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.
As part of our Winter Chat series provided for patients and staff, three long-time staff members Donna M. Elmendorf, Ph.D., Diane Heckman, R.N. and Cornelia Kalischer facilitated a fun and freewheeling trip through the 95-year history of the Austen Riggs Center, stopping at several milestones along the way and engaging the specific interests of the audience by utilizing a question and answer format.
At the recent American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) conference in New York City, Gerard Fromm, Ph.D., Senior Consultant to the Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center, gave a stirring presentation on Dignity. This series of blog posts will examine dignity as it relates to the clinical work carried out here at Riggs and beyond.
Each patient admitted to Riggs begins their stay at The Inn Residence, located on the main campus. The first six-weeks at Riggs is an Initial Evaluation and Treatment phase, during which patients are usually settling in, discovering which aspects of the program are best suited to their needs, getting to know other members of the community and beginning to allow themselves to be known. Lee Damsky, Ph.D., staff psychologist, describes the first six weeks of treatment at the Austen Riggs Center.