We tend to think of genetics as heritable traits – dad’s blue eyes, mom’s brown hair, grandma’s sense of humor. But did you know that relational patterns can be inherited as well? Interpersonal dynamics like divorce, high conflict marriage, domestic violence, enmeshment, emotional neglect, and parentification can all be passed down from generation to generation. Families with trauma histories are especially susceptible. Therapists often use genograms to help identify and work through these intergenerational patterns.
Genograms are a type of diagram that therapists use to understand intergenerational patterns.