Goals. Genetic counseling is a discussion of a genetic condition with a patient to determine the likelihood the patient may carry a particular gene. Counseling will take into account family history, physical traits, and race. Counseling also includes the pros and cons of being tested, and what actions may be possible based on the test results. Testing is usually by a blood or spit sample.
They are related. Genetic counseling usually is done before and after genetic testing. Counseling prior to testing is to explain to a patient why a particular test would be helpful or not helpful. Some patients want to know if they have a genetic defect, while other patients prefer not to know. Following testing, results and their meaning are usually discussed during a genetic counseling session.