A new definition of Genetic Counseling: National Society of Genetic Counselors' Task Force report

J Genet Couns. 2006 Apr;15(2):77-83. 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.

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Counseling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Societies*