Dr. Zhao has made longstanding contributions to the development of cultural psychiatry, psychotherapy and clinical psychosomatic medicine in China. As the first student in a master’s degree majoring in cultural psychiatry in China, he completed a research project and wrote his thesis on stressful life events in the Yi Nationality in 1988. Together with his colleagues, he set up the first open psychiatric ward in a general hospital in 1988. In 1993, he received his doctorate with a dissertation entitled. “Introducing systemic family therapy into China as a cultural project.” After he returned from Germany to China in 1993, he established the first psychotherapy center in China in 1994. He has been involved in professional work to promote the birth and implementation of the Mental Health Law of P.R. China, including drafting relevant national administrative regulations.
In 1997, the Sino-German cooperation project, for which he had served as Chinese coordinator, received the 2008 International Sigmund Freud Award for Psychotherapy due to its contribution to successfully introducing Western psychotherapy into China. He has received many awards from academic organizations and authorities for achievements in research, clinical care and teaching in mental health.
Currently, he is interested in enhancing the integration of humanities and psychiatry in order to prevent future psychiatry in China from becoming a one-sided bio-psychiatry.