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self-reference

This refers to the possibility of making statements, by means of language or other sign systems, that refer back to the statement being made or to the maker of the statement. Processes and structures that "work back" upon themselves are in general considered to be self-referent. This applies to all systems in which increased feedback and increased self-organization/autopoiesis processes play a role.
Credit

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)