Co-actualization (acc. to Motschnig-Pitrik and Barrett-Lennard, 2010)

Co-actualization develops from the interdependent actualization processes of persons in relationship to each other and is reflected in the dynamic forming process of their relationship(s). Each relationship has its own possibilities and order, and a self-organizing quality (Kriz, 2006; 2007; 2008). All this leads us to hypothesize a co-actualizing tendency as the relational counterpart to the actualizing tendency and the motivational source for co-actualizing processes. It can be seen as a special perspective of the formative tendency, namely the essential perspective of meaningful interaction between human beings.

In terms of a systems perspective, actualization (e.g. Rogers’ concept) proceeds in dynamic relation to the process of co-actualization in a forming and ongoing relationship process. The construct of co-actualization is designed to make explicit:

  • The emergent forming relationship (A~B) itself in terms of its self-organizing, unfolding qualities.
  • The reciprocal influence between a forming relationship (A~B) and both (or all) actualizing relationship partners (A, B), i.e. persons participating in the relationship.
  • The environment or surrounding system that (transitively) influences the open relationship system and potentially is modulated by it. The dynamic, top-down and bottom-up influence between the environment and the open relationship system is depicted by the double-sided arrows in the Figure. This double-sided flow is characteristic for open complex systems in general and social systems in particular.