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.
Now in the second year of its latest and reimagined form, the Austen Riggs Nursery School continues to be a lively, vibrant space for preschoolers to learn, explore and grow, developing a strong foundation that will carry them into kindergarten. Likewise, it is a space where patients at the Austen Riggs Center work as interns and aides, experiencing childhood through the lens of the nearly three year-old to six year-olds who attend the Nursery School.
“He would remember feeling how impossible it was. He would remember the heat, the voltage in his arms and wrists. Why? He thought, but he didn’t know. All he knew was fury.”
- Lake in the Woods, by Tim O’Brien
Erik Erikson famously wrote about identity. He indicated that a central negotiation required developing an increasing congruence between your views of yourself and the views others have of you. Learning to ‘see yourself as others see you’, as the poet Robert Burns put it, is a major developmental achievement not easily accomplished. A recognizable and accepted identity allows us to live more freely in the social world.
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.