It is with deep sadness that we write of the passing of our longtime SF colleague and dear friend, Luc Isebaert. He died peacefully at home on September 30, surrounded by his beloved wife, Sophie, loved ones, and his loyal dog, Epicurious. He was 78 years old.
Luc was both an esteemed colleague and close friend of the late Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg, and had a significant influence on the later developments of the SFBT approach. Berg and de Shazer considered Luc to be a genius; they had good reason:
In addition to being a medical doctor, Luc was a Specialist in Neurology, Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy, and developer of the Bruges Model. Widely recognized as an international authority on alcohol dependency, he headed the Department of Psychiatry and Psychosomatics at St. John’s Hospital (Bruges, Belgium) for many years and made a significant contribution to the research on efficacy of SFBT for addiction treatment.
Luc was also the founding Director of the Kozybski Institute which officially started in 1984, original Founding Member, Secretary, and later, President of the European Brief Therapy Association, founding Secretary of the IASTI (International Alliance of Solution- Focused Teaching Institutes), Founding Member and former Secretary of the A.E.R.T.S. (Association Européenne pour la Recherche en Thérapie Systemique), Founding Member of the VVDO (Belgian Association of Solution- Focused Therapists, Member of the Royal Society of Psychiatry of Belgium, Member of the European Family Therapy Association, Member of IFTA ( International Family Therapy Association), Member of the BVRGS (Belgian Society for for Relational, Systemic and Family Interventions), Founding Member and Secretary of the AFACC (Association Francophone pour les Approches Centrées sur les Compétences), Founding Member of the Belgian Association of Systemic Family Therapy Trainers.
In addition to publishing over a dozen books in 4 different languages, Luc spoke at countless international conferences all over the world, regularly taught seminars, and trained literally thousands of students. He demonstrated deep respect and compassion for his patients.
He was also a gifted gourmet cook, a memorable, oftentimes hilarious storyteller, a wise and compassionate friend, and a delightful, endlessly entertaining travel companion. The latter was due in part to Luc’s almost encyclopedic knowledge of classical literature, western philosophy, and music, but even more so because of his gracious personality, generous sense of humor, and kind heart. He will be deeply missed by all of us who knew him.