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.

  • Psychiatric testing

    Director of Psychological Testing Christina Biedermann, PsyD, talks about the weekly Psych Testing Seminar that is an integral component throughout the four years of the Psychology Fellowship at the Austen Riggs Center.

  • 2015 Erikson Institute Fall Conference: Violence in Relation to Gender and Sexuality

    Each year, the Erikson Institute for Education and Research organizes and presents a Fall Conference for clinicians and scholars at the Austen Riggs Center. This year’s conference, Violence in Relation to Gender and Sexuality, will bring a psychoanalytic perspective to a multidisciplinary conversation about violence occurring in relation to gender and sexuality. 

  • Psychological Testing at the Austen Riggs Center

    Director of Psychological Testing Christina Biedermann, PsyD, gives an overview of psychological testing at Riggs and its place in the initial six-week treatment and evaluation phase at the Austen Riggs Center. She states, “We are trying to get a picture of someone’s internal world the best that we can.”

  • The obscurity of trauma

    Want to find out more about PTSD?  Riggs clinicians provide information about PTSD and Trauma in various blog posts often summarizing their research or scholarly work.

  • Dr. Stephen Xenakis, Brigadier General (Ret), USA is a Former Erikson Scholar at Austen Riggs.

    Erikson Scholar Brig. General (ret) Stephen Xenakis, MD spoke to an invited crowd of around 60 on Monday evening, August 10, 2015. The topic of his presentation was Up Close: Terrorism, Torture, PTSD and Radicalization. 

  • Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions

    Riggs Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions Eric Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, was interviewed for a piece about the APA Caucus on Psychotherapy that appears in a recent issue of Psychiatric News

  • Division 39 president Marilyn Charles, Ph.D., ABPP

    The 2015 Psychodynamic Graduate Training in Psychology: Crises, Challenges and Opportunities II is an opportunity for training directors at graduate programs and internships, staff and students, or as conference director Marilyn Charles, PhD, ABPP, stated, “anyone trying to support psychodynamic work at a graduate level” to come together, identify areas of shared concern, work toward solutions and develop a supportive social network. The conference will be held at the Austen Riggs Center on October 3-4, 2015.

  • National Nurses Week 2014

    “I spend almost all of my time with the patients:  coffee hour, dinner and one-on-one counseling.  The counseling time I enjoy the most.  I think there’s something about me that lets people feel like they can approach me.  I really care about the patients at Riggs.  I think they can sense that I care about connecting with them.  They want to be reached.  And they want to connect back.  They want to have someone listen to them, be curious about them, and care.”

  • John Santopietro, MD, Describes the Stigma Barrier to Behavioral Health Issues

    John Santopietro, MD, is the chief clinical officer of behavioral health at Carolinas HealthCare System and a graduate of the Austen Riggs Center Fellowship. In the video link below, Dr. Santopietro talks about the role stigma plays in keeping some people from accessing the kind of care they need to meet their behavioral health needs. 

  • Psychotherapy

    Dr. M. Gerard Fromm, PhD, ABPP answers the question: When it comes to borderline patients, what are the challenges for the therapist and the staff?



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