Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 729–730 | Cite as

Why We Do What We Do: Commentary on A Reciprocal-Engagement Model of Genetic Counseling Practice

  • Michelle Fox
  • Jon Weil
  • Robert Resta
Professional Issues

Why do genetic counselors need a model of practice? After all, none of us walk into a counseling session in a state of panic because we do not know what we are supposed to do. Is not a model of practice simply stating the obvious?

Well, not so obvious, as the three of us and the other participants learned at the Models of Practice conference organized by McCarthy Veach, Bartels and LeRoy in November 2005). The differences in viewpoints among the 25 or so participants and the difficulties we had in clearly articulating our private models was an eye opening experience.

A model of practice is a way to define how we communicate and assist clients in decision-making. We can dissect what we do and how we do it by defining the tenets, goals, strategies and behaviors we use but have a difficult time articulating. The attempt to develop this model should promote avenues of research in the genetic counseling field and should improve methods of teaching genetic counseling. Along with the newly...


Genetic counseling practice Genetic counseling 


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  3. Resta, R. G., Biesecker, B. B., Bennett, R. L., Blum, S., Hahn, S. E., Strecker, M. N., et al. (2006). A new definition of genetic counseling: National Society of Genetic Counselors’ task force report. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 15, 77–83.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics/Genetics, CHS 32-231UCLA Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Hereditary Cancer ClinicSwedish Medical CenterSeattleUSA

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