Genetic Counseling Program

Untitled Document

Multiple Role Relationships in the Training of Genetic Counseling Students.  By Leah Betman

The supervisor-student relationship is a complex issue that has been explored in psychology and counseling training programs.  Current literature suggests that there are serious consequences of multiple relationships in supervision.  However, little research has been conducted on this issue in the genetic counseling field.  This study explored the perspectives of genetic counseling training program directors about the potential for multiple role relationships between students and program directors, faculty members and clinical supervisors.  Program directors of 30 genetic counseling training programs in the United States and Canada were extended an offer to participate in the online survey.  Nineteen (67%) program directors responded to the survey. The online, anonymous survey presented questions regarding types of relationships engaged in, the conflicts presented by the relationships, potential strategies for resolving the conflicts, and potential interactions between relationships.  Program directors, clinical supervisors, and non-clinical faculty were all reported to have at least one additional relationship to the primary relationship with students.  Most respondents indicated that there were little perceived conflicts between program directors and non-clinical faculty regarding multiple relationships with students.  More respondents indicated that there were conflicts regarding multiple relationships between clinical supervisors and students.  The results showed that there was a higher potential for multiple relationship conflicts involving clinical supervisors and students, especially if there was a social relationship involved.  The results indicated that program directors felt that the issue of multiple relationships in genetic counseling was an important one for discussion, but not all programs provide training regarding multiple relationships to students, non-clinical faculty, and clinical supervisors.  The results of this study can provide information regarding development of educational materials for genetic counseling training programs regarding the issue of multiple relationships between students, program directors, clinical supervisors, and non-clinical faculty.

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  • "I chose to attend UNCG because of its shared learning environment and the access to some of the leading institutions in the country. "

  • "UNCG is a great fit for me. The program directors have extensive experience in the world of genetic counseling and provide you with opportunities to work with some of the best medical centers in the country. Our location allows us to have expert guest lecturers, many of whom you also get to work alongside or observe in your clinical rotations in your second year. We also have some really wonderful and unique opportunities as a part of this program: we observe in syndrome specific support groups and clinics, tour genetic laboratories, and are matched with a family with a genetic disease to learn what it is like to live with a genetic condition. Finally, our directors are genuinely invested in each of us, and care about our success and getting to know each of us personally."

  • "The director and assistant director do their best to ensure that our program provides a collaborative learning experience.  Both are active members of the Genetic Counseling community and strive to introduce you to all aspects of this field.  We also have renowned clinical sites and the beautiful state of North Carolina at our disposal.”