From the Satir Model to the I Tao: Reconstructing Family Rules in a Hong Kong Cultural Context

Grace Y.K. Cheung


Being a therapist trained in the Satir Model and a Chinese born and educated in Hong Kong, the researcher tried to execute this study drawing on both conceptual resources of the Satir Model and Chinese cultural traditions that go back in recorded history to more than two thousand years. Data for the study was specifically drawn from two four-day Personal Growth Workshops in Hong Kong attended by a total of 53 (42 female and 11 male) ethnic Chinese secondary school teachers. Participants were found to employ strategies to assert their individual needs without leaving the collectivist framework. Elements of a new framework based on the I Tao (as found in the classical Chinese I Ching) were identified and found to be useful to explain personal growth and reconstruction of family rules within the Chinese hierarchical collectivist culture. Use was made of the “guas” of the I Ching to describe change as experienced by the participants. Finally, suggestions are proposed for an effective use of the Satir Model within the Hong Kong cultural context and within an I Tao framework in four major counseling situations.

This article first appeared in Satir Journal, Vol. I, no.1, 2006, and is with permission of the author.

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