Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 193–199

A Profile of Chinese Family Therapists

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10591-014-9299-1

Cite this article as:
Sze, Y.T., Hou, J. & Fang, X. Contemp Fam Ther (2014) 36: 193. doi:10.1007/s10591-014-9299-1


It is helpful for professional organizations, policy makers and regulators, third-party payers, and clients to have access to empirical data about family therapists and the practice of family therapy. Nevertheless, there is no such data available in China. This study attempts to fill this gap by profiling Chinese family therapists. A questionnaire was designed and delivered to family therapists and trainees. A total of 117 questionnaires were collected and analyzed. The findings show that the majority of Chinese family therapists are female, in the age range of 31–40 years, hold master’s degrees, and attend continuous training programs that last 20–40 days over 2–3 years and short-term workshops for family therapy training. They are mainly motivated by the need for personal growth in their career choice. Most of them work in the institutional setting. They have worked in the counseling field for 6.6 years on average, and they have practiced family therapy for an average of 3.4 years. They perform counseling for 9.2 h per week, and 4 h involve working with families. They received an average of 30.6 h of family therapy supervision in the past year. They mainly see individuals and families with adolescents, and their approach is eclectic. This paper compares the findings in China with findings from North America, discusses possible reasons for differences in the findings, and provides suggestions for future development and studies of family therapy in China.


ChinaFamily therapistPractice patternTrainingSupervision

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Developmental PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyAnhui UniversityHefeiPeople’s Republic of China