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)
These terms refer too the ability of systems to change their structures under conditions of changes in the environment, usually achieving a higher level of complexity in the process and thereby potentiating their chances of survival. Structural changes in this order both maintain the stability of the system and provide the impetus for the development of more complex organizational forms (coevolution). The concept of self-organization is usually used as a generic term that includes the concepts of self-repairing systems, learning systems, and self-reproducing systems. Such systems include living organisms as well as families, social groups, and societies. The essential aspects of this self-organization is a striving for balance in a constantly changing environment; but this is only possible if the system constantly remains able to create the elements that constitute it.