Family therapy is practised today in a wide variety of social settings and, despite the diversity of ideas and approaches in current practice, is firmly based on the concept that an individual’s problems can be helped by treating the entire family as a unit. In doing so, the family therapist will generally reinforce what is considered to be competent family functioning and discourage patterns of behaviour that are dysfunctional. The therapist may, however, assess a patient using norms that stem from the Western European cultural matrix, and needs to recognise that the definition of a family is itself a cultural construction. Although the literature relating to cultural aspects of family therapy is sparse (see Lau, 1984), most authors emphasise the importance of clarifying the cultural assumptions on which therapeutic strategies are based (Kinzie et al., 1972).