Understanding and working with Stepfamilies

Module Sections:

Family Miniature Genogram

The Family Miniature Genogram (from play therapy) is another way of helping families to define their family and discuss the relationships. In this exercise, a Genogram is constructed on a large piece of newsprint paper. Each family member then selects a miniature from those provided to represent how they think/feel about each member identified on the Genogram. The members are then asked to discuss their selections. They are also able to select miniatures to describe their relationship with each member identified on the Genogram. This exercise assists members, including small children in contributing to the discussion about their family and relationships. In addition, each member of a stepfamily will very likely have different definitions of who is or is not a member of their family. These types of definition process tools can help to normalize this occurrence and provide important information about the relationships among members and the conflicts that may or may not exist. The emphasis is on providing each member the freedom to use her or his own definition of family while recognizing the possible variability with the other individuals involved.

Audio Companion: Understanding Stepfamilies