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.
Dame Gillian Lynne is Broadway Royalty. She choreographed Cats and Phantom of the Opera, and at 88 is still dancing, but the story of the start of her career, told on NPR in a story on Weekend Edition Saturday, is a cautionary tale about the danger of viewing problems in psychiatry through the lens of vulnerability rather than plasticity. By the time Gillian was 7, her mother and her teachers were at their wits end with little “wriggle bottom,” who could not sit still and had no attention span.
It is not uncommon to find people who have spent a decade or two working at the Austen Riggs Center. There are even some who have spent 30 years tending to the mission and work. But Richard Q. Ford, PhD, who recently retired as the coordinator of psychological testing at Riggs, cultivated a 43-year relationship with Riggs as a fellow, a staff psychologist, a researcher and, for the last 20 years, as the coordinator of psychological testing.
“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the body’s physical and emotional response to extreme stress,” explains Dr. Christina Biedermann, staff psychologist at Austen Riggs Center. That stress is triggered by a life-threatening event, either a single incident, such as a car accident, or chronic trauma, such as military combat, abuse or chaotic relationships.
The Austen Riggs Center will be featured on the television program, Innovations, hosted by award winning actor Ed Begley, Jr., with an initial airing Monday, August 25, 7:00am EDT, on the Discovery Channel.