Genetic counseling: A developing area of interest for psychologists

Shoshana Shiloh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article presents genetic counseling as a challenging field for psychologists. Developments in the field affect individual and public conceptions of the basic issues of reproduction and pregnancy, health and illness, and normality and abnormality. Genetic counseling provides a uniquely structured setting in which to examine major psychological topics, such as coping with threatening events, family dynamics, reactions to uncertainty, risk perception, and decision making. Psychological aspects of genetic counseling are presented on several key issues, including meanings of genetic information, patients' and families' coping with a genetic condition, recall and comprehension of information conveyed in genetic counseling, and decision making. Four roles are delineated for psychologists in this new field: providing direct services to counselees, consulting with counseling teams, training genetic counselors, and researching the psychological aspects of genetic counseling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1996


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