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Recipient of the prestigious 2014 American Family Therapy Academy’s Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy Theory and Practice Award, much of Dr. Lee’s research concentration had been on dispersing the many myths about Asian Chinese families, while developing a framework for a culturally relevant approach in working with not just Chinese families, but also families of the world. Her expertise in research and practice has influenced family workers all over Asia, particularly in Mainland China and Taiwan. Her research on Children’s response to parental conflict has been considered ground-breaking in the international family therapy arena.


In addition to her numerous publications on working with Asian families, Dr. Lee has co-authored three books with Salvador Minuchin, including “Mastering family therapy – Journeys of growth and transformation,” with the first edition translated into eight languages, and the most recent, “Assessing families and couples – From symptom to system,” together with Michael Nichols.

Dr. Lee is also a columnist at the Hong Kong Economic Journal. Her articles could be retrieved here.



  • Advisory Editorial Board, Family Process

  • Senior Faculty Member & Board Member, The Minuchin Center for the Family, New York, U.S.A.

  • Honorary Consultant, Institute of Mental Health, Beijing University, Peking, P.R. China

  • Accreditation Panel Member, Psychotherapy Trainer Accreditation Subcommittee, Hospital Authority Hong Kong

  • Chairperson, Research and Training Committee, Consortium of Institutes on Family in Asian Region (2008 - 2010)

  • Committee Member, Hong Kong Family Council, HKSAR (2008 - 2012)



  • Chow, L.Y., Kam, W.K., Cheng, V., & Lee, W.Y. (2021). The Impact of Unresolved Parental Conflict on Patients with Psychiatric Problems: A Clinical Observation. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 42, 367-376. 

  • Lee, W.Y. (2020). The musings of a family therapist in Asia when COVID-19 struck. Family Process, 59, 1018-1023. doi:10.1111/famp.12577

  • Lee, W.Y. (2019). Working Transgenerationally: A Clinical Discussion on Family Dynamics and Treatment. Journal of Family Therapy, 0, 1–19. doi: 10.1111/1467-6427.12286

  • Lee, W.Y. (2018). Deconstructing Minuchin. Journal of Family Therapy, 40, S128–S130. doi: 10.1111/1467-6427.12209

  • Lee, W.Y. (2017). An Unexplored Subsystem—Young Children as Healers: Dialogue With Sal Minuchin. Journal of Systemic Therapies, 36(4), 35-45. 

  • Colapinto, J. & Lee W.Y. (2017). Complementarity. In: Lebow J., Chambers A., Breunlin D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer, Cham

  • Lee W.Y., Cheng V. (2017). Eastern Philosophy in Couple and Family Therapy. In: Lebow J., Chambers A., Breunlin D. (eds) Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy. Springer, Cham

  • 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

  • Lee, W.Y. (2017). The Shit Painter Grows Up. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 39(2), 238-242. doi: 10.1111/1467-6427.12155

  • 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.

  • Lee, W. Y., Ng, M. L., Cheung, B. K. L., and Yung, J. W. (2010). Capturing children’s response to parental conflict and making use of it. Family Process, 49(1), 43-58.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2009) The singer and the song. Human Systems: The Journal of Therapy, Consultation & Training. 20(3), 298-308.

  • Ng, M. L., Chen, R. Y. L., Lee, W. Y. and Lee, K. W. Y. (2007). Attitude, behavior and psychophysiological responses to gambling in Chinese Macau gambling workers. Proceedings of Inaugural Asian Pacific Problem Gambling Conference 2005—Advances in Problem Gambling Theory, Service and Research in the Asia- Pacific Region, 124-136.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2004). Three “depressed families” in transitional Beijing. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 15(4), 57-71

  • Lee, W. Y. (2002). One therapist, four cultures: Working with families in Greater China. Journal of Family Therapy, 24, 258-275

  • Lee, W. Y. (2002). The impact of live demonstration under the Beijing sky: The sharing of a teaching experience in China. Asian Journal of Counseling, 8(2), 1-27


  • Minuchin, S., Nichols, M. P. and Lee, W. Y. (2007). Assessing families and couples—From symptom to system. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

  • Minuchin, S., Lee, W. Y. and Simon, G. M. (2006). Mastering family therapy – Journeys of growth and transformation. (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons. (The first edition has been translated into German, Swedish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, and Japanese.)

      Chinese Books

  • Lee, W. Y. (2019). 孩子不離家. Taiwan: Living Psychology Publishers. Click here to purchase.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2019). 婚癌. Taiwan: Living Psychology Publishers. Click here to purchase.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2012). My work as a family therapist (我的家庭治療工作).  Taiwan: Living Psychology Publishers.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2011). The story begins at home (故事從家開始). Crown Publishing (H.K.) Ltd. 

  • Lee, W.Y. (2011). The family is an intricate network (家有千絲萬縷).Taiwan: Living Psychology Publishers.

  • Lee, W.Y. (2010). Family in trouble (家庭生病了). Crown Publishing (H.K.) Ltd.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2010). The healing of families (為家庭療傷). Tai Yuan: Hope Publishing House. 

  • Lee, W. Y. (2008). Under the same sky—A blueprint for working with the developmentally challenged and their families. (同樣的天空: 智障服務及家庭工作的新藍圖.). Hong Kong SAR: Hong Kong University Press.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2004). Dancing with the family: Case studies (four volumes). Taiwan: Living Psychology Publishers.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2004). Family stories (two volumes). Beijing: Peking Publisher.

  • Lee, W. Y. (2001). Untying family knots (2nd ed.). Hong Kong SAR: Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong SAR Government. 

Wai Yung Lee, Ph.D.
AAFT Founding President

Wai Yung Lee, Ph.D., is Founding President of AAFT, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Associate Professor and Founding Director of the HKU Family Institute, and Faculty Member of the Minuchin Center for the Family in New York, USA.

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