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Pattern, one of the most fundamental concepts in theories of family systems, implies an ordered sequence or connection of events. It refers to a functional entity whose parts can be differentiated from one another. Its meaning overlaps with that of other concepts such as structure and gestalt. In the concept of "pattern," the psychology of perception, system/systems theory, gestalt theory, and field theory meet on common ground.

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)