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F23-208 Sexuality and Gender Inclusive Genograms: An Updated Approach to Assessing Modern Families

Total Credits: 3 including 3 Category I CE

200 Adults, Couples & Families |  700 Professional Growth & Development |  800 Online
Allan Edward Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD
Course Levels:
3 Hours 15 Minutes



Genograms have long been a popular tool for assessing family structures and dynamics. Murray Bowen invented the concept of genograms in the 1970s. Monica McGoldrick and Randy Gerson popularized genograms in the 1980s, as many family therapists, social workers, psychologists, and other clinicians embraced their use. Since that time, there has been significant development in our understanding of diverse sexualities and genders. This workshop provides an updated approach to depicting families in a manner that respects diversity and avoids the heteronormative and cis-normative assumptions of traditional genograms. This approach supports the key ethical provisions in the NASW Code of Ethics, including cultural humility, respect for the dignity and worth of all people, and social justice.   


Allan Edward Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD Related seminars and products

Allan Barsky, JD, MSW, PhD, is a professor at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches ethics, conflict resolution, addictions, and generalist social work. He was awarded the FAU Scholar of the Year Award for his research and publications. His book credits include Essential Ethics for Social Work Practice, Conflict Resolution for the Helping Professions, Clinicians in Court, and Ethics & Values in Social Work. Dr. Barsky is a Past Chair of the NASW National Ethics Committee and received the NASW’s Excellence in Ethics Award. He has presented internationally in Israel, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Korea, Netherlands, Switzerland, Madrid, and Finland.   

Agenda & Learning Objectives


1:05 to 1:15 Log on/Registration  


1:15 to 1:35 (20 minutes) – Introduction: History, Strengths, and Limitations of Traditional Genograms 


1:35 to 2:15 (40 Minutes) – Sexuality-Inclusive Genograms (avoiding heteronormativity) 


2:15 to 2:45 (30 Minutes) – Gender-Inclusive Genograms (avoiding cisnormativity) 
2:45 to 3:00 - 15-minute break 


3:00 to 4:10 (70 Minutes) – Small Group Exercises: Developing Inclusive Genograms (Introducing Cases, Small Group Discussions, and Debriefing) 


4:10 to 4:30 (20 Minutes) – Questions, Additional Scenarios from Participants, Key Takeaways, and Conclusions 



Upon the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Develop genograms in a manner that accurately and respectfully depicts individuals with diverse sexualities (including people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, two-spirited, and queer).    

  • Develop genograms in a manner that accurately and respectfully depicts people with diverse genders (including people who identify as transgender, gender-nonbinary, gender-fluid, and gender-queer).   

  • Use inclusive genograms to engage clients in empathic discussions of family dynamics, including roles, relationships, expectations, family patterns, strengths, and stresses related to gender and sexuality.   

Bibliography & References


Austin, A. (2018). Transgender and gender diverse children: Considerations for affirmative social work practice. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 35(1), 73–84.  


Barsky, A. E. (2020). Sexuality- and gender-inclusive genograms: Avoiding heteronormativity and cisnormativity. Journal of Social Work Education, 56(4), 1-11.  


Barsky, A. E. (2019). Ethics and values in social work: An integrated approach for a comprehensive curriculum (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.  


Barsky, A. E. (2023). Essential ethics for social work practice. Oxford University Press. 


Belous, C. K., Timm, T. M., Chee, G., & Whitehead, M. (2012). Revisiting the sexual genogram. American Journal of Family Therapy, 40(4), 281–296.  

Bindu, J., Dickenson, S., McCall, A., & Roga, E. (2022). Exploring the therapeutic effectiveness of genograms in family therapy: A literature review. The Family Journal, 31(1), 21-30. 


Bradford, N. J., & Syed, M. (2019). Transnormativity and transgender identity development: A master narrative approach. Sex Roles, 81(5–6), 306–325.  


Craig, S. L., McInroy, L. B., Dentato, M. P., Austin, A., & Messinger, L. (2015). Social work students speak out! The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students in social work programs: A study report from the CSWE Council on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression.  


Joseph, B., Dickenson, S., McCall, A., & Roga, E. (2023). Exploring the therapeutic effectiveness of genograms in family therapy: A literature review. The Family Journal, 31(1), 21–30. 


Huss, E., & Kapulnik, E. (2021). Using creative genograms in family wocial work to integrate subjective and objective knowledge about the family: A participatory study. Research on Social Work Practice, 31(4), 390–399. 


King, C. (2019). Gods of the upper air: How a circle of renegade anthropologists reinvented race, sex, and gender in the twentieth century. Doubleday.  


Kosutic, I., Garcia, M., Graves, T., Barnett, F., Hall, J., Haley, E., Rock, J., Bathon, A., & Kaiser, B. (2009). The critical genogram: A tool for promoting critical consciousness. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 21(3), 151–176.  


Majhi, G., Reddy, S., & Muralidhar, D. (2018). The use of family genogram in psychiatric social work practice. Open Journal of Psychiatry and Allied Sciences, 9(2), 98–102.  


Maupin, A. (2017). Logical family: A memoir. HarperCollins.  


McGlashan, H., & Fitzpatrick, K. (2018). I use any pronouns, and I’m questioning everything else: Transgender youth and the issue of gender pronouns. Sex Education – Sexuality, Society, and Learning, 18(3), 239–252.  


McGoldrick, M. (2016). The genogram casebook: A clinical companion to genograms: Assessment and intervention. Norton.  


McGoldrick, M., Gerson, R., & Petry, S. (2020). Genograms: Assessment and intervention (4th ed.). Norton.  


National Association of Social Workers. (2021). Code of ethics. Author. 


Pope, N., & Lee, N. (2015). A picture is worth a thousand words: Exploring the use of genograms in social work practice. New Social Worker, 22(2), 10–12.  


Rhodes‐Phillips, S. (2022) Deconstructing the genogram: A tentative proposal. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 43(3), 333-345. 

Course Completion & CE Information

Category I Maryland BSWE Requirement

The Office of Continuing Professional Education at the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work is authorized by the Board of Social Work Examiners in Maryland to sponsor social work continuing education programs. This workshop qualifies for {3} Category I Continuing Education Units. The Office of Continuing Professional Education is also authorized by the Maryland Board of Psychologists and the Maryland Board of Professional Counselors to sponsor Category A continuing professional education.

Please refer to the tab "Live Interactive Webinar Policies & FAQs" for UMSSW Office of CPE policies regarding all live interactive webinar related matters.

Target Audience

Social Workers, LCPCs, and Psychologists

We welcome anyone interested in the topic!


Late Fees and Refunds

Fee & Registration:

Cost is $70 and includes CE credit. Registering after 10/25/2023 will incur an additional $20 late fee. Cancellations* must be received 24 hours in advance prior to the workshop to receive a refund or an account credit.


*ALL cancellations will be subjected to a $35.00 administration fee.

Live Interactive Webinar Platforms


The Office of Continuing Professional Education hosts Live Interactive Webinars through two platforms: Zoom and WebEx.

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