1st Edition

Asian American Identities, Relationships, and Post-Migration Legacies Reflections from Marriage and Family Therapists

Edited By Jessica ChenFeng, Lana Kim Copyright 2025
    224 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Bringing together the personal and professional narratives of Asian American family therapists, this book offers insight into the Asian American experience through systemic theory and frameworks, individual and community stories, and clinical considerations.

    The Asian American experience is still a largely invisible and unknown one, especially in the field of marriage and family therapy. With a contextual lens, this book highlights how understanding family migration legacies and individual generational status relative to time, place, and context is critical to doing meaningful work with Asian Americans. Filled with thought-provoking case studies and reflective questions, chapters discuss the impact of stereotyping on mental health, the historical and present ways that Asian American racialization invisibilizes individual and collective experiences, shame associated with bicultural identity, gender, generational trauma, media representations, and more. Each chapter bridges these ideas to clinical practice while concurrently centering the voices and experiences of Asian American therapists.

    This book is essential reading for marriage and family therapists and other mental health clinicians who want to deepen their understanding of, relationship with, and clinical support for the Asian Americans in their lives, whether friends, colleagues, supervisees, or clients.


    Introduction; Part I: Contextualizing Silence and Invisibility  1. Asian Americans’ Invisibilization and Racialization: Our Transcontextual Journeys  2.Unraveling Asian American Stereotypes: The Model Minority Myth, Honorary Whiteness, and Forever Foreigner  3.Racialized Gender’s Rupturing of Asian American Identities and Relationships  Part II: Resistance, Resilience, and Imagined Possibilities  4.Beyond White Caricatures and Portrayals: Asian American Therapists Shifting the Narrative  5.Surviving Racism Across the Generations: Quiet Fortitude to Active Resistance and Collective Healing  6.Therapy as Activism: Transforming Therapy Spaces and Healing Communities  Part III: Transforming our Inheritance  7. Constructing Shame Resilience as Asian Americans: Face, Race, and Bicultural Identity  8. Relational Ethics at the Heart of Asian American Family Systems  9.The Next Generation: Evolution of Asian American Identity in the Face of the U.S.’s Racial Justice Movement


    Jessica ChenFeng, PhD, LMFT (she/her), daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, is a systemic therapist, consulting with academic, healthcare and church organizations to improve the well-being of people within their communities. Her work centers around social contextual intersections of race, gender, generation, trauma, and spirituality. She is an associate professor of marriage and family therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary.


    Lana Kim, PhD, LMFT (she/her), daughter of immigrants from South Korea, is a systemic therapist, supervisor, and educator with a background in medical family therapy. Her clinical and research focus includes contextual issues in teaching and supervision, relational parenting, sociocultural and socio-emotional attunement in couple therapy, and collaborative care practices. She is an associate professor and the program director for the Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy program at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

    “Editors/authors ChenFeng and Kim have created a gem. It is not a how-to manual. Instead, it is an invitation to reflect upon Asian and Asian American identities, (in)visibility, race, and the contextualization of a highly minoritized and stereotyped people. Authors draw from their own varied experiences as Asian Americans, immigrants, multi-ethnic folks, and marriage and family therapists, while harnessing critical tools of scholarly inquiry. This book meets an urgent need for practitioners and readers to understand historical and recent trauma, shame, resilience while equipping themselves to understand, support, intervene and advocate. I recommend this book most highly to all systemic therapists and trainees.”

    Mudita Rastogi, PhD, LMFT, Clinical Professor and McCormick Tribune Foundation Chair in Family Therapy, MSMFT Program, The Family Institute at Northwestern University


    “This book is a necessary read for any mental health professional. The book educates us about the cultural identity of Asian Americans within a historical, sociopolitical context while delving into the personal stories of marriage and family therapists and providing clinical guidance for working with Asian Americans. More than being an educational text for those unfamiliar with Asian American history, this book seems like home and a safe place for Asian Americans. The authors truly SEE you, all of you.”

     DeAnna Harris-McKoy, PhD, LMFT, Associate Professor/ SMFT Program Director at Northern Illinois University


    “The voices of Asian American therapists provide a rich, nuanced view into the lives of diverse Asian American clients. Visibilizing the diversity of Asian American couples and families benefits all therapists that serve couples and families, regardless of ethnic origins. Learning how diverse values, beliefs, and practices are evidenced across different families can help all providers develop hypotheses about cultural and contextual factors that might be exerting influences on those whom they serve. The ability to witness factors specific to Asian American families is a two-fold gift that the authors in this volume provide: Asian American readers will experience representation and validation; non-Asian American readers will have access and deepen awareness of a host of lived experiences that might otherwise be inaccessible to them. The focus on clinical concepts and skills will be profoundly helpful to those serving Asian American clients.”

    Melanie Domenech-Rodriguez, Ph.D., ABPP, Professor, Utah State University and Editor, Family Process