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.
At a luncheon on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 16, 2014, the Austen Riggs Center awarded three graduating high school seniors the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Scholarship.
Not everyone knows this, but there is a well-curated library at the Austen Riggs Center that features numerous volumes related to psychodynamic thought, psychotherapy and analytically informed studies. Available as a resource for many local clinicians and mental health professionals, including the staff at Riggs, this collection contains a veritable wealth of information.
The first task of a psychotherapist is to listen. This is not as easy as it might seem. Another person’s suffering can be hard to witness without turning away. Formal education in mental health teaches us to categorize and formulate according to patterns and principles. These are necessary guides but they cannot fully capture the sources of an individual’s trouble nor pinpoint guaranteed cures.