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Cybernetics is a construct that is the basis for many theories of relational interaction in family therapy. It is often credited to the mathematician Norbert Wiener (1894–1964), and originally referred to an understanding of how machines maintained their functioning. Gregory Bateson, an anthropologist involved with the development of family therapy, was one of the first to apply cybernetics to family interactions (family systems). Cybernetics refers to ways that systems are organized and maintained through circular feedback (the output of a system becomes information to the system and influences the functioning of the system). It most often is associated with traditional, first-order models of family therapy, such as Bowen, structural, strategic, Mental Health Research Institute (MRI), and others, which are focused on observable patterns of interaction ...

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