Genetic Counselling

A Psychological Approach

Genetic Counselling

The role of a genetic counsellor is to mediate between the rapid advances in molecular medicine and an individual's ability to understand and manage the risks of their inheritance. Counsellors therefore need to be fully in command of the psychological impact of their communications. Written by a psychiatrist who later became a psychotherapist, this manual is essential reading for counsellors of all disciplines. It examines the psychological processes and explains why people approach and respond differently. Effective genetic counselling requires a knowledge of attachment behaviour and non-directiveness, and an in-depth understanding of empathy in order to help individuals contain anxiety and process grief and so facilitate their decision-making or help with the effects of reviewing a test result. Along with an up-to-date discussion of similar approaches in family therapy and psychoanalysis, the effect of counselling on the counsellor is also examined creatively in order to enrich the interview with clients.


"What stands out most of all in this impressive volume is the marvelous collection of case examples throughout, drawn from a wide range of genetic counselling situations, carefully chosen to illustrate how counsellor interventions had positively impacted on decision-making and adjustment. The case vignettes are presented concisely but with sufficient depth and insightful comment to enable the reader to grasp the relevant teaching points. These alone would be worth the book's purchase price!"
Lauren Kerzin-Storrar, Journal of Genetic Counseling

"this book provides a wonderful empathetic foundation for understanding genetic disorders and provides an important resource for any professional interested in the psychology underlying genetic disorders and htose seeking specific counseling skills to apply within such a context." - Michele L. Pergadia, PsycCritiques

'This beautifully constructed work captures the essence of genetic counselling making it an essential read for anyone working in this profession. This book will also inform those health professionals who may be considering a career in clinical genetics. … This book succeeds in finding the language to describe and understand what genetic counselling is. All health professionals in the field and others wishing to learn more about effective communication with patients and their families will find reading this book a thought-provoking and stimulating experience.' Psychological Medicine

'… easy to read … This informative and inspiring book is highly recommended.' Journal of Psychosomatic Research

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