Psychotherapy with the Chinese: an update of the work in the last decade

Wai-Sum Liu and Patrick W.-L. Leung

in Oxford Handbook of Chinese Psychology

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199541850
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Psychotherapy with the Chinese: an update of the work in the last decade

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  • Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology



Culture matters in psychotherapy as it infuses itself into different human experiences and into the experience of distress and the coping processes it initiates. It has long been recognized that every therapeutic encounter is embedded in a cultural context and that effective coping, to some extent, serves a sociocultural purpose. In fact, culture-centered intervention is now regarded as a fourth force in psychotherapy, on par with psychodynamic, humanistic, and cognitive behavioural schools of thought and practice. This article starts with a review of indigenous therapies and Western psychotherapy methods in the Chinese cultural context. Both practitioners and researchers are interested in how Western therapy is being applied and can best be applied to the Chinese. It also examines the psychopathological Western theories and looks into how Eastern philosophy has recently been integrated into some variants of Western therapy to form new treatment methods.

Keywords: psychotherapy; coping process; culture-centered intervention; Western therapy; indigenous healing method

Article.  15601 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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