This article attempts to clarify the concepts of linearity and circularity as applied to marital and family therapy, especially in light of the credible challenge to the concept of circular causality by feminist theorists. Distinct and theoretically legitimate meanings of linearity are defined-proportionality, unilaterality, and temporality. Circularity is redefined into two distinct meanings-recursivity and holicity. The two meanings of circularity are then subdivided in accord with Bateson's guiding distinction between “substance” and “form” (i.e., physical force and mental information). This reworking of systemic concepts is described as important as a means to justify reformulation of theory in the field. The article concludes with a call for continued deconstruction of social systems concepts as a means toward refinement of the systemic paradigm or as a means toward development of a new paradigm, which, in either case, should acknowledge individual and relational realities.