Systemic thinking is a way to make sense of the relatedness of everything around us. In its broadest application, it is a way of thinking that gives practitioners the tools to observe the connectedness of people, things, and ideas: everything connected to everything else. Certainly, people from all walks of life—from the mystic to the medical practitioner, from the ecologist to the engineer—are "thinking systemically" when they address the interconnectedness within their field of vision, but within the social sciences, and particularly the field of family therapy, the discourse about the relatedness of people has been heavily influenced by general systems theory (von Bertalanffy, 1950; see also Ashby, 1956)