On 27 April 2023, Guy Ausloos passed away. It is with great emotion and sadness that I write these lines in his memory.
Those who knew him will remember his simplicity, his empathy, his kindness and his deep and warm voice, so pleasant to listen to…Many others were not so lucky but were and will be impressed by the richness of his thinking through his book “La compétence des familles” and the many articles he wrote.
Guy Ausloos has left his mark on our generation of pioneers of the systemic approach in Europe, as he has left and will continue to leave his mark on today’s young professionals.
It was during a short internship in child psychiatry in Lausanne at the end of September 1971 that our paths crossed. Guy had just arrived as a young psychiatrist at the hospital in Lausanne. Two young Belgians were thus meeting in Switzerland without knowing that they would soon share their commitment to the care of adolescents in great difficulty, often caught up in delinquency. Our friendship and our collaboration were to be forged at the Zurich congress in October 1975, organized by Joseph Duss-von Werdt. Yves Colas reminded me a few days ago that it was on their return from Zurich that they had made the project of creating a review and days … and this would be the birth of “Family Therapy” and the “Lyon Days”. Moving!
The opportunities to get together, to share, to invite each other to our training courses or to our families will continue to multiply. I have vivid memories. Those of the 1979 colloquium on working with the families of young people on the margins of society, organised by the Centre de formation et de recherche de l’Education Surveillée (Training and Research Centre for Supervised Education) in Vaucresson (France), where, with Jacques Sélosse, Pierre Segond and many others, we took stock of the importance of working with families. The proceedings of this colloquium will publish one of Guy’s very first articles taking up what we had shared in a workshop in Zurich and which he had developed in May 1977 at the Milan congress on juvenile delinquency and deviant behaviour. Those of our meetings in Quebec, especially the one in Rouyn-Noranda where Guy activated the skills of suicidal patients in an extraordinary way, and those of the last few months when in our exchanges every ten days we talked about the illness, its effects, its progression but also about how important it is to take it with serenity… and often to be able to laugh about it like the young octogenarians that we are!
Last September, Guy again gave me the pleasure of being interviewed by Elena Karkazi from Thessaloniki for her e-library of free access for Greek family therapists.
My dear Guy, it is important for all of us to thank you for all that you have brought to us, to tell you how much the clinic of systemic practitioners will remain marked by your concern to see the competence of families recognized and valued. Thank you.
Honorary President of EFTA