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.

  • The Austen Riggs Center offers a unique, comprehensive, and integrated program for the treatment of borderline personality disorder.

    The Austen Riggs Center offers a unique, comprehensive, and integrated program for the treatment of borderline personality disorder. Recognizing that the instability of emotions and sense of self characteristic of the disorder is generally the product of early developmental disruption, inconsistent relationships, and trauma, rather than a simple imbalance of neurochemistry, our treatment approach is built around relationships and engagement in the life of our vibrant therapeutic community. 

  • Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Andrew J. Gerber, MD, PhD, reflects on recent research findings related to loneliness.

    It is known that being lonely, or on the social perimeter, impacts the way a person behaves and interfaces with the world, and is detrimental to health. People who feel isolated from the world come to dread social interaction opportunities, and unfortunately, this leads to a tendency to spiral even further into loneliness. Now, researchers at the University of Chicago have demonstrated that lonely people process external information differently, and that there are observable neural correlates of the subjective report of loneliness. In particular, lonely people anticipate and are highly sensitive to the negative social interactions and cues that will likely serve to worsen their loneliness.

  • Claudia Gold, MD

    We are delighted to announce that Claudia M. Gold, MD, has joined the staff of the Austen Riggs Center as a consultant in human development. Dr. Gold is a pediatrician and writer with a long-standing interest in addressing children’s mental health needs in a preventive model. She has practiced general and behavioral pediatrics for more than 25 years, and has authored three books in the area of childhood mental health.

  • What does it mean for one person to identify as having a mental illness while another person rejects the term?

    What is “mental illness”? As today’s way of describing a particular cluster of human experience at the edges of the bell curve, “mental illness” is just a term. It marks a kind of suffering, but says nothing about the nature of the experience or the person experiencing it. As such, it will always mean more than any one person intends, while simultaneously missing the mark. 

  • At a recent luncheon, Riggs congratulated and celebrated the 2016 recipients of the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Scholarship: Quinn Abrams, Jack Ellrodt, and Ana Vera Cruz.    

  • Nancy McWilliams is the Current Erikson Scholar at the Erikson Institution for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center.

    During her time at Riggs, Erikson Scholar Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, focused on two projects: completing the editing of a revised edition of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM), and working on a book of clinical experience and research that aims, as she explains, “to expand the public conversation about mental health treatment beyond simple symptom reduction.”

  • The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce the schedule for the 2016-17 Friday Night Guest Lecture Series.

  • The Riggs community of patients and staff work together in an open setting that is devoid of locks or privilege systems.

    Associate Medical Director and Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy Eric Plakun, MD, responds to the recent Times Union report that outlines BlueShield’s illegal denial of claims for mental and nutritional counseling.

  • Internship opportunities at the Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, MA.

    The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) is holding its 2017 National Meeting at the Waldorf Astoria New York in New York City, January 18-22, 2017. Founded in 1911 and the oldest psychoanalytic organization in the United States, APsaA is a professional organization for psychoanalysts that focuses on education, research, and membership development. 

  • The 2016 Erikson Institute Fall Conference at the Austen Riggs Center is on Treating the Suicidal Patient: From Research to Practice.

    The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce its annual Fall Conference for clinicians and scholars: Suicide: Theory, Research, and Clinical Perspectives. The day-long conference will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2016, at the Austen Riggs Center, and will focus on understanding the psychosocial and community aspects of suicide, and state-of-the-art assessments and treatments for the suicidal patient and for vulnerable communities. 



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