Jan Müller

Psychologist, master solution-focused practitioner
Bielefeld, Germany
Email: janpmueller@gmail.com
Web: https://ifrhamburg.dehttps://ifrhamburg.de/ifr/das-team
Social: https://instagram.com/ifrhamburg

Jan studied psychology for 2 years, only to then become devastated by how many things he needed to learn that were both outdated and horribly structuralist or mechanical in their view of people. In his frustration, he finished 3 semesters in linguistics before finally coming back to psychology and finishing his degree. It was much later that he found out that these semesters in linguistics were good preparation for postmodernism and all approaches that looked closely at language.

After studying, he started out as an SFBT practitioner in 2006. In 2010, he began work in a family counselling centre. In 2013, he and his colleague Nicole Bellaire founded the ifR Hamburg, which has offered training in SFBT and, later, narrative practice, both with a focus on the interpersonal instead of the technical. During the COVID years, he conducted conversational interviews with a variety of people from the SFBT / narrative scene, in order to provide bite-sized ideas for people to stay connected to thoughts about their work in a time where many did not have the power to dedicate themselves to workshops or longer trainings. During these interviews, he talked repeatedly with Kirsten Dierolf, together with whom he held the SoCoCon online conference about social constructionism in helping conversations in 2023 for the first time.

Jan is interested in play in multiple areas – DDC (a frisbee variant), board games and video games in his leisure time, and playfulness in conversations about change professionally. He has published articles about decision problems, working with parents in high conflict and also a book chapter in the German book on Narrative Practice (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2022). Jan believes that the helping professions have too long been construed as helpers during distress, and thinks it’s about time we change that to a construction of assistance for a happy life, affecting change in society that is directed towards something instead of away from something. He loves Science Fiction and recommends everyone interested in meaningful change should read the Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler.