If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk,
if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do,
you have to keep moving forward.
Martin Luther King Jr.
That’s how the old adage goes – “To Know Thyself, Thy Must Know Where Thy Come From.” No matter which theory of psychology you adhere to, every one shares this common truth - history matters. We may or may not chose to focus on it, think or talk about it, but the reality is that history shapes and informs who we are and how we make our decisions today. Even if your goal is to be exact opposite of your upbringing, you have been impacted because of that history and resistance.
An effective way to learn more about yourself, is by “interviewing”, if you will, your family members about your family history. Ask about what was important to their parents, their grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents – and why. What were their values and how did they change or impact the next generation? What were their relationships like and why? Ask about family history of sadness, worry, substance use or illness.
Are there any patterns you can trace? How do those patterns impact you and how you live your life today?
With your newfound family history, consider creating a family genogram. A family genogram is a pictorial representation that highlights not only lineage, or family tree, but also helps us envision the relationship patterns, medical history, and values that have been carried down through the generations. They help us organize a wealth of information in a visual generational flow chart. In therapy, I use genograms to help quickly identify and understand various patterns in the client’s family history which may have an influence on the client’s current state of relationship, thinking, and general world understand.
Create your own family genogram! Www.genopro.com/genogram/ offers free online software that makes the process even more easy and fun! Find those family members with the most history and stories to tell and buy them a coffee. Enjoy your search!
Hi! I'm Dr. Linda Abdelsayed. These are just some articles I've created on various life topics. Hope you find them helpful! Check me out on the About and Contact tabs above!