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, like me, you have a deep desire to understand what it is to be human, are not afraid to be challenged, and feel that one is able to truly make a clinical difference to someone through the power of analysis and perseverance, I cannot recommend a medical elective at Austen Riggs highly enough."
“People have eyes to see, ears to hear and art to feel.” Jo Ann Rothschild quoted her first teacher, Leo Garel, in an interview discussing her upcoming gallery opening in Stockbridge, MA. “One of the things that Leo taught is that art is useful for everyone. We do not have a specific organ to help us experience or even process our emotions, and that is where art comes in. Leo used to say that art is the organ for emotion.”
The history of trauma resides in each of us – as citizens we are marked by the past and present events taking place in the surrounding world. We ask the question – what to do with the casualties, the physically and psychically wounded and the collective injury to ideals of human dignity and community? This becomes a central task for those traumatized by various forms of violence, degradation, or disaster.