Rediscovery of the "Self: Culturally sensitive intervention for Chinese divorced women

Cecilia Lai Wan Chan*, Suet Lin Hung, Winnie Wai Ming Kung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter examines the stress Chinese women experience from being divorced, and discusses the development of empowerment workshops to enable them to recover from the trauma of divorce. The married Chinese woman's sense of self derives from her roles as wife, mother and daughter-in-law. This sense of self is shattered when her role as wife is dissolved through divorce. Empowerment workshops, based on holistic health concepts borrowed from traditional Chinese medicine, promote the re-establishment of the sense of self through rediscovering and reformulating the meaning of life. Adopting an integrated body-mind-spirit approach, the workshops consisted of interventions that facilitate the participants' struggles through their many losses, to let go of anger and shame. This frees their energy and their strengths to find balance and harmony to move forward in life. These workshops were conducted in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Singapore. Pre- and post-tests indicate they were effective in reducing the participants' stress symptoms, in enhancing their positive sense of self and their perspective of the meaning of life, as well as in promoting active coping and increased energy levels.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarriage, Divorce, and Remarriage
Subtitle of host publicationProfessional Practice in the Hong Kong Cultural Context
PublisherHong Kong University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9789882202214
ISBN (Print)9622097413, 9789622097414
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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