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.
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.
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.
In his remarkable and thorough piece on the open setting, Riggs’ staff psychologist John Muller, Ph.D. reflects on the meaning of the open setting at Riggs, the implications it has for treatment, both for patients and staff, and the importance of maintaining the open setting for the benefit of the treatment.
The work at Riggs, which places the dignity of the patient at its center, is difficult but rewarding. When we look inward, it is easy to become absorbed in that work and sometimes to feel a deep sense of accomplishment. When we look outward, we have the opportunity to engage those around us in a learning dialogue, but we also encounter the enormity of the problems within mental health more broadly.