Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 532–540 | Cite as

The Dynamics of a Genetic Counseling Peer Supervision Group

  • Katie L. Lewis
  • Lori A. H. Erby
  • Amanda L. Bergner
  • E. Kate Reed
  • Maria R. Johnson
  • Jessica Y. Adcock
  • Meredith A. Weaver
Original Research


Supervision is a practice that is utilized by a variety of practitioners to hone their counseling skills. Genetic counselors have embraced the supervision process, and some seek out supervision in a group setting with peers. Researchers have described the structure and content of genetic counseling peer supervision groups, and provided evidence for the benefits of seeking peer supervision. This study aimed to describe the interpersonal aspects of one genetic counseling peer supervision group, including personality traits and group dynamics, and how those factors influenced our experiences within the group. We also describe how the process of evaluating these factors impacted us individually and collectively. There was consensus that the group was a safe and trusting one, which was united by similar goals and mutual respect. Members reported gaining insights about how their own personality functioned within the group milieu, and also how the group setting impacted them. Based on our experiences, we recommend that other peer supervision groups consider similar self-evaluations on a periodic basis, both to enhance group functioning and to allow for increased self-awareness and professional growth.


Peer supervision Group dynamics Personality Genetic counseling Professional development 



We are grateful to Susan D. Bergner, certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Analyst. Mrs. Bergner was certified in 1993 and provides MBTI analysis for individuals and groups in both personal and professional settings.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


We received no funding for this project.

Conflict of Interest

Katie L. Lewis, Lori A. H. Erby, Amanda L. Bergner, E. Kate Reed, Maria R. Johnson, Jessica Y. Adcock, and Meredith A. Weaver declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study did not meet criteria for review by an institutional and/or national research ethics committee.

Informed Consent

Because this study utilized practitioner-centered research, all of the participants were also authors on this study and their consent was implied in their participation in the gathering of the data and its analysis; formal consent was not required.

Animal Studies

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

10897_2016_13_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (Outside the USA) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katie L. Lewis
    • 1
  • Lori A. H. Erby
    • 2
    • 3
  • Amanda L. Bergner
    • 3
    • 4
  • E. Kate Reed
    • 5
    • 3
  • Maria R. Johnson
    • 6
    • 3
  • Jessica Y. Adcock
    • 7
  • Meredith A. Weaver
    • 8
  1. 1.Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics BranchNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Social and Behavioral Research BranchNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Ambry GeneticsAliso ViejoUSA
  5. 5.Clinical and Continuing Education Program, The Jackson LaboratoryBar HarborUSA
  6. 6.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  7. 7.Greater Baltimore Medical CenterTowsonUSA
  8. 8.American College of Medical Genetics and GenomicsBethesdaUSA

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