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.
If you tuned into cable news during the last month you may have seen two more politicians engulfed in scandal. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was caught smoking crack and Congressman Trey Radel (R-FL) was caught buying cocaine. The recent events have sparked extensive coverage in the media, political discussions and ample material for comedians. It seems that politicians behaving badly creates a place for society to wrestle with views on addiction and individual responsibility.
“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.
The Austen Riggs Center has an initial six-week period of evaluation and treatment. All patients begin in this phase, at a residential or hospital level of care. During this time they work to better understand whatever brings them here.