The word recursive is defined as relating to or constituting a pattern that can repeat itself indefinitely. In family therapy, recursiveness is a concept where relationships are viewed as interactions of communication placed into the context of each affecting and being affected by the other. This concept helps in understanding how people act in identifiable patterns that help families have stability and in understanding the mutual influence (circular causality) family members have on each other. At the same time, families can become stuck because of these recursive patterns. Recursiveness was first discussed in other fields of study, including mathematics and cybernetics, and then applied in family therapy to aid in understanding how parts of the family system are interdependent and the family system as ...

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