Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 12–20 | Cite as

Family Therapy in Chinese Culture and Context: Lessons from Supervising Therapists-in-Training in China

  • Karen Mui-Teng Quek
  • Hao-Min Chen
Original Paper


Systemic family therapy as an essential paradigm for treating couples and families has gone global since its initial rise to popularity. According to researchers, China has signaled a strong desire for training in systemic family therapy. Even though this mode of mental health service is a foreign import to China, the surge in interest for Western psychotherapy for individuals and families grows by leaps and bounds. However there has been evolving conversations about the transportability of systemic family therapy from the West to the East. Using a qualitative focus group format, this study explored the experiences of sixteen Chinese couple and family therapists on their perspectives in adapting systemic family therapy concepts to the local Chinese context. Results reveal the interplay between the systems of the changing Chinese family structure and of the application of family therapy models that originated from the West must work harmoniously in order to enhance the goodness of the familial system within the evolving Chinese society in the 21st century.


Family therapy Collectivism Chinese Self-identity Focus groups Qualitative 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Bethel SeminaryBethel UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Couple and Family TherapyAlliant International UniversityIrvineUSA

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