Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 77–83

A New Definition of Genetic Counseling: National Society of Genetic Counselors’ Task Force Report

  • Robert Resta
  • Barbara Bowles Biesecker
  • Robin L. Bennett
  • Sandra Blum
  • Susan Estabrooks Hahn
  • Michelle N. Strecker
  • Janet L. Williams
Professional Issues

DOI: 10.1007/s10897-005-9014-3

Cite this article as:
Resta, R., Biesecker, B.B., Bennett, R.L. et al. J Genet Counsel (2006) 15: 77. doi:10.1007/s10897-005-9014-3

The Genetic Counseling Definition Task Force of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) developed the following definition of genetic counseling that was approved by the NSGC Board of Directors:

Genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. This process integrates the following:

•Interpretation of family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease occurrence or recurrence.

•Education about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research.

•Counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition.

The definition was approved after a peer review process with input from the NSGC membership, genetic professional organizations, the NSGC legal counsel, and leaders of several national genetic advocacy groups.


genetic counseling genetic counseling definition genetic counseling history National Society of Genetic Counselors. 

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Conselors, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Resta
    • 1
  • Barbara Bowles Biesecker
    • 2
    • 8
  • Robin L. Bennett
    • 3
  • Sandra Blum
    • 4
  • Susan Estabrooks Hahn
    • 5
  • Michelle N. Strecker
    • 6
  • Janet L. Williams
    • 7
  1. 1.Swedish Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Social and Behavioral Research BranchNHGRI/NIHBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Medical GeneticsUniversity of Washington Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Myriad Genetics LaboratoriesSalt Lake CityUSA
  5. 5.Center for Human GeneticsDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  6. 6.Medical GeneticsDepartment of Pediatrics, UCSFSan FranciscoUSA
  7. 7.IHC Clinical Genetics InstituteSalt Lake CityUSA
  8. 8.Social and Behavioral Research BranchBethesdaUSA