RICHARD SIMON
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SIMON--Richard. 71, of Chevy Chase, MD, died on November 10, 2020. He is survived by his beloved wife Jette, his cherished daughter Signe and his grandson-to-be, Auguste. Born in the Bronx, Rich studied English at the University of Rochester and earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Maryland. After a brief stint as a clinical psychologist, he drew upon his vast writing, editing, entrepreneurial and networking skills to transform a small publication for therapists into the celebrated and award- winning journal, the Psychotherapy Networker. In time, the Networker grew in size and reputation to become not only a bi-monthly bible for psychotherapists and social workers but a window into the field for countless non- professionals who read and love its unpretentious yet literate voice. Thousands of those psychotherapists and social workers make a pilgrimage each year from around the globe to attend the Networker Symposium in Washington, DC, a conference Rich joyously, yes, exuberantly, hosted. Together, the magazine and the conference inform and entertain readers and attendees alike, creating a community -- a "tribe" Rich called it. His enthusiasm for learning, his appreciation of talent in all its manifestations, his reverence for the written word, his eagerness to nurture and develop new writers, his love of conversation -- both as a wildly funny and creative speaker and an engaged and deeply attentive listener, his curiosity in exploring new vistas in the field of first family therapy and then psychotherapy, and his commitment to making the tribe aware of what was new in therapy -- what worked and what didn't -- inspired hundreds of thousands of practitioners, presenters, attendees, readers and contributors for over forty years. His infectious wit and outgoing personality charmed and delighted everyone he touched. And -- he would not want it to go unmentioned -- he was a great basketball player. There was absolutely no one like him. And there never will be. One-of-a-kind, a force of nature, he will be missed by his Networker crew, his family, his friends and his tribe. A memorial service will be held some- time next year.


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Published in New York Times on Nov. 16, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
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Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
January 4, 2021
a world
without Rich Simon?
my heart hurts, deeply
Kevin Henry
Student
December 1, 2020
Rich was the Family Therapy Networker and then the Psychotherapy Networker. I went to my first conference in 1993 and his showmanship and genuine enthusiasm made me happy to be a member of the Tribe. I feel lost and heart broken that the leader of our band won't be physically a part of our annual events. My deepest condolences to Jette and Signe. Little Auguste would have been the apple of his grandpa's eye. Rich helped the field of mental health in more ways than I can express and I feel blessed by the contributions he made to so many therapists and then in turn to clients through the magazine and conference. Thank you Rich from the bottom of my heart.
Patricia Jorgenson
Acquaintance
November 29, 2020
Rich published my first work for the Networker in 1987, which began a long relationship with him and the Networker "tribe." So sorry to learn about his premature passing. He still had a lot of time left to add to his contributions to the fields of family therapy and psychotherapy in general.
Lawrence Diller, M.D.
Friend
November 25, 2020
Rich was the highlight for us of the Networker Symposium in DC which my husband, a psychiatrist, and I, a clinical social worker, attended for more than 20 years. I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer in September so I imagine Jette and her family are deep into grieving this exceptional person. Words fail, it is a very sad time.
Renee Jacobs
November 24, 2020
His presence was a force of nature.
I loved attending the symposium and he made it happen ...every year. I grew up as a therapist partly due to the depth and breadth of what he provided.
Teresa McInerney
Acquaintance
November 24, 2020
His joy and passion were contagious! Thank you so much for all you did!
you will be missed...Prayers of comfort to his family and close friends.
Ana
Friend
November 24, 2020
I witnessed Rich's journey through life since the 1980's. Sort of like how a Brit would know the life of the queen, I remember him single, then with Jette, then married to Jette, then having a baby, Signe, who then grew and grew into a young woman now to have a grandchild. He always had a sense of the changes/ the edges in therapy, moving from Family Therapy Networker to Psychotherapy Networker. The loss of his voice in the field of therapy leaves an immense void.
Dr Kayta Curzie Gajdos
Coworker
November 22, 2020
I first learned about the Psychotherapy Network community in the late 1990s and soon started attending the conferences. Without Rich I would have never gotten certified in EMDR, Rubenfeld Synergy, Level One IFS, Imago Therapy, seen John O'Donohue, learned so much from Terry Real and Esther Perel, began to understand trauma and the body from Bessel Van der Kolk, and Dan Siegel, learned from the best of the Mindfulness masters, all while laughing, dancing and singing with those who are in this amazing tribe of healers. While he would not know who I am, I have been forever changed for good by him and all the mentors who have made me become the therapist that I am. Thank you all for sending such needed light and love out into this world.


Sharon Fisher
Student
November 22, 2020
Rich came to fetch us in his beat-up old car from Union Station, in Jette's stead, when her leg was broken, with his wide loving smile, having never met us before. What a welcome to Washington, the Simon's family and friends, and then the tribe!
The gifts of the Networker keep on giving, and enrich us and others, here in Cape Town.
Deep love and gratitude to Jette and Signe and all who have loved Rich.
Joy
Friend
November 21, 2020
Rich was a giant in our field. My deepest sympathy to his family , Jette and Signe. May his memory be a blessing.
Ellie Kinland
Acquaintance
November 20, 2020
Those who help others to grow and thrive, have truly lived.
David La Pensee LCSW, LICSW
Acquaintance
November 20, 2020
I have always been impressed with his desire to lift up and mentor many new comers to the field who are now recognized for their major contributions to the field of mental health. Also his live of music and making every topic entertaining and engaging. My heart is with all his friends and family
Sharon Fisher
Student
November 19, 2020
Rich pushed me to produce the best piece of writing of my life. I am grateful for the gift he was to the whole psychotherapy community and the gift he was to me as a therapist and writer.
Kevin Anderson
Friend
November 18, 2020
Please except my deepest sympathies as the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you be comforted by the loved ones and support of God.
Simone Taylor
November 16, 2020
I was a friend of Rich for years. He was a force of nature and will be missed. Olivia Mellan Shapiro
Olivia Mellan Shapiro
Friend
November 16, 2020
I first met Rich at Marianne Walters’ Family Therapy Practice Center. For many years FTPC staff presented at the amazing Networker meetings where Rich always assembled a wonderful mix of offerings. I was also fortunate to work with him as an editor of articles of mine. His insights, cajoling, and humor never failed to add value to what I had written. Thousands of us will miss his creativity and excellence in weaving together a diverse group of practitioners that over the years came to feel like a family. May he Rest In Peace and May his memory be a blessing.
Laurie Leitch
Friend
November 16, 2020
I am deeply saddened by the loss of this wonderful guy. He was a great friend, great editor, great model of breaking boundaries, and always a joy to be with. I looked up to him as the biggest personality in the field, and one who used his love of people to the absolute max: he brought many of us along on his ride, he educated and entertained thousands, he bettered our profession immeasurably. Wonderful man, who will be much missed. My heart goes out to Jette and Signe, who he adored, and to all who loved him. I certainly did, and I will never forget him.
David Waters
Friend
November 16, 2020
I was so sorry to hear this devastating news about Rich. As a member of the tribe he created, led, and loved, I will surely miss him. Among his many gifts, he was absolutely masterful at honoring the Symposium speakers he introduced to the audience. Now it is our turn to honor him.
June Jacobson
Acquaintance
November 16, 2020
I'm sad to hear this, as a follower of The Psychotherapy Networker from far away South Africa. Condolences to all who knew and loved him.
Ronelle Hart
November 16, 2020
I am stunned and saddened by the loss of Rich Simon from this world and am grieving the vulnerable place he leaves psychotherapists striving to be seen, heard and connected. Rich brought joy and intrigue to all who received what he shared. His curiosity and spaciousness buoyed those of us in the helping professions to take in what was new and different and also to be receptive to what was already there but perhaps not appreciated. Rich's passing is a loss to us all. I will miss his theatrics and joy - his sharing of the levity of his version of what was broadway. He was an angel among us. I pray he is above doing his magic...
Courtney Poignand
Acquaintance
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