ABSTRACT

This article proposes that the Gestalt approach can be applied when working with a societal perspective, and that this requires a different approach to systems. It introduces the concept of systems as self-sustaining entities evolving out of specific societal contexts. Each system has its unique energy, which emerges as a response to the complexity of the respective environment. The general metaphors of “organism” and “levels of systems” in current Gestalt parlance are deemed inadequate to deal with the complexity of societal systems. The intention is to make working with, and especially beyond, organizations better theoretically founded for Gestalt practitioners. The article is based on the work of the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann, a giant in systems theory. His approach is widely compliant with Gestalt concepts and offers a substantial shift regarding Systems (the first capital letter form is meant to distinguish Luhmann’s usage from common understanding and indicate a specialized terminology).

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