The Riggs Blog

The Riggs Blog

The Riggs Blog is a mix of news about clinical work, research and educational activities from the Austen Riggs Center, as well as a source for information beyond our walls that we find interesting and thought-provoking.

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    At the heart of Dr. Peterson’s current book-in-progress, Ghosts: A Story of Love and Death with Chimpanzees in the Middle, is the real life story of a woman whose accidental death, during a research project studying Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees in Africa, reverberates throughout the rest of the international research team. Told from the perspective of the survivors, Dr. Peterson calls the story “a complex psychological case history of grief and depression.” 

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    A Commentary by Toronto based historian of psychiatry, Edward Shorter, PhD has just been published in Psychiatric Times. Dr. Shorter’s provocative comments often but not always miss the mark, but nowhere are they more offensive, misinformed and misguided than in his attack on the biopsychosocial model and on psychoanalysis, which he compares to witchcraft. He asserts that the mental health system would benefit if both of these were dropped.

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    There is an important and necessary conversation happening about mental illness in the US and around the world. We are talking about mental illness and suicide more than we have in the past, studying it more than we have in the past and, in some senses, understanding it more than we have in the past. And it is not just researchers or psychologists and psychiatrists who are talking. 

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