The Riggs Blog
Psychiatric Evaluation and Treatment Period
All patients begin in an evaluation and treatment phase for the first six weeks of their treatment at a residential or hospital level of care. This time is used to better understand whatever brings them to the Austen Riggs Center.
This initial time is used to build relationships with members of the treatment team and the patient community. Patients explore their troubled experiences with a therapist in four times weekly psychotherapy sessions. In the therapeutic community, they can learn more directly about the ways in which they affect and are affected by other people, working together with staff and fellow patients to find meaning in whatever happens in the milieu.
At the end of the six-week evaluation and treatment phase a case conference is held where clinical staff gather to meet the patient, hear about the work so far, and review the initial assessments. A careful life history, an intergenerational family history, psychological testing, a psychiatric evaluation, and reports from the community program, nursing staff, substance abuse counselors, and social workers, as well as from the psychotherapist are used to integrate the findings and make recommendations consistent with the patient’s goals. Patients may continue at Riggs, go elsewhere or return home after the evaluation phase.
To learn more about the first six weeks of treatment at Austen Riggs and all that Riggs has to offer, please view the clinical perspective videos below and visit the clinical work section of our site.