In Celebration: Memories of David



Robbie Dunton (Administrative Director of the EMDR Institute): David Servan-Schreiber is an inspiration to people throughout the world and his achievements will impact the lives of many forever. The EMDR community will miss him terribly. I feel blessed to have known him and to enjoy the love and joy that he so freely shared with those around him. Through his videos, books and lectures he shared his compassion for others and his dynamic ability to put his knowledge and experience into words. I have recommended his books to friends and family, and look forward to reading his third book when it becomes available in English. He accomplished so much in his 50 years! Udi Oren (President of EMDR Europe and EMDR European Trainer): Writing about David in the past tense seems unreal and makes me very, very sad. David Servan-Schreiber has been one of the most significant contributors to the development of EMDR in the last decade. In this short period, he wrote his bestseller book "The Instinct to Heal" that introduced EMDR to over a million readers around the world. He was the force behind the growth of EMDR in France and in the French-speaking world. He conducted EMDR-focused research, and was the President of the EMDR France Association as well as an important voice on the EMDR Europe Board. David was a friend and a colleague who both supported the growth of EMDR, as well as put it into the larger perspective of the changes taking place in medicine. This combination of an insider/outsider view of EMDR is a very unique one, and was only one of the ways in which David's ability to integrate different "worlds" came into life. He will be remembered by all who knew him for his courage, his wisdom, his warm loving smile, and his all-embracing leadership. David was a good, great, and inspiring man-the kind of man you wish the world would have more of, and one you miss tremendously once he is gone. Ludwig Cornil (EMDR European Trainer; Director of the EMDR Institute Belgium): David has meant a lot to me personally and to the development of EMDR in Belgium. About 10 years ago, it was David and Arne Hofmann, who supported me when I created the Belgian EMDR-Institute. I still remember my first meeting with David. This was before his first book, "The Instinct to Heal" was published and I didn't know his personal history, so I was rather confused about his ???strange' behavior. He was drinking "green tea" in front of the audience and ordering different kinds of fish in a restaurant that did not specialize in fish but served typical Belgian food that we had planned for him to taste. During the training, he took a little nap after lunch and did some meditation. He was already living the book he was going to write afterwards. I also remember the participants of the training being touched as he gave a specialty workshop on "EMDR and Mourning," as he had a lot of experience in palliative care. From the beginning his humanity emanated from his being.bAs he became too occupied with his first book, he took an enormous risk and he asked me ??? a man from the Flemishspeaking part of Belgium- to do a Part 1 training in Paris! In the end, it worked out and I am grateful to David because he clearly conveyed his trust in me to the participants when he introduced me to them. He kept his faith after that first training and allowed me to grow, for which I will be forever grateful. David had a mission in life and he used all his talents to accomplish it. I experienced him as one of the steadiest people I know. It is rare to meet people like David in one's lifetime, and, each time we do, it is a blessing. David's form has disappeared, but his energy has been transmitted to every person he has touched. I am sad and happy at the same time, sad that he's gone, but also really happy when I let his image appear before my mind's eye and I hear his voice in my head. Martine Ircane (EMDR European Trainer - France): David brought an ethical and human dimension to medicine, healthcare and teaching that demystified behavioral psychology, psychiatry and brought everyone access to the benefits of psychotherapy. To EMDR, he brought his own careful, integrated approach that included his medical, psychiatric, and interpersonal gifts, including the knowledge of the mind and body. We thank him for being the first psychiatrist to teach about EMDR at the University of Lyon (since 2004) in the CBT program and sharing this information with HAP. I want to thank him especially for his trust in me during the time that he supported me as a new EMDR trainer. I will never forget those moments that we shared of laughter during our many voyages. Also, I will never forget his kindness and his smile. We will miss him. GOOD BYE AND THANK YOU, DAVID. (translated) Judith Black (EMDR Canadian Facilitator): We, in the Quebec EMDR community will remember David fondly and with special gratitude. Following the publication of his first book, "Gu??rir", and the "Anticancer," he made numerous visits to Qu??bec, gave many interviews and was a much sought after lecturer. This had a marked impact on the interest in EMDR, both on behalf of clinicians and the public. As a result, many additional local clinicians, sought training in EMDR. Many are continuing to this day as active participants locally, in EMDR Canada and in the International EMDR community. In spite of his growing renown, he remained humble, approachable, caring, and genuine. We bid you David: "Un gros merci et Adieu." Sandra Kaplan (EMDR Institute Trainer): David Servan-Schreiber was a very special person. His book: The "Instinct to Heal" took France by storm. He brought EMDR therapy and EMDR training to France. Over the nine years that I knew him, I was touched that he would make sure I understood what was being discussed in French. Adjectives to describe David Servan-Schreiber: elegant, thoughtful, sensitive, creative, brilliant, energetic, inspiring. It was my good fortune to have known and worked with him. Delphine P??coul (Assistant to David Servan-Schreiber): David voulait vraiement que toute une g??n??ration de jeunesbchercheurs suivent le mouvement et continuent de chercher, d'avoir des id??es, de rassembler ce qui s'??tait fait et d'oser sortir des chemins battus. David souhaitait ??galement que les projets dans lesquels il s'est beaucoup investi puissent continuer, sans lui. C'est ce que nous allons faire, notamment avec l'Institut Fran??ais d'EMDR, qui continue de fonctionner, dans le m??me ??tat d'esprit (qualit?? des formations propos??es, aide ?? la recherche, aide aux projets humanitaires, aide aux d??veloppement de formations universitaires), grace ?? l'??quipe de l'Institut, qui est tr??s soud??e et mobilis??e, en lien avec l'association EMDR France et l'association EMDR Europe, et avec le soutien de Francine Shapiro. (David truly wanted a generation of young scholars to follow suit and to continue to search, to have ideas, to study what has been done and to dare to go beyond the road already traveled. Also, David hoped that the projects in which he had invested so much continue, even without him. This is what we are doing, especially through the EMDR French Institute which will continue to function in the same spirit (quality of proposed trainings, research support; assistance for humanitarian projects, and support for trainings in universities) with the EMDR French Institute Team, who are committed and active, in solidarity with the EMDR Europe Association and with the support of Francine Shapiro) Francine Shapiro: It is impossible for me to adequately express my feelings about the loss of David. In his service to humanity, he was a light to the world in so many ways. He was a wonderful, wise and compassionate man whom we will sorely miss. I am forever grateful for having known him. In closing, a final message from David in his own words: "Death is part of life; it happens to everyone, profit from now, do the important things."



“In Celebration: Memories of David,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 28, 2021,

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