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 importance of giving

    Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Janet Cooperman Hiser, MSW, talks about what motivates people to give to the Austen Riggs Center.

  • Dame Gillian Lynne is Broadway Royalty. She choreographed Cats and Phantom of the Opera, and at 88 is still dancing, but the story of the start of her career, told on NPR in a story on Weekend Edition Saturday, is a cautionary tale about the danger of viewing problems in psychiatry through the lens of vulnerability rather than plasticity. By the time Gillian was 7, her mother and her teachers were at their wits end with little “wriggle bottom,” who could not sit still and had no attention span.

  • Illustration of houses on hills

    The time has come to delve deeply into the idea of place as both a literal experience and also a psychological metaphor. This year’s annual Fall Conference at the Austen Riggs Center aims to explore the various meanings of place in relation to identity through a series of presentations by experts who will examine current clinical, interdisciplinary and societal issues.

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

    The relationship between you and your therapist is important. How do you find a therapist whom you have never met, and be able to feel comfortable sharing some of your deepest, most personal thoughts and feelings with them?  While this might seem like a daunting task, here are some ideas that may help you:

  • Enchantment Theater

    This year’s Creativity Seminar, Translation: In the Theater, the Concert Hall, the Studio and the Consulting Room, which took place at Riggs August 1-2, 2014, explored the process of translation in different areas of creative endeavor in the visual medium of photography, through the embodied work of translation by an orchestral conductor, via the interpretative work of translation by a psychoanalyst and by means of the multilayered acts of translation in theater. 

  • We offer a full-time four-year Fellowship in advanced psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalytic studies for both psychologists and psychiatrists

    Organized under the Center's Erikson Institute for Education and Research, our training takes a systems perspective on treatment, emphasizing cultural and familial contexts as well as individual development, in the tradition of Erik Erikson. We offer a full-time four-year Fellowship in advanced psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalytic studies for both psychologists and psychiatrists.

  • Anti-bullying graphic

    Dr. Marilyn Charles’ experience in working with patients with psychosis brings to light ways in which psychological stressors in young adulthood can lead to serious psychiatric disturbances later in life. Dr. Charles stresses the importance of the availability of empathic others, such as educators, providing a key role in recognizing vulnerable and anxious characteristics in adolescence.

  • A genetic basis of schizophrenia?

    The question of whether there is a genetic basis of schizophrenia has long been debated. This summer the journal Nature reported some exciting results from an international study that support this idea.

  • Admissions consult

    In admissions we are often asked by referrers, prospective patients and their families what the “waiting list” for admission to Riggs is all about, so it occurred to me it might make sense to explain what it is in a blog post.

  • The importance of providing diapers to mothers

    One of the hidden problems of poverty is diaper need. Earlier this month, the Erikson Institute and the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute sponsored a talk detailing the need for diapers. This video features Megan V. Smith, DrPH. of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, Child Study, and Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine.



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