In 1985, Randy Gerson, Ph.D., in collaboration
with Monica McGoldrick, published Genograms in Family Assessment
(W. W. Norton), a book that quickly became a classic on the
use of genograms in family therapy and family medicine. A
second edition appeared in 1999.
In preparation for the original book, Dr.
Gerson developed a computer program for producing genograms
according to the conventions outlined in the book. Originally,
the software (called MacGenogram) worked only on Macintosh
computers. In 1988, it was ported to the MS-DOS (IBM-compatible)
platform and renamed Genogram-Maker. It still maintained the
easy-to-use Macintosh interface, but widely broadened the
number of people who could use the software.
In 1991, Dr. Gerson developed the Family Pattern
Analyzer, a software-based interview for assessing multi-generational
family patterns, to be used in conjunction with the genogram
software. Users answer over 600 questions, from which an analysis
of possible family patterns is produced.
Dr. Gerson died of leukemia in 1995, but his
legacy of upgrading and developing software for health and
mental health professionals continues (see
Randy Gerson Memorial Grant).
Genoware, Inc. introduced Genogram-Maker
Millennium in 2000. This represented a totally new version
of the software using
the Java programming language. Genogram-Maker Millennium
version 2.0 was introduced to assure compatibility with
the most popular modern operating systems. And in 2008
Genogram-Maker Millennium version 3.0 was introduced dramatically
expanding the descriptive power of the software by incorporated
the latest additions in genogram symbols.