What is a Genetic Counsellor?
Genetic Counsellors have specialist training in both genetics and counselling to help patients understand the benefits and risks of genetic testing and the results it may reveal. Genetic counsellors can provide relevant information, advice and support about genetic conditions and testing.
A genetic counsellor can help to explain and clarify:
- What genetic testing involves and clear, relevant information to help you decide your best option.
- The benefits vs. risks of genetic testing.
- What results might be discovered as a result of testing and how this may impact your life.
- What your genetic results mean and information about patient support groups.
- How a disease is inherited and who in your family might also be at risk.
- Advice to yourself and your partner based on both families medical history and family tree.
Genetic counsellors can also provide emotional support for people when they learn they might be at risk for a genetic condition, are diagnosed with a genetic condition or are trying to live with their own or a family members genetic condition.
When should I see a Genetic Counsellor?
Paternity For Life recommends seeing a genetic counsellor both prior to commencing genetic testing and after the results of a genetic test. Results of genetic testing can sometimes be unexpected and having a genetic counsellor help to guide you through your results can provide comfort.
Seeing a genetic counsellor prior to testing gives you the opportunity to ask questions and gain an understanding of the genetic condition(s) in order to prepare you for what the results may reveal.
Once the results are available, seeing a genetic counsellor will give you the best opportunity to discuss the results and their implications for you and your family. Counselling can also provide support when results are unexpected or complex.
Please discuss the options with your healthcare provider.