How do you do psychogenealogy?
Well the best place to start is to draw up your family tree. That sounds simple enough and for a lot of people it is quite easy to do and getting easier all the time with the internet.
But when you start drawing up a family tree, you start shaking it, even if you don't intend to. Just the act of sitting down and drawing it up can be a revealing experience. You might discover you know far more than you thought, for example, or on the contrary, that you have less than a clue about what your parents were up to before you landed on planet earth. Be prepared as they say.
What a lot of people find difficult is the sheer amount of information that can be churned up when you start pulling out your auntie's photo album only to discover an ocean of unknown faces. People tend to get lost in the biography, in the stories, in all the endless detail.
One way is to stand back and focus just on the dates of birth, marriage and death of a limited number of people. Limit the search to your own family group, your parents, grandparents and (if you can) your great-grandparents family groups. That's fifteen family groups and that's a lot of information. You can scale it down just to your own group, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents. That's 15 people's vital statistics. Go back to official sources where possible. What people tell you out of good faith may be quite a distance from the reality of what really happened.
The very fact of putting your tree together may well be enough for you. Insights occur, questions pop into mind, connections are made and suddenly you have you cousin telling you about what granddad was doing in the in-between years.
There are books you can read on the subject that may help you put the pieces of your puzzle together. As I go on developing this site, I hope to include some of the tools that will allow you to make those links on your own, and some case studies too of other people's experiences that might joggle your neurones.
But sometimes you need to go to someone who can help you identify those connections, allow you to make those insights, see the repetition between an ancestor and oneself and so untangle those invisible bonds of loyalty. Or better still, do a group workshop on the subject because in these things, the group is more powerful than the individual - remember?