Systemic Psychology: What Is This Approach About?

Systemic psychology emphasizes the properties of the whole that result from the interaction of various systemic elements. In other words, the most important object of study for this approach is the interaction between people.
Systemic Psychology: What Is This Approach About?

Systemic psychology emphasizes the occurrence of relationships and communication in groups. She also analyzes the relationships and the components that result from them. This doctrine looks at individuals in a way that connects individuals to one another in different collectives.

These collectives are called “systems” by the experts. Thus, each group or collective people relates to a different system. This is true regardless of whether it is a family, work environment, romantic group, or any other type.

  • Couples
  • Work teams
  • Familys
  • Individuals 
Family members react to the same event in different ways

Multi-causal origin

Systemic psychologists see things from a circular and multi-causal perspective. Therefore, the field cannot create linear marks where events have only a single cause. On the contrary, there are several determining causal factors.

Every action and reaction changes continuously depending on the nature of the context. For example, family members can react to the same event in different ways. This can change the final situation, which turns out to be a combination of all the different reactions.

In this sense, Paul Watzlawick was a pioneer who distinguished this circular causality from events in order to explain possible repetitive patterns in interactions between people. A circular view of problems is specifically characterized by how an individual can influence actions and how the actions of others affect the individual.

Paul Watzlawick was an Austrian communication scientist, psychotherapist, philosopher and author

Communication is a key factor

As mentioned above, Watzlawick was one of the greatest proponents of systemic psychology. He became a major player in the field when he introduced his communication theory. Experts consider this to be a key factor in the therapeutic process. For systemic therapy, communication is an important topic that needs to be studied and worked on.

Every system has certain rules that the systems therapist needs to get to know. Because only in this way can they work against it if they are not appropriate. The way we communicate determines whether a problem persists or becomes less intense.

In summary, systemic psychology offers a different perspective on problems and difficulties. Within this perspective, relationships are more important than individuals as the focus of therapy. Different studies have given way to different branches and teachings within systemic therapy.

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