There are two untested cultural beliefs commonly held among family therapists in Hong Kong: (1) Chinese families are reserved in disclosing their conflicts to an ‘outsider’; and (2) it would be culturally inappropriate to elicit family conflicts in treatment. In this article, an attempt is made to examine these cultural beliefs based on the results of a qualitative study of thirty-five Chinese patients suffering from anorexia nervosa. These patients and their families have participated in a pre-treatment family interview prior to the commencement of family treatment. The results of the study have shown that the afflicted Chinese families are very willing to disclose their difficulties to the researcher. The onset of the disorder has led to different types of family conflicts including: (1) overt family conflicts related to food refusal; (2) covert family conflicts; (3) increased sibling rivalry; (4) increased parent–child conflict; and (5) marital tension and distress. The clinical implications of this study are discussed at the end of the article.