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.

  • Historic View of the Austen Riggs Center

    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.

  • Conference

    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.

  • Lee Damsky, PhD, Staff Psychologist

    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.

  • Mark Mulherrin, Instructor in Visual Arts

    The Austen Riggs Center is excited to announce an exhibit of nine new paintings by instructor of Visual Arts, Mark W. Mulherrin at the Lavender Door Gallery on 37 Main Street in Stockbridge, MA. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm and this exhibit is on display through February 20, 2014.

  • Austen Riggs Center

    In the past month at Riggs we held our biennial “open setting seminar” in which we study our community, paying particular attention to the unique challenges of working in a completely unlocked psychiatric hospital.

  • 2012 Fall Conference audience

    Recently, the Austen Riggs Center became a member of the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) and just last week attended their Annual Conference in Henderson, Nevada, where nearly 700 attendees gathered, shared information and built relationships with the goal of advancing the important work of the member schools and programs.

  • Austen Riggs Center

    This past December, the American Psychiatric Association's Board of Trustees approved the formation of a Caucus on Psychotherapy. According to Riggs own Eric Plakun, M.D., chair of the Assembly’s Task Force on Psychotherapy, the purpose of the Caucus is to “promote communication and networking among APA members who share a special interest in psychotherapy”.

  • Steven Ackerman, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist

    The alliance negotiated at admission makes treatment in an open setting possible. Steven Ackerman, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist, describes the importance of the alliance as it relates to treatment at Riggs.

  • Psychotherapy

    According to the American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline on Borderline Personality Disorder, the most effective treatment modality is not medication, but psychotherapy. This is why we make intensive individual psychodynamic psychotherapy a foundation of every treatment at Riggs.

  • The Lavender Door’s gallery at the Austen Riggs Center

    Just down the road from the main Riggs campus is a small historic building where professional artists offer individual instruction and workshops in fiber arts, woodworking, ceramics and visual arts to Riggs patients.



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