Journal Banner

Genetic counseling: Recommendations for the psychological support within an integrated model.

It is commonly assumed that a strong link exists between genetic variability and environment influence on the onset of many human genetic diseases, the majority with features and peculiarities that have not only medical/physical implications but also a psychological and social nature, with a relevant impact on the personal Self of any individual. Protocols of support by a multidisciplinary team of different professional healthcare providers have not been reported as yet, therefore, through a review and analysis of the extent literature, we propose an “integrated” model and some possibly helpful recommendations with specific regard to the psychological care provided by a therapist during the genetic counseling process within a multidisciplinary clinical team. This paper is specifically focused on the role, interventions and positioning (addressed to the patient and the caregivers as well) of the psychologist and aims to demonstrate that he/she has a pivotal role in genetic counseling and which vocational education and training, skills and approach should the therapist preferentially have to provide the best support to patients affected by genetic diseases.

Author(s): Simone Farina, Marco Crimi