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Introduction to Genetic Counseling 

Introduction to Genetic Counseling
Chapter:
Introduction to Genetic Counseling
Author(s):

Barbara B. Biesecker

, Kathryn F. Peters

, and Robert Resta

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190626426.003.0001
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date: 15 August 2020

A critical component of a genetic counselor’s professional growth is to develop the counseling skills to be able to “read” patients to gain a better understanding of the psychological underpinnings of their hopes, dreams, fears, choices, actions, suffering, reactions, strengths, and apparent weaknesses, as well as their cognitive understanding of genetic information. The purpose of this book is to help the reader to develop and expand some counseling skills that are key to the professional development of a genetic counselor. This chapter provides an overview of the issues to be addressed in the chapters that follow—counseling skills, and theories, how to critically think about ethical issues and how they may be addressed in clinical practice, laying a foundation for developing expertise to develop and investigate research questions relevant to the practice of genetic counseling, providing a sociological perspective on genetic counseling patients and genetic counselors, and offering a historical context to create a better understanding of why genetic counseling looks the way it does today.

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