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.

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    Nursing can be a difficult, challenging and sometimes thankless profession, but it can also be a very rewarding and meaningful career choice. Each year nurses are celebrated and recognized during National Nurses Week, which begins on May 6 and ends on May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday).

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    Austen Riggs Center staff members are presenting at the American Psychiatric Association’s 167th Annual Meeting in New York City. This year’s program is titled “Changing the Practice and Perception of Psychiatry.” Included in the theme of change in this year’s program is the inaugural meeting of the Psychotherapy Caucus, created to promote the importance of psychotherapy within psychiatry. Here is the schedule of Riggs presentations taking place at the APA meeting.

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    Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions

    The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) 167th Annual Meeting begins on Saturday, May 3rd in New York City and the inaugural meeting of the Psychotherapy Caucus will occur during this meeting on Monday, May 5th from 3:00 to 5:00pm at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, 811 Seventh Avenue, Lower Lobby, Conference Room E.

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    Conflict is the theme of the 34th annual spring meeting of The American Psychological Association (APA) Division 39 (Division of Psychoanalysis). Although conflict is experienced at many levels - from individual suffering, to interpersonal and familial struggles, to violence and war, there are often few forums to discuss and learn from these experiences. This year’s program will promote a pluralistic dialogue to engage conflict openly and directly in an effort to hear differentiated perspectives with the goal of negotiation, clarification and understanding. Three Austen Riggs staff members will be presenting in this year’s program in New York City, taking place April 23 – 27.

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    The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center, the Yale Child Study Center and the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine are jointly sponsoring the third annual conference on parenting which will be held at the Austen Riggs Center on Friday and Saturday, May 16-17, 2014. The theme of this year’s conference focuses on the exploration of the research and clinical connections between early life experience, parenting, substance abuse, the intergenerational transmission of trauma, and the multiple life contexts for adult psychopathology.

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    The American Psychological Association (APA) Division 39 (Division of Psychoanalysis) is holding its 34th annual spring meeting Wednesday, April 23 through Sunday, April 27 in New York City.

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    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.

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    On March 26, Pamella Weeks, former therapeutic community staff member, lost her long and valiant struggle against ovarian cancer. Pam worked at the Austen Riggs Center for almost 20 years, starting in 1987 as a psychiatric worker. She became the Center-Wide Community Coordinator in the Therapeutic Community in March of 1994, a position she held up until she left Riggs in 2006.

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    In 2013 the Austen Riggs Center conducted a comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in order to identify and evaluate the key mental health needs of the national, regional and local communities we serve. One highlighted concern was to enhance access to quality mental health care services for low-income populations in Berkshire County. To that end, Riggs has begun conversations with the staff at the Brien Center, which serves a low-income population, to identify opportunities for Riggs staff to provide education and training to Brien Center clinicians.

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    Austen Riggs held a blog competition among staff members where we asked them to answer the question: “What does the open setting mean to you?” The entry below comes from Barbara Turner Hart, R.N., M.A., Nurse Educator.

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