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.
The first six weeks is a time to build relationships with members of the treatment team and with members of the patient community. In four times weekly psychotherapy, patients explore, with a therapist, their troubled experiences. Meanwhile in the therapeutic community  they can learn more directly about the ways in which they affect and are affected by other people, working together with staff and fellow patients to find meaning in whatever happens in the milieu.
The six-week evaluation and treatment phase concludes with a case conference where clinical staff gather to meet the patient, hear about the work so far, and review the initial assessments. These include a careful life history, an intergenerational family history, psychological testing, a psychiatric evaluation, and reports from the community program, nursing staff, substance abuse counselors, and social workers, as well as from the psychotherapist, who will integrate the findings and make recommendations consistent with the patient’s goals. Some patients return home or go elsewhere after this phase, while many remain to continue their work at Riggs.
To learn more about the first six weeks of treatment  at Austen Riggs and all that Riggs has to offer, please view the clinical perspective videos  below and visit the clinical work  section of our site.