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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    Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions

    It isn’t easy to tell when a large ship is turning at sea, but there are signs the large vessel of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is turning back toward a biopsychosocial model. In Toronto at the APA annual meeting there was new openness to the importance of environmental factors in the causation and treatment of mental and substance use disorders.

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    The May 2015 issue of Psychiatric Times features an article written by Riggs Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions Eric Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych. In his article, “Correcting Psychiatry’s False Assumptions and Implementing Parity,” Dr. Plakun outlines what he views as psychiatry’s three false assumptions and the struggle for the full implementation of parity for mental health care in the current managed care environment in the United States.

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    In this five-part series exploring psychotic spectrum disorders, we will present excerpts from a longer interview with Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP, Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center, a member of the Riggs clinical staff and an authority on psychotic spectrum disorders. At the end of the series, we will make the interview, in its entirety, available in our Resource Center.

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    Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions

    The Psychotherapy Caucus of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) (approved by the APA Board of Trustees in December 2013) is the only place in the structure of the APA that represents psychotherapy as a crucial part of the training, identity and skills of psychiatrists. Brought to fruition by the APA Assembly’s Task Force on Psychotherapy, led by Riggs Associate Medical Director Eric Plakun, MD, and bolstered by Riggs psychiatrists Elizabeth Weinberg, David Flynn, Samar Habl and several non-Riggs psychiatrists, the Psychotherapy Caucus is an inclusive “big tent” forum, in which psychiatrists interested in any form of psychotherapy and psychosocial treatment may network and communicate with one another concerning areas of common interest and concern.

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    Austen Riggs held a blog competition among staff members where we asked them to write about the topic: “How My Work Makes a Difference.”  This is the last blog in the series written by Kim Hunter-Schaedle, PhD, Manager of Institutional Research.

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    David Mintz, MD, 2015 AAPDP Annual Conference Presenter

    Each year, Riggs psychiatrists attend, present and engage with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting and several other meetings organized around the APA Annual Meeting. This year, seven Riggs psychiatrists will be in Toronto, teaching, speaking and presenting on topics related to psychiatry, viewed through a psychodynamic lens. 

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    The Merchant of Venice poster

    Each spring for the past decade or so, Riggs Theatre 37 has staged a work by Shakespeare. Out of several options Coleman brought to the patients this year, the one chosen for production was The Merchant of Venice

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    Austen Riggs held a blog competition among staff members where we asked them to write about the topic: “How My Work Makes a Difference.”  This is the fifth blog in the series written by Nicki May, Admissions Coordinator.

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    Marilyn Charles therapy session

    Founded in 1979, the Division of Psychoanalysis is the 39th division of American Psychological Association. With a membership of over 3,000 professionals, the Division is one of the largest associations of psychoanalytic professionals of its kind. Marilyn Charles, PhD, staff psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center, is currently serving as the president of Division 39.  In April, the Division convened its annual meeting.  Dr. Charles provided a talk, titled “The Future of Psychoanalysis.”

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    For Cathy Towne, Mental Health Worker at Austen Riggs, respect for the human spirit and compassion for every individual are what keep her interested and focused. 

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