Games in Clinical Genetic Counseling Supervision

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Games are defined as ongoing series of complementary ulterior transactions that are superficially plausible but have a concealed motivation to maximize pay-offs and minimize penalties for the initiator. While some games are harmless and part of socialization, others are destructive. Destructive game-playing in clinical supervision, in which game-playing (initiated by either supervisors or students) interferes with a student's realization of internship goals, has been documented in some allied healthcare professions but has not yet been studied in genetic counseling. Genetic counselors and clinical supervisors of genetic counseling students were anonymously surveyed regarding their experiences with destructive game-playing. Results show that such games do occur in genetic counseling clinical supervision. Some games are the same or similar to ones previously described in other health-care professions; others may be unique to genetic counseling. The purpose of this paper is to document these games as a first step to facilitating dialogue, understanding and awareness of them.

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