About the Austen Riggs Center
THE AUSTEN RIGGS CENTER is a therapeutic community, open psychiatric hospital, and center for education and research, promoting resilience and self-direction in people with complex psychiatric problems.
We specialize in the long-term residential treatment of psychiatric disorders with intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy and a full range of psychiatric services, offered in a completely voluntary continuum of care that includes inpatient, residential, and day-treatment services.
Founded in 1919, Riggs is located in the bucolic Berkshires, on Norman Rockwell’s Main Street in the small town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Internationally known for our respectful work with emotionally troubled individuals, Riggs is consistently ranked a U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospital” in psychiatry.
Our treatment focuses on
- the centrality of human relationships;
- the meaning embedded in symptomatic actions; and
- the importance of respecting the authority of individuals to direct their own lives.
Recognizing that individual troubles exist in a social context, we offer extensive support for family members. Patients have opportunities to participate in a robust therapeutic community and to study in our unique Activities Program. Each person designs his or her own treatment in collaboration with a professional interdisciplinary team, and no two treatments are identical.
We have a highly esteemed postdoctoral Fellowship for psychiatrists and clinical psychologists in advanced psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalytic studies. Many of our clinicians are involved in research, scholarship, clinical writing, and advocacy. Our Erikson Institute offers conferences, lectures, partnerships with other organizations, clinical research, and the Erikson Scholar-in-Residence program. We have a specialty library and a growing archival collection of historical significance in the field of psychoanalytic hospital treatment. Our clinical experts provide national and international professional education via our online communities of learning.
Some of the more common diagnoses our patients arrive with include:
- Mood disorders (including major depressive and bipolar disorders)
- Personality disorders (the most common is borderline personality disorder; others include narcissistic, dependent, avoidant, or schizoid personality disorders)
- Psychotic disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Substance use disorders in some degree of remission (not active use)
- Eating disorders (if medical status and weight suggest they are not acute medical risks)