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The Family Journal

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Social Work -- Military families, Veterans -- Health Services


In recent decades, it has become evident among mental health practitioners that the military is a unique culture that is comprised of distinct ethics, core values, codes of conduct, and strict hierarchical roles. In light of the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq, veterans and their families are seeking mental health services due to a variety of psychosocial issues; however, mental health practitioners are lacking military-specific knowledge in understanding individuals within the military subculture. In addition, they are ill-equipped with interventions aimed at supporting the military family. Historically, the genogram has been an effective tool in delineating intergenerational family patterns that influence the functioning of the presenting client and his or her family. Therefore, this article proposes a military-specific genogram as an assessment and treatment instrument for the social worker to use with the client and his or her family to provide a comprehensive understanding of the military service member and his or her family. The application of the military genogram will be conducted in this article to demonstrate its utility and value. Furthermore, the genogram will encompass a solution-focused approach that promotes a strengths-based and resiliency perspective to be used with service members and their families.


*At the time of publication, Jose Coll was affiliated with the University of Southern California, Irvine, CA

Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors

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