Applying the Satir Model of Counseling in Mainland China

  • Yang Li Beijing Science and Technology University
  • Vivian Lou Weiqun University of Hong Kong


Counselling services in Mainland China are now beginning to be provided as part of their health care system due to the growing awareness of needs associated with mental health. Furthermore, the need for a higher quality of counseling services has been steadily increasing. The Satir Model has shown tremendous vitality in its acceptance as a treatment modality ever since it was introduced to China in 2003, and given its compatibility with Chinese culture and tradition. Along with this compatibility, it provides therapeutic solutions to mental health problems that are particularly associated with the negative influences of Chinese culture and tradition. Here, the authors analyze several possible negative influences in the culture; such as invalidation of self, high expectation towards self and incongruence when expressing feelings. The authors then illustrate how the Satir Model helps people to recover their wounded selves through this transformational counseling process.

This study is illustrated by an of 20 sessions of counselling experiences in Beijing, China. With its strength-orientation and change-directed therapeutic approach, the Satir Model has shown its effectiveness in helping Chinese people experience higher self-esteem, take more personal responsibility, increase their ability for choice making and for personal congruence.

(First printed in Satir Journal: Transformational Systemic Therapy, Vol. 4, no. 1, 2010, pp. 24-52, by permission of author)