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.
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