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.
Benedict Carey, in his recent New York Times article, “Suicide Prevention Sheds a Longstanding Taboo: Talking About Attempts,” explores the recent move by the American Association of Suicidology to recognize those who have attempted suicide and survived and what this acknowledgment means for the survivors, the clinicians who treat suicidal individuals, research into suicidality and how society discusses suicide.
Dr. Edward Shapiro, former Medical Director/CEO of the Austen Riggs Center delivered a moving talk during the reunion weekend. He spoke about the central aspects of the treatment at Austen Riggs and how relationships and the open setting are crucial to the knowledge developed at Riggs for staff and patients. The negotiation between patients taking up their authority and finding their voice within a community and staff learning to sharpen their capacities to listen develops a deeper clarity in our work with one another and has large implications in the world outside of Riggs.
If you tuned into cable news during the last month you may have seen two more politicians engulfed in scandal. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught smoking crack and Congressman Trey Radel (R-FL) was caught buying cocaine. The recent events have sparked extensive coverage in the media, political discussions and ample material for comedians. It seems that politicians behaving badly creates a place for society to wrestle with views on addiction and individual responsibility.
Part of the rich history of the Austen Riggs Center is the impact and work of Erik Erikson. We also have his spouse, Joan Erikson, to thank for making a lasting and meaningful impact on our treatment model and on the patients who benefit from being at the Center.