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Background and theory

The core concepts of the Four Rooms of Change were created during Janssen’s innovative research projects that took place during the years 1964-1975 at the University of Stockholm. The research began with a request from the Swedish Film Institute. The name of his original work was The Personal Dialectics: Self-censorship – the outsider experiences and integration. Janssen was awarded the title Associate Professor for his research work.

The Four Rooms of Change concept was created as a direct consequence of this research.  Based on the research results, Janssen in collaboration with Fyrarummaren AB, has developed a series of very practical and user-friendly analytical instruments and tools that help individuals and organizations to improve productivity, management, self-awareness and change readiness.

In 1978 Janssen started his collaboration with the renowned American organization development consultant Marvin Weisbord from Philadelphia. Weisbord writes about and describes the Four Rooms in many different contexts. The first time he writes about it is in a book entitled Productive Workplaces, which was published in its first edition in 1985. The third edition was published in January 2012. The book Four Rooms of Change – a Practical Everyday Psychology, was published 1996 in Sweden by W & W publisher. Since then, Janssen has published eight books with new releases planned for 2018.

The theory

The Four Rooms theory is about change. It identifies and describes polarizing and potentially detrimental conceptions of reality. These can be so destructive that they render growth, development and conflict resolution nearly impossible. Psychologist Claes Janssen called this phenomenon “The Conflict Between NO and YES”. At the heart of this psychological phenomenon are two exceedingly different perspectives that drive each individual in every situation and in every decision. These drives are the need to be content and to belong and the need to go “outside of the box” and to search for the truth. In Janssen’s attempt to “make them one somehow”, he created the theory and concept now known as the Four Rooms of Change.

Short summary of The Four Rooms of Change theory

  • The Four Room of Change® is a whole concept of methods, analytical instruments and models that work for innovation, development and change. It has for decades helped – and continues to help – hundreds of thousands of people and their businesses to succeed, all over the world.
  • The concept is based on research conducted at the University of Stockholm between 1964-75.
  • Psychological test correlated to approximately 20 other tests.
  • Experiments from the research have been repeated and the results have been verified thousands of times.
  • The theory and the concept are based upon the scientifically proven existence of two very distinct perspectives on life – two very different ways of relating to oneself, to others and the world – and its consequences.
  • The combination of the theory and how it is conveyed practically is unique and extremely accessible.
  • The Four Rooms of Change works in all kinds of cultures.

Claes JanssenClaes Janssen

Swedish psychologist, researcher and author, Dr. Claes Janssen, has been internationally acclaimed for his research on individual and collective self-censorship. Based on the research results, Janssen, in collaboration with Fyrarummaren AB, has developed a series of very practical and user-friendly analytical instruments that help individuals and organizations improve self-awareness, productivity and willingness to change.