Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 420–436 | Cite as

Family Therapy in China

  • Linyuan Deng
  • Xiuyun Lin
  • Jing Lan
  • Xiaoyi Fang
Original Paper


This paper aims to provide an overview of the family therapy in mainland China, by analyzing its development, current situation and future directions. The authors argue that the history of family therapy can be understood as three stages: introductory stage from 1985 to 1994, “blossoming” stage from 1995 to 2004, and “fast growing” stage from 2005 to present. In every stage, we can see clear differences in each of the following fields: training (including training programs in universities and workshops held by companies or institutes), academics (including research articles, professional books and conferences), and general public environment (including media and policies). We also outline the development of China’s first university system family therapy training program as an example and evidence of family therapy’s significant present and future development in mainland China. Based on this, we highlight some points for future improvement in family therapy in mainland China, including developing indigenous theories and practice models, reinforcing training and research programs in university systems, and improving accreditation standard for all family therapists.


Family therapy Mainland China Training Development 



We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to Chen Wenrui (anthropology in New York University), for her help and effort in this article’s language editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linyuan Deng
    • 1
  • Xiuyun Lin
    • 2
  • Jing Lan
    • 2
  • Xiaoyi Fang
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of Developmental PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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