Wai-yung Lee

Associate Professor and Founding Director of the HKU Family Institute

Wai-yung Lee, Ph.D., an AAMFT approved supervisor, is the associate professor and founding director of the Hong Kong University Family Institute, as well as faculty member of the Minuchin Center for the Family in New York, USA.

After working in the US for many years, Dr. Lee has, in the past decade, expanded her work on Asian Chinese families to areas such as Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Much of her 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.

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.

Important Appointments

  • Advisory Editorial Board, Family Process
  • Committee Member, Hong Kong Family Council, HKSAR
  • 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
  • Chairperson, Research and Training Committee, Consortium of Institutes on Family in Asian Region
  • Accreditation Panel Member, Psychotherapy Trainer Accreditation Subcommittee, Hospital Authority Hong Kong

Recent Publications:


  • 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
  • Lee, W. Y. (2001). Untying family knots (2nd ed.). Hong Kong SAR: Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong SAR Government.
  • Lee, W. Y. (2000). A challenge to the concept of empowerment. Research in Applied Psychology, 6, 41-44
  • Lee, W. Y. (1999). Where east meets west. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 10(4), 77-80


  • Minuchin, S., Nichols, M. P. and Lee, W. Y. (2007). Assessing families and couples—From symptom to system. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Lee, W. Y. (2008).  Hong Kong SAR: Hong Kong University Press.
  • 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.)
  • Lee, W.Y. (2004). £. Crown Publishing (H.K.) Ltd.
  • Lee, W. Y. (2004). Dancing with the family: Case studies (five volumes).Crown Publishing (H.K.) Ltd.
  • 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.
  • Minuchin, S., Lee, W.Y., and Simon, G.M. (1996). Mastering family therapy - Journeys of growth and transformation (1st ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keynotes & Plenary Speeches

  • “Children’s Response to Parental Conflicts”. Families in Asia: Challenges and Opportunities; Inauguration cum Inaugural Symposium; Consortium of Institutes on Family in the Asian Region (CIFA). Hong Kong SAR (2008)
  • “All Families are Different, All Families are Alike — The family in the context of Asian continent”. The World Family Conference. Prague, Czech Republic (2007)
  • “Marriage and Sex”. Conference on Strengthening Hong Kong Families—Awareness, Commitment and Action. Hong Kong SAR (2006)
  • “Chinese Couples in Conflict”. International Conference on Couples. Hong Kong (2005)
  • “Clinical Consultations” in the Annual Meeting of the American Family Therapy Academy, Building Bridges: The Challenges of Connecting. San Francisco, U.S.A. (2004)
  • “Keeping the Pulse on Families”. Regional Family Policy Forum, Families in Region: Issues, Policies, Initiatives. Singapore (2004)
  • “Seeing Children & Adolescent in the Context of the Family”. First Asia-Pacific Regional Adolescent Health Congress. Hong Kong SAR (2004)
  • “Family Studies on the Mental Handicapped”. Symposium on “New Initiatives – Services for Persons with Mental Handicap in Chinese Communities”. Hong Kong SAR (2003)
  • “Working with Trans-generational Families – Turning High Stress into New Strength”. Taiwan Mental Health and Psychotherapy Conference. Taiwan (2003)
  • “Patient Care in the Context of Asian Families”. 16th World Congress of Family Doctors (WONCA Congress). Durban, Africa (2001)
  • “Three Depressed Families in Transitional Beijing”. Innovative Counseling for Families; The Hong Kong Professional Counseling Association Biannual International Conference. Hong Kong SAR (2001)
  • “It is More Complex than that”. Co-presenters: Salvador Minuchin, M.D. & George Simon, M.S. The Marvel of Human Complexity. New Horizons in Systems Practice Family Therapy. New Worker\\\'s Symposium, Washington, U.S.A. (1997)

International Training Projects

  • “3-year Training for Psychiatrists and Physicians on Family Therapy.” Sponsored by the Institute of Mental Health, Beijing University, Beijing, P.R. China and The Minuchin Foundation on Family Therapy, Hong Kong. (2001-2004)
  • “3-year Training on Family Therapy.” Sponsored by the Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai, P. R. China. (2005-2008)
  • “Summer Intensive Course.” The Minuchin Center for the Family, New York, U.S.A. (2000 to present)
  • “3-year Training for Family Therapists in Taiwan.” Sponsored by the Shiuh-Li Liuh Memorial Foundation, Taiwan (2000-2003).
  • “3-year Teleconferencing Training on Family Therapy.” Sponsored by the Taiwan Institute of Psychotherapy. (2005-2008)