If you need to draw medical and psychological conclusions from a family’s history, we’ve looked at the best genogram makers for Mac to map your family tree.
A genogram – also known as a McGoldrick–Gerson study, Lapidus schematic, pedigree chart or family relationship diagram – differs from traditional genealogy software on Mac as it allows you to visualize patterns such as medical and psychological factors that affect family relationships. Genealogy and Family Tree software on the other hand mainly focus simply on family structures and hereditary lines.
Genograms are often used by social workers, genetic researchers and in clinical psychology to help diagnose patients and reveal insights into family behavior. They are an incredibly effective way to help diagnose emotional and psychological issues in patients.
Genogram Software For Mac Overview
To draw genograms that are effective and detailed enough, you need specific software but there are fewer options on Mac than there are on PC.
It’s important to be aware that genograms are a highly specific type of diagram requiring specific tools. Some genealogy apps claim that they can create genograms on Mac but in reality, are more for creating family trees as they don’t provide the specific symbols you need for genograms.
This is also true of sites that claim to offer “genogram templates” for programs like Microsoft PowerPoint and Word. The templates are almost always family tree templates which do not allow you to add genogram symbols and other details required to make a genuine kinship diagram.
The number of genogram apps on Mac are definitely less than for PC but there are a few good ones if you look hard enough.
We’ve done the hard work for you so here is our list of the best software for making genograms on Mac in order of ranking.
SmartDraw is an extremely slick and user-friendly diagramming software that makes creating attractive genograms extremely fast and easy. SmartDraw has become extremely popular as an alternative to Visio on Mac but is simple enough for anyone to use.
One of the standout features of SmartDraw is the way it automates diagramming so that it corrects and re-balances kinship diagrams as you edit. It also has lots of genogram templates which you can customize and edit making it very quick to draw family relationship diagrams.
It’s easy to add and remove children, parents and other family members but the great thing it’s always re-balances the diagram automatically to keep it tidy. You can also export completed kinship diagrams to Microsoft Office in a few clicks.
SmartDraw is easily the best way to create genograms on Mac and for more your can check our full SmartDraw review.
You can find details of SmartDraw pricing here.
You can also watch a quick overview of how to make a kinship diagram with SmartDraw below.
Genogram Analytics lives up to its slogan of “simple enough for the student, powerful enough for professionals”. Although it’s straightforward to use, it takes a lot more time to create genograms in Genogram Analytics than tools like SmartDraw but it also offers more features for professionals. It supports scenarios with adoptions, foster parents and returning children and is highly customizable right down to the brand of toothpaste a family member uses. It also has a desktop client for both Mac and PC.
If you need to draw highly detailed and complex genograms, Genogram Analytics is a powerful tool. You can watch how to create a pedigree chart in Genogram Analytics below.
ProGeny is an enterprise genetics platform aimed at medical institutions. It’s main aim is to detect hereditary genetic illnesses in families. However, it does offer a free pedigree tool called Pedigree to draw pedigree charts. With Pedigree, you can create pedigree charts on your own or have it automatically generated by indicating proband relatives. Pedigree allows yo draw unlimited charts, track up to 10 genetic conditions, 5 custom data field per family member and fit pedigree charts to page for printing. If you need to draw genograms for assessing inherited risk, ProGeny Pedigree is the best pedigree chart software you’ll find for Mac.
GenoProX is a spin-off of GenoPro – probably the most widely used genogram software on PC and Windows. Unfortunately there has never been a version of GenoPro for Mac. The only way to run GenoPro on Mac is by installing Windows on a Mac but we don’t recommend it for a few reasons. One is that it’s running Windows alongside macOS is very intensive on your Mac and doesn’t always work well anyway.
More importantly however, the developer is currently working on a Mac compatible version of GenoPro called GenoProX. This will be an enterprise solution aimed mainly at medical institutions but will also include a consumer version called GenoProX Family aimed at hobbyists and amateurs. It will also include something called GenoShare which allows family members to collaborate on a kinship diagram.
Unfortunately, at the moment GenoProX still isn’t available. It’s still in the crowdfunding stage but you can sponsor development of GenoProX Family for $25 which will also entitle you to a copy of it when it’s eventually released.
Edraw is a diagramming application which includes templates and symbols for creating genograms. Edraw looks a lot like Microsoft Office so if you’re a fan of the ribbon interface in Office, you’ll find it very familiar. There are several basic templates with generic family structures which you can edit and customize quickly. There are plenty of vector based symbols to indicate relationships, emotional states and medical conditions of individuals. You can also export completed kinship charts to Office, PNG, JPG, PDF, SVG and more. If you want a genogram maker that has the same feel as MS Office but also works on Mac and Windows, Edraw is worth a look.
Why Use Genogram Software vs Pen & Paper?
So why use any of these apps when you could just draw everything on pen and paper? There are a few good reasons.
For a genogram to be effective, it has to be clear and well put together. Therapists often use genograms to help open dialog with those who struggle to talk about an issue such as abuse, mistreatment or personal problems. It’s also a common tool to help diffuse family feuds to show where problems stem from.
However, patients that are emotionally caught-up in problems or arguments aren’t often good at sketching-out things clearly. This results in messy and confused genograms that don’t yield much useful information.
Genogram software helps to keep things neat, tidy and organized so that meaningful conclusions can be drawn from them.
It’s also much easier to revise and refine a digital genogram over something drawn on paper.
Which Professions Need Genogram Tools?
Genograms are used in a range of professions but some of the most common are:
- LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Workers)
- MFT (Marriage and Family Therapists)
- Relationships Counselors
- AP Psychology students
- CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)
- Novelists (for sketching family plots)
These are the best kinship diagram tools for Mac users although there are a few other options we’ve left out because they don’t quite make the grade.
One example is WinGeno which is a free genogram tool to draw family constellations. Officially, WinGeno is only available for PC but it does also work on Mac by using the open source network Mono. WinGeno is quite a basic tool for creating family structures but the main appeal is that it’s completely free to use. However, we don’t recommend it because it’s not officially supported on Mac and the Mono setup process doesn’t always work well.
There’s also MacFamilyTree. As the name suggests, MacFamilyTree is more about geneology than genograms. However, it does also allow you to create basic kinship charts too so if you want something dual purpose, it’s worth considering.
Although web-based tools such as SmartDraw will also work in any browser on your iPad or iPhone, if you want a dedicated genogram app for iPad and iPhone check out iGenoGram. iGenoGram is a really slick and professional but unfortunately there is no version of iGenoGram for Mac yet but the good news is there is one in the pipeline.
We hope we’ve helped you find the right tool to help draw relationship diagrams on your Mac. If you have any questions, problems or suggestions about the software featured here, let us know in the comments below.