Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

Living Edition
| Editors: Jay Lebow, Anthony Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Maturana, Humberto

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-15877-8_755-1


Humberto Maturana Romesin


Humberto Maturana was born in Chile in 1928. As a child, he was interested in animals and plants and grew up to be a biologist. In his work as a biologist, he raised fundamental philosophical questions that have had far-reaching transformational effect on fields such as psychotherapy, pedagogy, and management design.


Maturana enrolled in University of Chile first studying medicine and then biology. He obtained a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation and studied anatomy and neurophysiology at University College London. In 1958 he received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biology from Harvard University. Maturana received Chile’s National Prize for Natural Sciences. In 2000, he established his own center for reflection and research known as the Instituto de Formacion Matriztica.

Contributions to the Profession

Maturana and his student, Francisco Varela were the first to define the concept of “autopoiesis.” This term greatly...

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Key Citations

  1. Humberto, M. R., & Bernhard, P. (2004). The view of the systemicist: A conversation. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 17(4), 269–279.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10720530490483167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Leyland, M. L. (1988). An introduction to some of the ideas of Humberto Maturana. Journal of Family Therapy, 10(4), 357–374.  https://doi.org/10.1046/j..1988.00323.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Schur, T. J. (2002). Supervision as a disciplined focus on self and not the other: A different systems model. Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal, 24(3), 399–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alliant International UniversityIrvineUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Eli Karam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA