2001.第8卷第2期(Vol. 8 No. 2).pp. 153–174


Cultural and Family Therapy in Taiwan

陳秉華、游淑瑜(Ping-Hwa CHEN & Shu-Yu YO)




This article aims to provide an overview of the characteristics of the Chinese family, and to analyze the cultural themes that emerged when Taiwanese family therapy professionals learned and practiced Western family therapy. The article is divided into three parts. First, it reviews the traditional Chinese family characteristics in Taiwan, including familism, hierarchical and patriarchic family structure, gender roles in marriage and family, filial piety, parenting behavior, the emphasis on familial harmony and the avoidance of family conflicts, and face-saving. Second, it gives an analysis of the merits and disadvantages in the development of contemporary Chinese/Taiwanese families which are under the influence of modernization and Westernization on the one hand but still embrace and practice Chinese cultural and familial traditions on the other. Third, it discusses the cultural themes from the viewpoints of Taiwanese family therapy professions. These themes include: coping with family conflicts and expressing the true self; self-differentiation in connected family; reorganization of family structure and strengthening the functions and boundary of family subsystems; equalization of power in spousal relationship; and change of perception of troubled families.