1 - Universitatea Babes - Bolyai_ Cluj - Napoca by wuyunyi


									                               EXPLORATORY WORKSHOP
         7-9 November, 2008, Department of Clinical Psychology and
                         Psychotherapy, Babes-Bolyai University
                                       Cluj-Napoca, Romania

1. Workshop theme:
Euro-MentalHealth: Opening of Romanian Psychologists for Genetic

2. Name and full coordinates of organizers:
(Scientific title, name, surname, affiliation - organization/university/institute, department, address, city,
country, phone, fax, email)
Prof. Daniel David, PhD – Head of Department
Lecturer Rusu Alina Simona, PhD
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education
Babes-Bolyai University
Republicii nr. 37, 400015, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Email: danieldavid@psychology.ro, alinarusu@psychology.ro

3. Proponed dates and location of the workshop:

07-09 November, 2008, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Babes-Bolyai University

4. Keywords relating to the research topic:
Genetic Counselling, Clinical Psychology, European Networks of Excellence, Quality of Life

  5. Description of workshop research theme:

  The enormous advances in genetic science and technologies have determined the
  emergence of genetic counseling as a mean to transfer and manage laboratory
  knowledge towards the population. During this workshop we will analyze, for the first
  time in Romania, the possibility to incorporate genetic counselling competencies in
  the practice of psychologists. Offering genetic counselling competencies in
  psychotherapy and counselling training programmes can be facilitated by the
  adherence, at least at the level of insuring access to information, of Romanian
  education institutions to European and international excellence networks such as
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EuroGenTest Network of Excellence and Central & Eastern European Genetic
Network, whose coordinators will be present at the workshop.

6. Detailed presentation of workshop research theme:

During the past years, alongside the enormous advances in genetic science, there is an
exponential increase in the demand for genetic counselling services. If genetic science
and genetic counselling were mainly centered on diagnosing and predicting rare and
untreatable conditions, today there is a high emphasis on predicting and preventing
treatable conditions. The impact of genetics on individuals, families and communities
on a psychosocial, medical, ethical or legal level is correlated with the need of great
competencies in this area of expertise.
Genetic counselling is a communication process between laboratories specialists and
population which deals with the occurrence, or risk of occurrence, of a genetic
disorder in an individual or a family. This process several objectives: (1) Comprehend
the medical facts, including the diagnosis, probable course of the disorder, available
management; (2) Appreciate the way heredity contributes to the disorder, and the risk
of recurrence in specified relatives; (3) Understand the options for dealing with the
risk of recurrence; (4) Choose the course of action which seems appropriate to them in
view of their risk and family goals and act in accordance with that decision (5) Make
the best possible adjustment to the disorder in an affected family member and/or (6) to
the risk of recurrence of that disorder. (American Journal of Human Genetics 1975;

Genetic Counselling in the world:

The first genetic counselling training programme was developed in the USA in 1969.
Today there are 32 post graduate similar programmes training 200 genetic counsellors
each year. In Europe, the first such programme has started in 1992, at the Manchester
University. Other universities in Holland (1996), Israel (1997), UK (2000), France
(2004), Spain (2008) also developed training programmes in genetic counselling.
Such programmes are now available also in South Africa (1987), Japan (2002),
Taiwan (2004) and Saudi Arabia (2005). According to the National Society of Genetic
Counsellors from the USA (www.nsgc.org), 2 genetic counsellors for every million
individuals are needed in order to provide satisfying genetic counselling services.

Who can offer Genetic Counselling?

In the USA, where there is long tradition and certifications in this field, genetic
counsellors are mainly health professionals, are usually accredited in a master’s
programme in genetic counselling or medical genetics and have many years of
practice in general medicine and counselling. When graduating special training
programmes, they are certified by the American Board of Genetic Counselling
(ABGC). Most often, genetic counsellors work in universities or private medical
centers but recently they can be found quite frequently in public health agencies,
industry and education.

Genetic Counselling in Romania:
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Romania does not offer post graduate accredited programmes in genetic counselling.
We have nevertheless prerequisites. The Faculty of Psychology and Education
Sciences has shown great interest in this field, due to the fact that psychology has
always been open to genetic counselling. Babes-Bolyai University, through the
Clinical Psychology, Psychological Counselling and Psychotherapy master’s
programme is the first in Romania to offer a course in genetic counselling. The course
was developed following the guidelines of other master’s programmes from
prestigious western universities. The course covers genetics and human genomic
elements, genetic counselling anatomy, theoretical models of genetic counselling and
psychotherapy. The main objective of the course is to ensure a valid psychological
approach of genetic counselling.

The mission of Euro-MentalHealth Workshop:

By organizing this workshop, we aim to form an interdisciplinary action group
(psychologists, doctors, biologists, human rights and ethics specialist etc.) that
can analyze, for the first time in Romania, the possibility to incorporate genetic
counselling competencies in the practice of psychologists. Forming this group in
Cluj-Napoca is motivated by the fact that the school of psychology at the Babes-
Bolyai University has always shown great interest towards this field and by the
opportunity to implement this ideas in the post graduate master’s programmes
offered by the Chair of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy.

Offering genetic counselling competencies in psychotherapy training programmes can
be facilitated by the adherence, at least at the level of insuring access to information,
of Romanian education institutions to European and international excellence
networks. The World Health Organization (WHO) has always supported and still
encourages the development of genetic services in emerging countries by organizing
meetings of local professionals and international experts in medical genetics and
genetic counselling and by providing continuous informational materials and
recommendations publications. One of these recommendations refers to the need to
ameliorate the mental health of populations which have access to recent genetic data.
Therefore, WHO promotes the development of regional networks in order to ensure
the cooperation between education institutions and health centers which aim to do
research and offer services based on genetic information.

The most active European networks in genetic counselling, open towards
collaboration with our country, are EuroGenTest Network of Excellence
(www.eurogentest.org) and Central & Eastern European Genetic Network
(www.ceegn.org). Their coordinators will be present for the workshop. These
networks provide access to important data bases covering data on the distribution of
genetic diseases at the European level, information regarding genetic testing
possibilities in Europe, access to genetic counselling training centers and
informational materials covering educational, ethical and political aspects of genetic

The representatives of the Romanian school of Psychology and Psychotherapy from
Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest will offer a general image of their openings for genetic
counselling integration in the programmes developed by the institutions responsible
for the psychologists and psychotherapists formation. Together with the human
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genetic specialists and the physicians invited at our meeting, the psychologists will
discuss the possibility of offering proper education and training in the process of
developing the genetic counselling competencies in Romania. Moreover, the
workshop will gather together specialists from the field of obstretics and gynecology,
as well as from the field of in vitro insemination; these fields are more then ever in a
need for integrating genetic counselling services in the process of dealing with genetic

The objectives of the Euro-MentalHealth Workshop are the following:
   1. To establish an interdisciplinary group of interest in the field of genetic
       counseling (psychology, medicine, biology, ethics) aiming to analyze the
       possibility of integrating genetic counseling competencies in the psychological
       clinical practice.
   2. To find the modalities of developing these competencies by the institutions
       that are opened to genetic counseling (a special attention will be offered to the
       Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, BBU).
   3. To establish connections with the international specialists of the two European
       networks of excellence in the field of genetic testing and genetic counseling.
   4. To promote the objectives of the two European networks of excellence
       (EuroGenTest and CEE GN) to help for a better harmonization of the
       standards and practice in the field of genetic testing and GC through the EU

7. Estimated outcomes
Previous exploratory workshop dissemination activities – web page, papers selection and publication
in journals, etc)

    -   Web page of the Euro-MentalHealth workshop
    -   ISI paper on the situation of Genetic Counselling in Romania and the needs
        for implementing the GC competencias in the psychological practice
    -   Informative material for the local newspapers
    -   Establishing of an interdisciplinary group of interest in the area of genetic
        testing and genetic counselling, with openings to further collaboratios in
        research and education.

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