Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Asian Americans in Couple and Family Therapy

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_426-1


The topic of working with Asian American families and couples in psychotherapy is quite complex, and it is difficult to summarize in a very brief article. However, it is possible to discuss a few principles that might serve as a guide to such work. First, it is important to keep in mind that the term “Asian American” is very broad and can include many different people from many different countries, such as China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, India, etc. The rationale for such a term rests on the assumption that many of these nationalities share similar cultural patterns. This is true despite the diversity in language and other major differences, such as having different histories in the USA and living in different communities, for example. The general recommendation when working with any ethnic or cultural group is to “never assume” the client fits perfectly within expected norms or common cultural patterns or set of beliefs. The therapist should always carefully explore the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access


  1. Brenner, A. D., & Kim, S. Y. (2009). Experiences of discrimination among Chinese American adolescents and the consequences for socioemotional and academic development. Developmental Psychology, 45, 1682–1694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chen, P. H. (2009). A counseling model for self-relation coordination for Chinese clients with interpersonal conflicts. Counseling Psychologist, 37, 987–1009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen, S. W. H., & Davenport, D. S. (2005). Cognitive-behavioral therapy with Chinese American clients: Cautions and modifications. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 42, 101–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kitano, H. H. L., & Maki, M. T. (1996). Continuity, change, and diversity: Counseling Asian Americans. In P. B. Pedersen, J. G. Dragun, W. J. Lonner, & J. E. Trimble (Eds.), Counseling across cultures (4th ed., pp. 124–145). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Meyer, O., Zane, N., & Cho, Y. I. (2011). Understanding the psychological processes of racial match effect in Asian Americans. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58, 335–345.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Noh, S., Beiser, M., Kaspar, B., Hou, F., & Rummens, J. (1999). Perceived racial discrimination, depression, and coping: A study of Southeast Asian refugees in Canada. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 40, 193–207.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Soo-Hoo, T. (1998). Applying frame of reference and reframing techniques to improve school consultation in multicultural settings. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 9(4), 325–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Soo-Hoo, T. (1999). Brief strategic family therapy with Chinese Americans. American Journal of Family Therapy, 27, 163–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Soo-Hoo, T. (2005a). Working within the cultural context of Chinese American families. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 16(4), 45.Google Scholar
  10. Soo-Hoo, T. (2005b). Transforming power struggles through shifts in perception in marital therapy. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 15(3), 19–38.Google Scholar
  11. Sue, D. W., & Kirk, B. A. (1975). Asian American: Use of counseling and psychiatric services on a college campus. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 22, 84–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2013). Counseling the culturally different: Theory and practice (6th ed.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  13. Sue, D. W., Bucceri, J., Lin, A. I., Nadal, K. L., & Torino, G. C. (2009). Racial microaggressions and the Asian American experience. Asian American Journal of Psychology, S(1), 88–101. doi:10.1037/1948-1985.S.1.88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wang, S., & Kim, B. S. K. (2010). Therapist multicultural competence, Asian American participants’ cultural values, and counseling process. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 57, 394–401.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State University East BayHaywardUSA