Clinical Work

Our Treatment Program

Marilyn Charles therapy session

Riggs is known for its longstanding tradition of providing intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy in a voluntary, open, and non-coercive community. Patients not helped in other settings can often benefit from deeper, more thorough psychodynamic evaluation and treatment. Riggs offers a continuum of programs and services within a core treatment framework that remains consistent throughout the patient’s stay.

Many individuals struggling with psychiatric problems can find themselves caught up in treatments that are at an impasse, characterized by chronic crisis management and interrupted by frequent short-term hospitalizations. Often, their treatment stirs up such intense feelings that a patient cannot function adequately between sessions, no matter how frequent.

“The consistent trend toward larger effect sizes at follow-up suggests that psychodynamic psychotherapy sets in motion psychological processes that lead to ongoing change, even after therapy has ended."

From The Efficacy of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, American Psychologist, Jonathan Shedler, PhD, University of Colorado Denver.

Related Resources

Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych  and Spencer Biel, PsyD

Many patients lack the capacity to manage intense affects between therapy sessions, and as a result are caught in impasses as treatment becomes organized around fending off the next crisis or recovering from the last. Risk of suicide is often part of this presentation. Among the range of interventions that may help such patients emerge from impasse and treatment resistance is residential treatment, particularly psychodynamic residential treatment. We describe the role of residential treatment for such patients and offer an illustrative case example. 

A Patient's Perspective

The purpose of A Patient's Perspective is to portray a patient’s experience of treatment at the Austen Riggs Center. 

Margaret Parish, PhD, Director of Patient Care

Margaret Parish, PhD, Director of Patient Care talks about psychoanalytic psychotherapy at Austen Riggs.

Jane Tillman, PhD, ABPP, Director of the Erikson Institute and Staff Psychologist

Jane Tillman, PhD, ABPP, Director of the Erikson Institute and Staff Psychologist talks about treatment teams at the Austen Riggs Center.

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