Asian Journal of Counselling


2000.第7卷第2期(Vol. 7 No. 2).pp. 85–104


Conceptions of an Ideal Family in Confucian Thoughts: Implications for Individual and Family Counseling

石丹理、賴敏飛(Daniel T. L. SHEK & Man-Fei LAI)




This paper attempts to examine the conceptions of an ideal family in Confucian thoughts. Based on an extensive review of the literature, several characteristics of an ideal family in Confucian thoughts are identified. These include (1) "fu ci zi xiao, xiong you di gong, fu chi her shuen" (the father is affectionate and the son is dutiful, the elder brother is friendly and the younger brother shows respect, the husband-wife relationship is smooth and harmonious), (2) harmonious relationships among family members and avoidance of conflict, (3) avoidance of expression of feelings, particularly those negative ones, (4) mutual forbearance and tolerance, and (5) good order and management of the family. The implications of traditional Confucian thoughts of an ideal family on contemporary counseling, particularly family counseling, are discussed.