Austen Riggs Reviews

Austen Riggs Reviews

Former patients:

Read testimonials from former patients and staff of the Austen Riggs Center"When I came to Riggs, after 40 psychiatric hospitalizations, I was dying; I was like a piece of furniture. I found the intensive psychotherapy at Riggs painful, difficult, and extraordinary. The therapeutic community gave me the opportunity to see the devastating aspects of my behavior reflected in my peers. I found my best self at Riggs." Polly Schlitz, writer, actress, and former patient

"It has been over 25 years since I was at Riggs.  Although being in a hospital is not an easy experience, I have fond memories of Riggs.  I felt safe there and was so grateful to the staff at the Lavender Door and to the nurses who gave me so much of their time, caring and support. Riggs feels like my childhood home. It is where I was raised with love and compassion and where my life began." Michele, former patient

"I consider coming to Austen Riggs was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life so far." Mark, former patient

“I went to Riggs thinking that it was the end of my journey, that this was my last hope to regain a normal life, to not run away from treatment. I didn’t run away, but I realized much much later that it was the beginning of my journey... Riggs laid a foundation for what I needed to deal with in therapy, as well as positive experiences and varied coping skills for what I could and would turn to and build on. I have found that a little openness on my part can go a long way in building relationships.” RE, former patient

“I wish there were more facilities like Riggs around the country. The open environment and the treatment are like none other. They provided me with a sense of freedom that I certainly didn’t have anywhere else. Being able to leave the grounds and explore the Berkshires was wonderful and contributed to my sense of wellbeing. And I look at my experience here with only the fondest of memories. You get out of Riggs of what you put into it. That’s the bottom line. I worked extremely hard and was determined to get better and I did.”  Jen, former patient

“I look at Riggs as the place that broke my fall. One thing Riggs helped me develop was the ability to find my own voice. I had stuffed everything away for so long. In giving me the space to discover my competency, I found my voice. I started by expressing my anger about almost everything. But this expression opened many doors for me.  From there, I broke the downward spiral.” CJ, former patient

“Coming to Riggs when I did was the best thing I could have done for myself. After being a patient on a locked unit, I had a much greater appreciation for the open setting, and for the community I was now a part of. I really never had the experience of feeling part of a community. I had friends, housemates, but I never felt I belonged to a community that had a sense of common purpose... What I learned as a community member at Riggs is that when things are going badly, don’t retreat and isolate – turn to the people around you. That is what buffered me from depressive episodes at Riggs, and having a community of people around me is still important to me today.”  Daniel, former patient