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Depression

  • Daphne Merkin

    Daphne Merkin, author of This Close to Happy, talks about her book, how it’s been received, and her impression of Riggs during her recent visit to deliver a Friday Night Guest Lecture. 

  • Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions

    Austen Riggs Center Associate Medical Director Dr. Eric Plakun comments on meta-analyses showing “equivalence” of psychodynamic psychotherapy.

  • Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

    The opioid epidemic is a special problem among those with mental disorders. Of 115 million opioid prescriptions distributed annually in the US, more than half were received by the 16% of Americans with mental disorders (Davis et. al 2017). The Austen Riggs Center doesn’t offer primary addiction treatment, but about half our patients, like Karen*, have a substance use disorder as part of a complicated clinical picture and have often been prescribed opioids unnecessarily.

  • Psychotherapy

    Austen Riggs Center Staff Psychologist Dr. Jeremy Ridenour talks about the symptoms of psychosis.

  • Lee Watroba and Bertha Connelley are leading efforts to engage Riggs staff with suicide prevention and advocacy on the local and regional levels.

    Whether working locally with suicide prevention organizations, presenting at conferences, or contributing to the larger field of suicidology through research and scholarship, the Austen Riggs Center and its staff are committed to better understanding and preventing suicide.

  • Austen Riggs Center staff members Dr. Donna Elmendorf and Dr. Claudia Gold respond to a recent New York Times article, “The Birth of a Mother.” 

  • In making the diagnosis of a personality disorder, a clinician takes into account a full, thoughtful assessment not just of symptoms, but also of all the relevant psychological, social, and relational information.

    In thinking about borderline personality disorder, it's important to think about the individuality of the person carrying the diagnosis. A person with BPD isn't "a borderline," but is a person first and foremost. In making the diagnosis of a personality disorder, a clinician takes into account a full, thoughtful assessment not just of symptoms, but also of all the relevant psychological, social, and relational information.

  • Andrew J. Gerber, MD, PhD, is the CEO/Medical Director of the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA.

    Psychiatry has long utilized symptom clusters to classify mental illness, and today the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which outlines specific conditions as independent entities, remains the standard tool in the field. However, in the past decade or so, there has been growing interest in new ways to characterize mental illness, such as through gene mutations or physiological recordings, which have the potential of adding depth and dimensionality to the understanding of mental illness, and of informing the treatment trajectory.

  • The Austen Riggs Center offers a unique therapeutic approach in an voluntary and open setting.

    It was a busy year for the Riggs Blog, with more than 100 pieces published – from commentary and current events to our treatment approach and our values. 

  • Austen Riggs uses a biopsychosocial approach to treating complex psychiatric disorders.

    Over the last several decades, the mainstream psychiatric understanding and treatment of major depression has increasingly been seen through the lens of neurobiology:  a problem of chemical imbalance, for which the first line treatment is often the correction of the chemical imbalance with antidepressant medications.

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