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.
If you tuned into cable news during the last month you may have seen two more politicians engulfed in scandal. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught smoking crack and Congressman Trey Radel (R-FL) was caught buying cocaine. The recent events have sparked extensive coverage in the media, political discussions and ample material for comedians. It seems that politicians behaving badly creates a place for society to wrestle with views on addiction and individual responsibility.
Part of the rich history of the Austen Riggs Center is the impact and work of Erik Erikson. We also have his spouse, Joan Erikson, to thank for making a lasting and meaningful impact on our treatment model and on the patients who benefit from being at the Center.
Since many of us at Riggs and in the Berkshires are periodic users of Metro North trains for travel into New York City, we have followed with great concern and sadness the tragic crash of a Metro North train in the Bronx last week. How awful that four died and so many sustained injuries that early morning. Our thoughts and condolences go out to all the victims—including the engineer.