Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Sullivan, J. A. and McConkie-Rosell, A. 2010. Genetic Counseling. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Genetic counseling as a separate and distinct component of medical care was introduced as part of the eugenics movement in the United States during the 1940s. Over time, societal rejection of “eugenic” practices as well as advances in medical technology highlighted the need to consider the psychological effects on the family of a genetic diagnosis (R. G. Resta, 2006). Throughout the 1950s and 1960s genetic counseling evolved from this primarily social and public health perspective, and many different types of health-care professionals—including physicians, nurses, and social workers, as well as research geneticists—provided explanations and social support to individuals and families diagnosed with genetic disorders. Genetic counseling as we know it today benefited from these early practitioners.