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About Genetic Counseling

Genetic counseling is a conversation

You already see a doctor, nurse practitioner or other provider for your healthcare. So, you might wonder, what additional help can a genetic counselor provide? Because genetic counselors receive specialized training in genetics and counseling, they can be an important part of your healthcare team, helping you navigate genetics and testing, whether you’re pregnant and wondering about the health of your child, or concerned about a family history of cancer, heart disease or other condition.

To learn more about what a genetic counseling session will be like, watch this video that shows a simulated genetic counseling session with a patient who is interested in finding out more her genetic risk for cancer.

This video was created by the National Society of Genetic Counselors as part of a Master Genetic Counseling Series and was made possible through the generous support of the Jane Engelberg Memorial Fellowship

Think of genetic counseling as a conversation. Your input – your goals, your feelings, your concerns – are all very important. Using a unique set of skills, a genetic counselor helps you understand your genetic risks, determines if genetic testing might be right for you – and if so, which tests – and explains what results might mean for you and your family. And, just as valuable, a genetic counselor helps you cope with your emotions as you process that information.

Genetic counselors are there to:

  • Listen to you
  • Answer questions
  • Provide guidance
  • Help you cope

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