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Inherent Time of Systems

When systems develop from within themselves (momentum, autopoiesis), then they live in their ‘own’ time, which has an important characteristic. It is not fixed, but all stability is ‘held’ firm, i.e. it is ‘created’, and does not simply exist: the time in the dentist’s chair clearly passes more slowly than the time in an exciting movie. This consideration becomes important when different systems, i.e. different areas or teams in organisations or also family members and couples, need to synchronise. What is fast for one system is too slow for the other, what is outdated for one, has a need for acclimatisation in the other, what, for one, breaks with tradition, is, for another, well overdue. Under hypercomplex conditions one must expect tensions and conflicts to increase and thus it requires special competence to achieve synchronisation.

From our point of view, the attention of counselling to this phenomenon is sometimes not very well developed, because one predominantly occupies oneself with the factual dimension (=problems, content of decisions) or the social dimension (=relationships, conflicts, communication). So far, the time dimension, for all types of consultancy, has, from a meta theory viewpoint, been neglected. How one should think of the structure of time, and how this effects counselling, is one field in our further, theoretical endeavours.