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.
“Our patients often struggle alone with serious secret and shameful self-doubt, and therapy offers a private space to form a relationship, come to trust someone and be less alone with their pain.” – Eric Plakun, MD, director of admissions and associate medical director
The Austen Riggs Center has a long history of treating patients who have tried and failed to respond to previous treatment efforts. Early on, Riggs clinicians recognized the importance of so-called “treatment resistant” psychiatric disorders and their associated societal, financial and personal burdens – including death by suicide.
It has been a year since the last National Suicide Prevention week, a year in which, according to the American Association of Suicidology, an estimated one million more individuals worldwide have taken their own lives.
We focus on the whole person, including the trauma. “We try to learn from a person’s relationships—past and present. We try to understand the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that come up in relationships, some of which otherwise might sabotage treatment,” she says. People with complex trauma histories often become reactive to relationships in ways they don’t understand. We try to help them understand and organize themselves so they can stay in treatment and approach their trauma in a safe way.