Dealing with our Past: Relational Patterns – Week of 1/30-2/5


1. What was your experience like working on your genogram?

2. Was there anything from your own personal story that you want to share or discuss?

3. What was one insight, event, or pattern from your family of origin that was surprising or new to you? OR Is there an event or pattern from your family of origin that you believe has had the greatest impact on you?

4. Did you experience any “aha” moments or breakthroughs?

5. What was your experience processing some of these things through the prayer and scripture prompts?


• Pull out your Genogram Workbook from last week. Settle into a comfortable, quiet place, and put away any other distractions.

• Invite the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your mind and heart, and give you peace through this exercise.

• Review your genogram, then turn to pg. 5 and fill in the following relational patterns using the key provided.

◦ Separation, divorce, remarriage, abandonment, adoption, relational enmeshment, codependency, emotional unavailability, sexual relationships, living together, sexism, cutoffs, cutoffs repaired, closeness distant relationships, sexual abuse, physical abuse, or emotional abuse.

• Take a few minutes and identify and write down any relational patterns you’ve discovered. Listed below are a few examples of what to look for:

◦ Patterns of births, deaths, natural crisis

◦ Patterns of closeness and distance

◦ Patterns of emotional availability, codependency, and depth

◦ Patterns of emotional cut-offs or enmeshment

◦ Patterns of dominance or submission

• At this point be mindful of the emotions you are feeling. Invite and allow the Holy Spirit to help you identify and process these emotions. Utilize the coping skills resource as needed.

• Journal: Take a few minutes to write how doing this exercise has emotionally impacted you.

• Pray: ask God to comfort you, protect you, and continue to help you make connections between your past and present.


• Read through each of the listed attachment styles on page 6.

• Take a few minutes and pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help lead you as you review the attachment styles listed.

• Check the box that you feel applies to and describes your relational default. (Please note these are not prescriptive. Do your best to identify the style that best fits you.)

• If you’re married or dating seriously, talk through your findings with your spouse or significant other.

• If you want to go deeper on this exercise, see a therapist or couples counselor.  Check out these additional resources for a list of local therapists and counselors.


• Locate the third section of week 2 in your Genogram Workbook. Read and respond to the following question: What evil things in your life and family history has God used for good? And how?

• Answering and thinking through this question should foster a spirit of gratitude. Take a minute or two to thank God for his ability to heal, transform and deliver.

• Take a little time to read through the story of Joseph from the end of Genesis. Meditate on Genesis 50:19-21.

• If you want to go deeper on this exercise, see a therapist or couples counselor.  Check out these additional resources for a list of local therapists and counselors.


  • You can listen to the podcast again here: PODCAST
  • Watch this video:
  • Be sure to highlight the prompt portions that involve prayer, journaling, etc… this is the meat of these practices and might be the easiest to ignore.
  • Additional resources (sample genogram, digital guide and workbook, relevant reading, list of local counselors, and coping skills), can be found HERE.

Content adapted from