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.

  • 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?

  • Mark Mulherrin, Instructor in Visual Arts

    The Activities Program was founded in 1954 by Joan Erikson, artist, dancer and wife of Erik Erikson. She understood well the value and importance of play and exploration, not only for children, but also for adults, particularly those working hard to take charge of their lives. 

  • Considering psychotherapy

    A person in a borderline state has had trouble in their primary relationship of dependency in life. Setting up an intensive psychotherapy invites them to depend on their therapist, thereby creating a situation, a charged situation to be sure, where the problems can be felt first hand and talked about. We can connect what happens in the therapy to the therapeutic relationship itself, and to other people in the patient's life.

  • The Austen Riggs Center commends Berkshire Community Scholarship recipient, Christopher Broast

    The Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce that Christopher Broast is the 2015 recipient of the Austen Riggs Center Scholarship.  Given annually since 1977, the scholarship is awarded to a graduating Berkshire Community College (BCC) student who has demonstrated academic excellence in the behavioral sciences. 

  • E. Virginia Demos, EdD, Staff Psychologist

    Dr. Demos arrived at the Austen Riggs Center as an Erikson Scholar at a time when Erikson Scholars spent an entire year at Riggs. When her successor was unable to fill the role, Dr. Demos was asked to stay on for an additional year, which proved enough to convince the Riggs staff and her that serving as a therapist at Riggs was a meaningful path forward. 

  • In part four of our blog series on borderline personality disorder, Dr. M. Gerard Fromm answers the questions: What do people suffering from this condition, look like and talk like? How would a doctor or a family member recognize borderline?



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