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.

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    Psychotherapy

    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. 

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    The importance of providing diapers to mothers

    This Saturday, 9/6, from 9:30 to 11:00, The Austen Riggs Center will be hosting a CME/CEU talk by Megan V. Smith, Dr.PH, on "Diaper Need and its Impact on Families."

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    Jeb Fowler, PhD Fellow in Psychology

    “He would remember feeling how impossible it was. He would remember the heat, the voltage in his arms and wrists. Why? He thought, but he didn’t know. All he knew was fury.”

    - Lake in the Woods, by Tim O’Brien

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    Erikson Institute Media Prize winners

    Erik Erikson famously wrote about identity. He indicated that a central negotiation required developing an increasing congruence between your views of yourself and the views others have of you. Learning to ‘see yourself as others see you’, as the poet Robert Burns put it, is a major developmental achievement not easily accomplished. A recognizable and accepted identity allows us to live more freely in the social world.

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    Richard Q. Ford, PhD

    It is not uncommon to find people who have spent a decade or two working at the Austen Riggs Center. There are even some who have spent 30 years tending to the mission and work. But Richard Q. Ford, PhD, who recently retired as the coordinator of psychological testing at Riggs, cultivated a 43-year relationship with Riggs as a fellow, a staff psychologist, a researcher and, for the last 20 years, as the coordinator of psychological testing. 

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    Dr. Christina Biedermann, staff psychologist at Austen Riggs Center

    “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the body’s physical and emotional response to extreme stress,” explains Dr. Christina Biedermann, staff psychologist at Austen Riggs Center.  That stress is triggered by a life-threatening event, either a single incident, such as a car accident, or chronic trauma, such as military combat, abuse or chaotic relationships. 

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    Patient room

    The Austen Riggs Center will be featured on the television program, Innovations, hosted by award winning actor Ed Begley, Jr., with an initial airing Monday, August 25, 7:00am EDT, on the Discovery Channel. 

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    Robin Williams

    Robin Williams’ death by suicide has drawn attention to the complicated circumstances and feelings that surround the issue of suicide.  When I started studying suicide and its effects on clinicians in 1998 I did not know that this would become a career trajectory.  Suicide back then was swept under the rug and rarely acknowledged as a professional hazard or something to be discussed much in public. 

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    Barbara Turner Hart, MSN, nurse educator

    On a beautiful afternoon, Friday, June 27, co-workers and friends gathered to celebrate Barbara Turner Hart, MSN, nurse educator for the last 10 years at Riggs, as she retired from a 42-year career in nursing, 18 of which were spent at Riggs.

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    Enchantment Theater

    In translation, there is a source that is changed or clarified to create something that communicates information in a way we can better understand. What happens in the space between the source and what is created was the topic of much discussion during the annual Creativity Seminar at Riggs on August 1-2, 2014. 

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