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Ecology [Greek oikos, home, settlement, village] is the science or conceptualization that attempts to investigate and describe the reciprocal relationship between an organism and its environment. The fundamental tenet of ecology is that a survival unit never consists of an individual organism or species in a static environment, but, rather, that it is an ecological system, an entirety of all organisms in reciprocal relationships with one another and with their natural environment. Ecological systems develop according to the principles of coevolution. Family therapy is ecological in that its intervention strategies attempt to modify the reciprocal relations between the individual and systems that are essential for the individual's survival (family, school, peer group, neighborhood, etc.).

Definition extracted with permission from Simon, Fritz, et al, Family Process, Inc.: Language of Family Therapy: A Systemic Vocabulary and Source Book (Family Process Press Series)