Systems psychology relates to other areas of psychology, namely theoretical psychology and applied psychology. Systems psychology is a type of psychology that has to do with human behavior and experiences. It takes a look at people and how they act or behave in different situations or throughout life.
Systems theory looks at a holistic view of the human condition. Family systems theory also looks at more than just human beings and other living creatures, artificial and natural occurrences, and even non-living things. In general, it looks at anything and everything that we have or interact with within our lives. The idea behind this is that we can better understand those things by breaking things down into specific concepts and aspects. The theory is that we can’t look at something as a whole or as a large, global perspective, but instead as the most basic and simplistic of the concepts within that thing.
Where Systems Psychology Originates
So far as we know, systems psychology started with biologists and biological sciences. That’s because one of the primary aspects of the therapy is viewing someone or something in their ecosystem and understanding the different pieces that all interact together. This is where it all started when it referred to biology. When applying it to psychology, however, most of the ideas and concepts have been carried over. However, they’re being used to attempt to understand different behavioral patterns and even explain why those patterns occur.
Different Types Of Systems Psychologies
In reality, there are several different types of systems psychology out there because each different ‘system’ is considered to be a different branch of this overarching subject. These different systems include applied, cognitive, concrete, contract, family, and organismic systems psychologies. Each is important to the overall system, which is the human being who is experiencing it.
How Systems Psychology Is Used
So, other than research, what can systems psychology be used for? Historically, systems psychology has been used to view and attempt to find solutions to several different health disorders and mental health conditions. These include anxiety, body image disorders, eating disorders, depression, substance abuse disorders, and relationship problems. By using systems psychology, it’s possible to understand the individual better and better understand what it will take to help them achieve their level of resolution. The idea is that this approach focuses on communication and dialogue and creating positive relationships and an ideal level of wellbeing at the same time.
What this type of therapy doesn’t do is look at the past. As a result, it can have some drawbacks in some treatment areas where the mental health professional may not get the entire picture. The reason for this is that the past can sometimes impact who we are and who we become. By skipping over this part in evaluating a patient, a professional may miss a very important part of the equation or a reason for the type of behavior or mental health condition that the patient has.
Getting The Help You Need
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the systems theory in psychology?
Systems theory finds its roots in the biological sciences, where living systems are categorized by a group of parts that interact to form a coherent whole. Living systems have distinct boundaries that separate them from external elements and distinguishing between factors that impact the open system and outputs created by the systems control. The postulating theory complex systems control, meaning that each part of a system impacts something else within the system. The biological theory, systems theory makes it appear possible to predict what might happen when a system experiences a known change. This biological theory, systems theory, has been applied to the field of applied psychology.
In psychology theory, systems theory views individuals as seeking homeostasis within their system. To achieve this, the expectations, desires, and behaviors of each individual within the system must be considered. The principles of systems psychology are often cited in the study of cognitive systems theory, organizational psychology, organismic systems, contract-systems psychology, and family systems therapy. In the late 1960s, Dr. Murray Brown applied this systems model to the family system and created family systems therapy. When looking at systems theory through the lens of the family system, Dr. Bowen stated that that the family system is an emotional unit and assumes that individuals cannot be understood in isolation. Rather, for family systems therapy to work, each individual is seen as contributing to the functioning of the family.
The efficacy of family systems therapy has led to applications outside of solely looking at families. Utilizing systems theory outside of family systems therapy has allowed psychologists to look at how systems control and influence other areas of life. Looking at dynamical systems has allowed psychologists to apply this concept to address anxiety, body image issues, eating disorders, depression, substance abuse, and relationship issues.
What is a systems theory approach?
A systems theory approach looks at how various systems relate to one another within a larger, more complex system. When looking at an issue or a situation holistically, certain characteristics cannot be easily explained when looking at just one piece of the situation; rather, everything impacting the situation must be explored.
In family systems therapy, when issues arise, the entire family unit is looked at instead of focusing on one individual and the various issues that the individual may be struggling with. In family systems therapy, communication, behavior, and familial relationships are examined within and beyond the therapy session.
In organizational psychology or work, psychology looks at the workplace and various issues that arise within it. Looking at systems theory related to organizational psychology, characteristics of organizational behavior such as individual needs, rewards, expectations, and individuals interacting with the organization, are all considered to determine where the breakdown is within the system and how to create change. As it relates to organizational psychology, systems theory looks at how individuals and various organizational mechanisms work together to influence the larger system.
The idea behind a systems theory approach is to look at the larger system and its impact on individuals and vice versa instead of looking at an individual and their issues in a vacuum.
What is an example of systems theory?
An easy example of systems theory is baking. If you had never baked a cake before and walked into a kitchen and saw eggs, flour, sugar, oil, and all of the other ingredients on the counter and were told that together these make a cake, you might be puzzled. Your confusion stems from the fact that no single ingredient can produce a baked cake on its own. Now imagine that you have a baked cake in front of you, you taste it, it’s sweet, so you know there must be sugar in there and you reason that there is likely flour in there too. You wouldn’t be able to bake a cake based on your knowledge that sugar and flour are used; rather, you would need to consider and learn about the rest of the ingredients and how they are combined to make the final product. The point of systems theory is that you cannot just consider anything in isolation; rather, you must consider how all pieces influence each other.
What are the four elements of a system under the system theory?
In systems theory, every system is bounded by space and time, influenced by its environment, defined by its structure and purpose, and expressed through its functioning.
Who invented systems theory?
Systems theory is rooted in the biological sciences, as some of the founders of systems science theory’s core concepts are biologists – Ludwig Bertalanffy and Humberto Maturana. One of the main views of the systems science approach is that an individual or group is influenced by many moving parts that impact one another. The systems science theory approach principles have been applied to psychology to explain and explore behavioral patterns. Applying systems science to what is now systems theory in applied psychology was spearheaded by several individuals with a rich psychology history, including Gregory Bateson, Murray Bowen, W. Ross Ashby, and Margaret Mead. Dr. Murray Bowen applied systems theory to the family unit and developed family systems theory and proxy, family systems therapy. Family systems therapy looks at how individual family members impact the larger family unit.