Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 303–308

Psychological aspects of genetic counseling. VIII. Suffering and countertransference

  • Seymour Kessler

DOI: 10.1007/BF00962826

Cite this article as:
Kessler, S. J Genet Counsel (1992) 1: 303. doi:10.1007/BF00962826


Two common forms of countertransferential problems seen in genetic counseling, associative and projective, are described and illustrated. Both forms have the potential of reducing the quality of empathy counselors provide counselees. When counselors experience the same problems as the counselees they counsel it is virtually impossible to avoid facing countertransferential reactions which may not always promote the counselees' interests and/or redound to their benefit. Genetic counselors, like other personal counselors and psychotherapists, have a professional responsibility to be aware of, monitor, contain, and learn from their countertransferential experiences.

Key words

genetic counseling psychological issues countertransference 

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour Kessler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSan Francisco
  2. 2.Berkeley

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