Open Systems in Family Systems Theory
Name of Concept
Open systems in family systems theory
Open systems are characterized by at least some degree of openness to being impacted by the larger systems in which they are embedded. In general systems theory, open systems engage in an ongoing exchange of matter, energy, and information with the external world (von Bertalanffy 1969). The concept of open systems has been applied specifically to family systems as a means of conceptualizing how the family interacts with outside social systems.
The characteristics of open systems were described by von Bertalanffy and specifically applied to family therapy by Watzlawick, Bavelas, and Jackson (1967), among others. von Bertalanffy postulated that classic laws of thermodynamics applied to closed systems, but not to open systems. As open systems are a fundamental concept of systems theory, all systemic models of family therapy integrate the idea, though some models more...
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