It is with deep sadness that we share news of the passing of a great friend of the EMDR therapy community, John Marquis, on March 17, 2016. He was an EMDR pioneer, social activist, and motivating force in bringing psychiatric practice into the 21st century. John served as President of the Santa Clara County Psychological Association, worked on the Committee on Civil Liberties of Mental Patients, and served as the insurance chair and led the task force on Master's level Psychologists in the California Psychological Association. All of this in addition to a private practice. Throughout his brilliant career in mental health service, John ceaselessly sought out new, better and more efficient kinds of psychotherapies. One of which was, of course, EMDR therapy. To quote John, "the thing that was important to me was new effective therapies. The goal was to get psychotherapy out of the witch doctor stage."
John first learned of EMDR therapy after a presentation was given by Francine Shapiro at a 1989 Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy convention where he was also presenting. Curiosity led him to attend a lecture by Dr. Shapiro later in 1989, after which, they conversed about this innovative trauma treatment. He began practicing it immediately, with consultation from Dr. Shapiro, and was impressed with its clinical effectiveness. John became an enamored advocate of EMDR therapy.
In March 1990, he attended the first training in the United States and followed by the second level training later that year. He worked to spread the word about EMDR therapy and encouraged others to be trained. He published a series of 78 cases in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry and sponsored one of the early EMDR Therapy Trainings at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology.
John worked as a facilitator for the EMDR Institute for many years. He served on the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs' Board (now Trauma Recovery/HAP) for the first four years of its existence and was involved in many national and international humanitarian trainings over the years. The first was an independent training in Nicaragua that he undertook at his own expense, blessed by Dr. Shapiro. During this trip, John worked with his daughter Priscilla who served as a translator and now, herself, volunteers as a trainer for Trauma Recovery/HAP. He traveled to Oklahoma City to work with survivors of the bombing, to Florida to work with Hurricane Andrew survivors and to Bangladesh with Trauma Recovery, EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs.
We will miss John's energy, curiosity and dedication to his patients and to the EMDR therapy community.
"I think it is wonderful (to recognize) all of the good therapeutic methods that have been originated and developed and disseminated through EMDR. So many people have been impressed with the quality of the training and in the general therapeutic skills that serve as a matrix for EMDR. I think that it is just an exciting time as it becomes agreed upon that EMDR is effective in treating PTSD." - John Marquis