OUR Transformation


The HKU Family Institute (HKUFI) was established in the community as part of an off-campus program of The University of Hong Kong (HKU). It was a joint venture between five HKU departments including social work, psychiatry, family medicine, and psychiatry to enhance clinical training, practice, and research to meet the community’s increasing demand for high quality family intervention. The HKUFI offered the first Master’s degree in Family Therapy in Asia, with over 180 graduates who now hold high positions in teaching and practice; some became our faculty members. 






The Academy of Family Therapy was established after the HKUFI moved out of the academy setting at the University and became an independent organization registered as a charitable and non-profit organization. It was registered as a charitable and non-profit organization. Its work extended to work with the community, involving professionals of multi-disciplinary backgrounds such as psychiatry, family medicine, pediatrics, social work, psychology, nursing, and other professionals interested in working with families. 






The Academy of Family Therapy officially changed its name to the ASIAN ACADEMY OF FAMILY THERAPY to reflect the interest of family therapists in the Asian region. A cross-regional study comparing how couples negotiate their differences among five regions including Japan, Korea, Shanghai, Taiwan, and Hong Kong that was published in the Family Process (Lee et al., 2013[1]) set the groundwork for the different regions to work together.  


AAFT currently has a presidential committee that consists of one President and four Vice-Presidents from five Asian regions, with members from all over Asia. One of its major tasks is to offer licensure to Asian family therapists. Five annual conferences had been held in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Taiwan, and Singapore. AAFT was listed as a prominent organization in the Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy (Tamura, Lee, & Cheng, 2017[2]).

[1] Lee, W. Y., Nakamura, S. I., Chung, M. J., Chun, Y. J., Liang, S. C., Meng, F., & Liu, C. L. (2013). Asian couples in negotiation: A mixed method analysis of cultural variations among couples from five Asian regions. Family Process, 52(3), 499-518.

[2] Tamura T., Lee W.Y., Cheng V. (2017). Asian Academy of Family Therapy. In: Lebow J., Chambers A., Breunlin D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer, Cham