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.
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.
Concern about unacceptable shortfalls in the VA system’s ability to respond to the medical and psychiatric needs of veterans is not new. The Associated Press reminds us the issue was unearthed by a task force appointed by former president George W. Bush eleven years ago and was reported again two years ago in a Senate hearing. Of course, the problem will only grow as large numbers of active duty soldiers leave the military and enter the VA medical system.
Papers from the 2012 Fall Conference, "Untold Stories, Hidden Wounds: War Trauma and Its Treatment," were recently published in a special issue of Psychoanalytic Psychology (April 2014).
To promote quality improvement, the Austen Riggs Center, strives continuously to collect and analyze measures of patient satisfaction, family satisfaction, demographics, and clinical change. At the beginning and end of treatment at Austen Riggs, we measure an individual’s symptom severity and assess their overall level of functioning