The Riggs Blog
A New Blog Where Meaning Really Matters
by John Prusinski, Meaning Matters Community Coordinator
Meaning Matters is an online community, hosted by the Austen Riggs Center, that provides a place for mental health professionals and those in related disciplines to share information and thinking about a variety of topics. These include: human behavior and how it is impacted by conscious and unconscious processes, personality and motivational factors, relational dynamics, and the meaning of symptoms. Discussion is encouraged, with a focus on integrating a psychodynamic perspective with other theoretical approaches and modalities, as well as with research in neuropsychology and neuroscience, developmental psychology, personality, and cognition.
Membership in the community is by approval; members are primarily credentialed mental health professionals, although some come from other related fields. There are more than 630 participants in the community. To request membership, fill out the form at www.meaningmatterscommunity.org/meaning-matters-discussion.
Recently, Meaning Matters launched a companion website (www.meaningmatterscommunity.org) that features blog articles by Meaning Matters members. The blogs are open to the public, and feature thoughtful writing on a range of subjects inspired by the interests of our members. Some recent articles include:
“The Allure (and Danger) of Certainty: A Developmental View” by Claudia Gold, MD (who recently joined the Riggs staff as a consultant in human development), examines how the early childhood experience of being held in mind helps us to be connected in a social world, and how it strengthens the ability to cope with stress: “Stress and adversity are ubiquitous. Adversity becomes ‘trauma’ when it is compounded by a sense that one’s mind is alone.”
In “Some Thoughts on Interpretation and Therapeutic Action,” Abbot Bronstein, PhD, examines what makes psychoanalytic work unique: “I would suggest that . . . interpretation that attempts to facilitate the capacity to tolerate and bear psychic pain, particularly through language, makes psychoanalytic interventions unique.”
“Torah Study and the Integration of Religious Values” is Andrew Klafter, MD’s proposal for a psychological model to describe the process by which religious teachings are transmitted from books to people: “This idea can be seen as an application of object relations theories, a school of psychoanalytic thought, which posit that human development is catalyzed by the internalization of our interpersonal relationships.”
Additional posts include:
- “Life in the Midst of Death: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and the Writing Cure” by Jane Tillman, PhD, ABPP
- “Fighting Against the Arbitrary and Illegal Denial of Care” by Eric Plakun, MD
- “Advice to Early Career Therapists” by Andrew Klafter, MD
- “Early Relationships: The Fourth Vital Sign” by Claudia Gold, MD
Visit the Meaning Matters blog at www.meaningmatterscommunity.org.