by Lindsey Hoskins, Ph.D., L.C.M.F.T., and June A. Peters, M.S., C.G.C.
Postdoctoral fellow Lindsey Hoskins, Ph.D., L.C.M.F.T., of the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB), has been approved as the first credentialed marriage and family therapist (MFT) at the NIH Clinical Center. Clinical credentialing allows for independent practice within one’s scope of expertise. Before Dr. Hoskins’ appointment, no path to credentialing existed for MFTs at the Clinical Center. Dr. Hoskins worked closely with the NIH Credentialing Services Office to develop an appropriate credentialing path for MFTs, who bring a unique systemic view to the assessment and treatment of individuals, couples, and families facing medical and genetic challenges. MFTs licensed in any state or in Washington, D.C., are now eligible to be credentialed, provided that they have completed their training through an accredited program, hold a license in good standing, and are receiving regular oversight from a MFT licensed at the “supervisor level.”
Dr. Hoskins’ appointment will facilitate her behavioral and psychosocial research portfolio, including her ongoing work with young female BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and with individuals, couples, and families affected by Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS). She currently is conducting the first family-group interview study with parents, children, and spouses who are part of the CGB LFS study. Findings from Dr. Hoskins’ study may yield new insights on how family members at high risk of hereditary cancer syndromes communicate about their risk; make decisions about risk management; create shared meaning from their circumstances; and cope with the ongoing stress of living with cancer risk, diagnoses, and treatments over time.