September 28, 1953 – September 17, 2017

Fyodor Efimovich Vasilyuk, Doctor of Psychological Sciences, Professor, principal research fellow at the laboratory of counseling psychology and psychotherapy of the Psychological Institute RAE, head of the department of individual and group psychotherapy at MSUPE, president of the Association for Co-experiencing Psychotherapy, died on September 17, 2017.

Fyodor Efimovich was born to a family of geologists in 1953 in Donetsk. The experience of conquesting mountain peaks together with his father, a war veteran, clearly grew into the courage in conquesting the unconquered peaks of Russian psychology. He was the pioneer of Soviet and Russian psychological practice: the founder of the first Russian Center for Psychological Counselling and Psychotherapy, the first Russian journal on psychotherapy – Moscow Psychotherapy Journal, the first Russian Faculty of Psychological Counselling, and a internationally recognised Russian psychotherapeutic approach – Co-experiencing psychotherapy.

Vasilyuk was a student of the best of the best: A.R. Luria, B.F. Zeigarnik, A.N. Leontiev, M.K. Mamardashvili, V.P. Zinchenko and others. Both his life and work were strongly influenced by meeting with Carl Rogers, metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, and archimandrite Viktor Mamontov. For many other people a meeting with Vasilyuk himself was a turning point in their life.

Regardless of the aspiration to establish psychology as a living science, he was an expert in the methodological issues of modern psychology and psychotherapy. His monographs and articles were always actively discussed and many of them became classics of modern psychology and psychotherapy: The Psychology of Experiencing (1984) was translated to multiple languages, Experiencing and Prayer (2005) received a high appraisal worldwide. More than a hundred of articles, authored by Fyodor Vasilyuk, reflect the unique gift of addressing a Word – living, sensitive and poetic. He was able to see and name the subtle and intangible phenomena of experiencing and co-experiencing, uncovering their essence, in an astonishing way. With his Word he was able to evoke people to genuine life and development.

In addition to these merits, each of the thousands of his students, clients, colleagues – everyone who had ever experienced his involvement, faith, creative genius – was inspired by his simultaneous meekness and might, his glow and sense of humor… He was a Person. Fyodor Efimovich cherished memories of a huge community of people, remembered their names, passions, had a personal relation to each and every one of them. Wherever he was, every day he stood before God with love, praying for the living and the dead.

Lets appreciate and keep memory of him, pass on the lamp, continue learning from him. Let us learn from him how to be alive and to live genuinely, fearlessly facing all the challenges, and practice what we believe in.

Human sorrow is not destructive (forgetting, tearing off, riving), but constructive. It is meant not to disperse, but to gather, not to destroy, but to create – to create the Memory.

E. Vasilyuk. Experinecing sorrow. 1991

Everlasting memory.

Friends, student, colleagues.