Narrative Assessment of a Genogram
The paper is dedicated to a narrative assessment of a non-family member genogram. Such genograms are developed for a better understanding of the clients’ problems as they allow to trace the person’s beliefs as based on his/her family beliefs (Spindel, 2015). The narrative assessment will make it possible to outline the major problems in the client’s history and suggest ways of overcoming these issues.
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The client defined his family as an ordinary or traditional one. He grew up among people who enjoyed gardening and growing food. His parents loved spending a lot of time outdoors. The political views of the clients’ parents were liberal. What concerns religion, the family was Catholic. In this connection, the client tends to be charitable and caring about his family. He is used to the opinion that people should support their families and neighbors when they are in need. Also, the client grew up with the notion that every person has a right to free expression of his/her thoughts.
When describing his origin and residence factors, the client indicated that he grew up in a rural area where the majority of people were white. Despite the friendly atmosphere of the residence, the area used to be rather conservative. Life in the area was very slow-paced. People predominantly relied on local businesses and their neighbors. The relationships between people in the community were more personable and less commercial than in large urban communities.
The symbols representing the customer’s culture are the usual values about white people. The client is English-speaking, and the value he cherishes most is freedom. He is used to expressing his opinions open-mindedly and is not accustomed to being told what to do. The problem is that having been surrounded by other white English-speaking people kept the client sheltered from social issues regarding race and ethnicity. Such a state of things encouraged racist thoughts in the client, although they are not conscious but provoked by his surroundings.
The client described the responsibilities and expectations associated with gender as traditional ones. In his place of origin, men were dominant and should provide for their families. Women were responsible for raising the children and taking care of the family. Children had to be obedient and respectful. Although men were the ones who had to support the family financially, women also were forced to work. There used to be very few single-income homes.
The client has an idea of what he thinks a traditional family is. Also, he has a fixed notion of racial division of people which makes it difficult for him to accommodate the unknown environments. He is set on the idea that his upbringing and the conditions in which he grew up are the most suitable and correct ones.
National Organization for Human Services (2015) asserts that human service professionals have responsibilities to clients, colleagues, the public and society, employees, the profession, students, and to self. There are several cultural influences outlined in the genogram which may present difficulty both for a social service professional and the client. The most serious issue connected with this customer is his racist outlook. Additionally, there is a problem of strict family role division and trouble of finding a common language with people. These issues are connected with the client’s family beliefs which have been cultivated for generations.
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Dealing with the family history may present a challenge for a human service professional (Spindel, 2015). The abovementioned cultural influences in the client’s family dynamics may impact my professional responsibilities to the client and the public and society. Since I do not approve of racism, I might feel biased towards such clients. However, as mentioned in Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals by National Organization for Human Services (2015), I must make sure that my prejudices and beliefs should not be reflected on the clients. So, actions in cooperation with this client plan to explain to him the importance of equal treatment of people with different ethnic backgrounds without blaming him for racism (Diller, 2015). I should do my job by the Ethical Standards which proclaim that human services workers should “provide their services without discrimination” and “advocate for social justice” (National Organization for Human Services, 2015). The client’s beliefs of what a traditional family is might impact my responsibility about identifying the person’s “needs and assets” (National Organization for Human Services, 2015). I should be careful not to consider the client’s beliefs wrong altogether but rather find ways of discussing his ideas and showing him other ways in which a family may exist.
The narrative assessment of a client’s genogram has allowed me to analyze how the cultural influences in family dynamics may impact my professional duties. Using the Ethical Standards for Human Service Professionals by National Organization for Human Services (2015), I was able to identify what risks to my professional qualities may appear due to the client’s history. I was also able to delineate the ways of eliminating these challenges.
Diller, J. V. (2015). Cultural diversity: A primer for the human services (5th ed.). Stamford, CT: CENGAGE Learning.
National Organization for Human Services. (2015). Ethical standards for human service professionals. Web.
Spindel, P. (2015). Working with families: A guide for health and human services professionals. Toronto, Canada: Canadian School’s Press.