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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    Considering psychotherapy

    In this six-part series, exploring borderline personality disorder, we will present excerpts from a longer interview, conducted by former Erikson Scholar Joshua Wolf Shenk in 2009, with M. Gerard Fromm, PhD, ABPP, a senior consultant to the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center. At the end of the series, we will make the interview, in its entirety, available in our Resource Center.

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    Psychotherapy

    Following the recent Richard A. Friedman piece in The New York Times, many have responded. Psychiatrist John Oldham, a former APA president, is one. He speaks of depression as a brain disorder associated with a terrible disease burden in the world.

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    Kate Gallagher, PhD, Fellow in Psychology at the Austen Riggs Center

    In this three-part series, we will present excerpts from a longer interview with Psychology Fellow, Kate Gallagher, PhD, a member of the Riggs clinical staff who has researched and published on issues related to sexual assault. At the end of the series, we will make the interview, in its entirety, available in our Resource Center.

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    Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP, Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research

    Several Austen Riggs Center clinicians to present at the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) 49th Congress in Boston, MA - July 20-25, 2015. 

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    Alcohol is involved in a high percentage of sexual assaults within college populations.

    It is well established that alcohol is a contributing cause of men’s aggression toward women (Abbey, Zawacki, & Buck, 2005; Leonard & Quigley, 1999). Research consistently shows that about 50% of sexual assaults within college populations involve alcohol consumption by the victim, perpetrator, or both.

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    Ilana Ackerman, MSW, Riggs Nursery School Director

    Psychiatric hospitals and residential treatment centers do not generally have nursery schools on their campus. But at the Austen Riggs Center, there is a nursery school, not simply on the campus, but also as an integral part of the activities program, and larger community, which provides an opportunity for patients to take on the role of student, exploring their strengths and, for those who work as teachers’ aides in the nursery school, experience and learn about child development in a new way. 

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    Therapeutic Community Program Manager at the Austen Riggs Center, Cornelia Kalisher, LSW

    Each year the Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center hosts a College Counseling Center Conference. The topic for the 2015 conference was: Sexual Assault in the College Setting: Integrating the Complex Roles of Psychotherapists, Advocacy and Prevention Specialists, Administration and Legal Counsel.

    In this three-part series, we will present excerpts from a longer interview with Psychology Fellow, Kate Gallagher, PhD, a member of the Riggs clinical staff who has researched and published on issues related to sexual assault. At the end of the series, we will make the interview, in its entirety, available in our Resource Center.

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    Michael McCarthy, Pottery Instructor at the Austen Riggs Center is inspired by student's working in the Activities Program.

    Michael McCarthy writes, "In preparing for my talk I was confronted with the question of whether or not teaching ceramics at Riggs has given me a different perspective or any unique insights about creativity or the value of making art. I teach at Riggs as I would anywhere else to anyone else. However, I know that teaching at Riggs has allowed me to confront stereotypes of mental illness as they relate to art in ways I might not otherwise have encountered. It was my hope that my talk would provide a discussion that extended beyond the private walls where I teach."

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    Andrew Gerber, MD, PhD, Medical Director/CEO, Austen Riggs Center

    The Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce that Andrew Gerber, MD, PhD joins the staff as medical director/CEO today.  Dr. Gerber was previously the director of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, the director of research at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research and an assistant professor of psychiatry in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. He completed his medical and psychiatric training at Harvard Medical School, Cambridge Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College - Payne Whitney Clinic, where he served as chief resident, and his child psychiatry training at the combined Columbia-Cornell NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital program where he was also chief resident.

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

    The June 16 issue of Psychiatric News discusses the role of e-learning; Eric Plakun, MD is quoted in the article.

    “Online training doesn’t replace traditional learning that requires supervision and case discussion, but is a nice teaching tool to add to our toolbox,” said Plakun, who is the associate medical director and director of admissions at the Austen Riggs Center in Massachusetts

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