What Is Genetic Counseling?

Genetic counseling offers guidance that can help you make sense of your DNA test results.

Consumer genetic tests are wonderful. They can help us learn more about our health, diet, nutrition, and overall wellness, but they can be incredibly complex, too. With so much scientific data, it’s easy to end up with decision paralysis, unsure of what to do next. That’s where genetic counseling comes in.

Using the results of your DNA test, a specialized healthcare provider trained in both genetics and counseling—known as a genetic counselor—can offer insights into the impact your genes may have on your health. They may also counsel you on a range of health topics, such as the risk of various diseases based on your genetics and family history.

In addition, a genetic counselor can address any concerns you may have and assist you in making informed health decisions. If you would like psychological counseling to help you adjust to a genetic condition or risk you may have, they can provide that as well.

Is genetic counseling worth it?

Most of us are not trained in genetics, and so we often need help to make sense of the immense amount of data we obtain from DNA testing. The information and advice you receive from a genetic counselor can assist you in maximizing the benefits of your test data.

Whether you are curious about your genetics, concerned about passing on a genetic condition to children, or looking to provide helpful information to your doctor, a genetic counselor can help increase your comprehension and ability to discuss your DNA results in an educated and informed way.

Sequencing.com offers online genetic counseling

Historically, genetic counselors have worked in an office or clinical setting, but more often today this type of counseling is happening online.

You can access professional, online genetic counseling via an innovative app in Sequencing.com’s Reports Marketplace. Made by DNAVisit, the Genetic Counseling app connects you to a genetic counselor to chat about your DNA results. Powered by Sequencing.com’s One Genome technology, the app works with genetic data from any company or laboratory, including 23andMe, Ancestry, Dante Labs, MyHeritage, Living DNA, Vitagene, Helix, exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, and many more. 

Once your data is uploaded to the app, you are guaranteed a response from a genetic counselor within 48 hours, and you will have unlimited access to online chat with a counselor for 60 days. Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) is used to aid  counselors so they can most effectively answer your questions.

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About the Author

Dr. Brandon Colby MD is a US physician specializing in the personalized prevention of disease through the use of genomic technologies. He’s an expert in genetic testing, genetic analysis, and precision medicine. Dr. Colby is also the Founder of Sequencing.com and the author of Outsmart Your Genes.

Dr. Colby holds an MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and a degree in Genetics with Honors from the University of Michigan. He is an Affiliate Specialist of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (⁠ACMG), an Associate of the American College of Preventive Medicine (⁠ACPM), and a member of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (⁠NSGC).

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