal cross on the horizontal line represents one of spouse is died after married.

Emotional Symbols

There are also many emotional symbols to describe the emotional bond between two individuals. This part will introduce these symbols from very close to cutoff.

Intimacy Symbol

If these two individuals are connected by two green straight line, it means they are very close to each other and have no secrets between them.

Close Symbol

Two dash lines between two individuals means they are friends and share secrets with each other.

Plain Symbol

If there is just a grey line, then they are just a plain normal relationship.

Distant Symbol

Cutoff Symbol

Define a distant relationship in a genogram is using one dash line between two individuals. If there are two extra short main string, then it means they have no contact at all.

Indifferrnt Symbol

If they are connected by a dash line, which is similar with a series of ellipsis, then they are indifferent to each other.

Further Reading:

Standard Genogram Symbols

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