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.

  • Elizabeth Weinberg, MD,

    After a competitive grant application process and review by members of the Austen Riggs Center external Research Consolation Group, the Erikson Institute is pleased to announce the first recipient of the EIDEA research grant: Elizabeth Weinberg, MD. Dr. Weinberg’s study “Short and Long-term Treatment Response in the Psychodynamic Treatment of Patients with Treatment Resistant Depression” will benefit from this first round of EIDEA funding.  

  • The Science and Practice of Change poster

    The Yale University School of Medicine and the Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center are jointly sponsoring the fourth annual Yale-Riggs Conference on Developmental Psychopathology, Family Process and Social Context, which will be held Friday-Saturday, June 19-20, 2015 at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, CT. The title of this year’s conference is The Science and Practice of Change: Contemporary Perspectives on Defining and Documenting Clinical Outcomes. 

  • The obscurity of trauma

    Let’s take a step back for a moment. What does psychotic mean in the first place? 

    For a lay-person, it means an altered sense of reality, a lack of shared reality with other people. Of course, we all have our own slant on reality, but hopefully we have enough touch points or shared points where we can have what we call a consensual reality.

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

    It isn’t easy to tell when a large ship is turning at sea, but there are signs the large vessel of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is turning back toward a biopsychosocial model. In Toronto at the APA annual meeting there was new openness to the importance of environmental factors in the causation and treatment of mental and substance use disorders.

  • Eric Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych in admission consultation

    The May 2015 issue of Psychiatric Times features an article written by Riggs Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions Eric Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych. In his article, “Correcting Psychiatry’s False Assumptions and Implementing Parity,” Dr. Plakun outlines what he views as psychiatry’s three false assumptions and the struggle for the full implementation of parity for mental health care in the current managed care environment in the United States.

  • Family consultation

    In this five-part series exploring psychotic spectrum disorders, we will present excerpts from a longer interview with Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP, Evelyn Stefansson Nef Director of the Erikson Institute for Education and Research of the Austen Riggs Center, a member of the Riggs clinical staff and an authority on psychotic spectrum disorders. At the end of the series, we will make the interview, in its entirety, available in our Resource Center.

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

    The Psychotherapy Caucus of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) (approved by the APA Board of Trustees in December 2013) is the only place in the structure of the APA that represents psychotherapy as a crucial part of the training, identity and skills of psychiatrists. Brought to fruition by the APA Assembly’s Task Force on Psychotherapy, led by Riggs Associate Medical Director Eric Plakun, MD, and bolstered by Riggs psychiatrists Elizabeth Weinberg, David Flynn, Samar Habl and several non-Riggs psychiatrists, the Psychotherapy Caucus is an inclusive “big tent” forum, in which psychiatrists interested in any form of psychotherapy and psychosocial treatment may network and communicate with one another concerning areas of common interest and concern.

  • Psych testing

    Austen Riggs held a blog competition among staff members where we asked them to write about the topic: “How My Work Makes a Difference.”  This is the last blog in the series written by Kim Hunter-Schaedle, PhD, Manager of Institutional Research.

  • David Mintz, MD, 2015 AAPDP Annual Conference Presenter

    Each year, Riggs psychiatrists attend, present and engage with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting and several other meetings organized around the APA Annual Meeting. This year, seven Riggs psychiatrists will be in Toronto, teaching, speaking and presenting on topics related to psychiatry, viewed through a psychodynamic lens. 

  • The Merchant of Venice poster

    Each spring for the past decade or so, Riggs Theatre 37 has staged a work by Shakespeare. Out of several options Coleman brought to the patients this year, the one chosen for production was The Merchant of Venice

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