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 first task of a psychotherapist is to listen. This is not as easy as it might seem. Another person’s suffering can be hard to witness without turning away. Formal education in mental health teaches us to categorize and formulate according to patterns and principles. These are necessary guides but they cannot fully capture the sources of an individual’s trouble nor pinpoint guaranteed cures.
When clinical staff at Austen Riggs talk about "the open setting," we are invoking a concept intimately familiar to those of us, both patients and staff, who have been here for any significant period of time. What we mean by this term, however, is not always immediately obvious outside this system.
As part of our Winter Chat series provided for patients and staff, Riggs Food Services Manager, Adrian Bennett, gave an informative and delicious demonstration on how to prepare and cook four basic Indian dishes (Lemony Red Lentil Dahl, Cilantro Mint Chutney, Vegetable Biryani and Kachumbar) that the audience gratefully sampled at the conclusion.
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?” Over the next few weeks you will read entries from a diverse field of respondents. Congratulations to David Mintz, M.D., Team Leader and Staff Therapist, for creating the winning blog entry.