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Xudong ZHAO,MD

Vice President

Xudong Zhao, MD, is currently a professor and Doctorate instructor at Shanghai Tongji University and also the Director of the Division of Medical Humanities. Prof Zhao serves as the president of Pudong New Area Mental Health Center affiliated to Tongji University, and the chief-doctor of the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine in Shanghai East Hospital Affiliated to Tongji University. Due to his diverse experiences in China and Germany, he adopts a multiple-cultural perspective in his teaching, research and clinical practice specialized in family therapy, psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy, cultural psychiatry, psychology and philosophy.


Prof Zhao has made great contributions to the development of psychotherapy, cultural psychiatry, and clinical psychosomatic medicine in China. His team set up the first open psychiatric ward in Chinese general hospitals in 1988. In 1993, he completed his dissertation entitled ‘Introducing systemic family therapy into China as a cultural project’ in Heidelberg University. He was the first Chinese psychiatrist to have obtained a doctorate degree in Germany. After returning to China, he established the first psychotherapy center of China in 1994 and had since then devoted himself to introducing and localizing systemic family therapy in China.


Since 1997, Prof Zhao has been working for the “Chinese-German Advanced Continuous Training Program for Psychotherapy” as one of the project leaders. In the last 20 years, this program has trained about 3000 professionals in family therapy, psychoanalysis, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Hypnosis. To date, it is considered the best training program in China. As a leading expert in systemic family therapy, Prof Zhao had spent hard efforts in promoting family therapy in China and in making it recognized by the medical insurance system in many provinces. He has also been involved in giving birth to China’s first Mental Health Law and promoting its implementation including drafting specific administrative regulations.

Prof Zhao had contributed significantly to the field and he was awarded “National Labor Medal of China” in 2002 and the “International Sigmund Freud Award for Psychotherapy 2008” (Group award) from Vienna, Austria.

  • Vice-chairman of the Chinese Association of Mental Health and president of its Section for Psychotherapy & Psychological Counselling

  • Vice-president of the Psychosomatic Medicine Section of the Chinese Medical Association

  • Vice-president of the World Council of Psychotherapy

  • Executive board member of the Urban Mental Health Section of the World Psychiatric Association. Member of the Transcultural Psychiatry Section

  • Member of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry

  • Shi, J.Y., Yao, Y.H., Zhan, C.Y., Su, N., & Zhao, X.D. (2017). Systemic Therapy for Youth at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis: A Pilot Study. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 8, 211. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2017.00211

  • Hu C.P., Chen, F.Z., & Sun, X.R. (2017). Necessity and feasibility of improving mental health services in China: A systematic qualitative review. International Journal of Health Plan Management. 32(3), 363-371.

  • Simon, F.B., Haass-Wiesegart, M., & Zhao, X.D. (2011). “Zhong De Ban” oder: Wie die Psychotherapie nach China kam – Geschichte und Analyse eines interkulturellen Abenteuers. Carl-Auer Verlag, Heidelberg.

  • Zhao, X.D. (2009). Mental Health in Contemporary China. In Incayawar, M., Bouchard, L., Wintrob, R. (Eds), Psychiatrists and Traditional Healers: Unwitting Partners in Global Mental Health (pp. 135-149). John Wiley & Sons.

  • Zhao, X.D., Ma X.Q., Yao Y.H., Wan C.H., Ng E. (2013). China’s little emperors show signs of success. Science, 339 (6122), 905-906.

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