Genetic Counseling: Models and Visions

  • Joseph B. Fanning
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 124)


The professional attitudes and competencies of genetic counselors are often informed by either a teaching model or a psychotherapeutic model. This bifurcation within the profession is generally accepted in the genetic counseling literature despite a diversity of modeling strategies. Evidence of the pervasiveness of the two-model approach can be seen in the analytic schemes of empirical studies that distinguish educational and counseling communication styles. An interest in a unified model has motivated discussion of how to combine the teaching and the psychotherapeutic models. Attempts have been made to subsume one model under another or to combine them by simple addition. In this project, I endorse an alternative model of genetic counseling; in this chapter, I claim that the teaching and psychotherapeutic models are underwritten by problematic visions of communication that disqualify them as theoretical contenders.


Genetic Counseling Psychological Aspect Teaching Model Technical Vision Counseling Skill 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph B. Fanning
    • 1
  1. 1.Vanderbilt University Medical CenterNashvilleUSA

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