As an extension of the "whole child" concept,1 the "whole family" concept is the practical application of modern genetic principles as they relate to the diagnoses, prognoses, and management of the child with genetic disease, of his immediate family unit, and of his entire kindred, including the normal and carrier (heterozygote) members.
The clinical geneticist in the modern concept accepts both the challenge to explore the significance of genetic factors in disease and the responsibility to aid families in recognition of the inherent emotional stress implied by this knowledge.2 Insight into the psychodynamics of the family milieu is essential in establishing an atmosphere conducive to alleviating the stresses. This implies a nondirective approach3-5 and is not a substitute for more analytically oriented psychotherapy should there be problems of such magnitude as to warrant it. Our experience demonstrates that delineation of genetic data in correlation with clear definition of
TIPS RL, SMITH GS, LYNCH HT, McNUTT CW. The "Whole Family" Concept in Clinical Genetics. Am J Dis Child. 1964;107(1):67-76. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02080060069010