Family Work

  • Daltrey Turner, LICSW is a Clinical Social Worker at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Family work is an important part of the treatment at Riggs for many patients and their families. A licensed, clinical social worker who is part of each patient’s treatment team serves in the role of family liaison and family co-therapist. Riggs social worker Daltrey Turner, LICSW, remarks, “The basic tenets of social work are a systems approach to understanding peoples’ troubles and people having agency in their own lives … both of those tenets are right at home in this institution [Riggs].”

  • Margaret Kotarba, LICSW, Senior Social Worker, Austen Riggs Center.

    At the Austen Riggs Center, a team of clinical professionals follow patients from admission to discharge. Social workers play a crucial role within the interdisciplinary treatment team and provide a number of essential services for both patients and their families throughout a patient’s stay.

    This blog series will explore some roles social workers have, what has changed about social work and what the future holds for social work at Riggs. 

  • The Austen Riggs Center uses a treatment team approach in their work with patients struggling with complex mental disorders

    Schizophrenia and psychosis are getting considerable attention in the media. Riggs clinician Jane G. Tillman, PhD, discusses psychosis, early warning signs and working with individuals struggling with psychosis in a series of blog posts. 

  • Considering psychotherapy

    A person in a borderline state has had trouble in their primary relationship of dependency in life. Setting up an intensive psychotherapy invites them to depend on their therapist, thereby creating a situation, a charged situation to be sure, where the problems can be felt first hand and talked about. We can connect what happens in the therapy to the therapeutic relationship itself, and to other people in the patient's life.

  • The obscurity of trauma

    Sometimes the abuse is not evident right away even when it is quite clear that it occurred. But when we see the array of difficulties I’ve discussed —substance abuse, self-harm, eating disorders, disassociation, and so on —we know there’s some deep trouble somewhere—and that may be a history of abuse or trauma.

  • The importance of providing diapers to mothers

    One of the hidden problems of poverty is diaper need. Earlier this month, the Erikson Institute and the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute sponsored a talk detailing the need for diapers. This video features Megan V. Smith, DrPH. of the Yale Department of Psychiatry, Child Study, and Public Health at the Yale University School of Medicine.

  • Marilyn Charles therapy session

    Last month, clinicians and researchers gathered at the Austen Riggs Center for an exciting, stimulating two-day exchange of learning and collaboration at the third annual Riggs-Yale conference. Throughout the conference, which focused on Early Adversity and Developmental Psychopathology, there was a robust discussion about the growing evidence for the value of working with individuals who struggle with mental illness from a biopsychosocial perspective rather than a reductionist biomedical model, also known as the “bio-bio-bio” approach (as coined by Steve Sharfstein, MD in his American Psychiatric Association presidential address) that is currently more prevalent in the mental health care system.

  • Margaret Kotarba, Senior Social Worker

    Margaret Kotarba, LICSW, explains the role of the social worker and the value of the family's involvement in the treatment.

  • Family work

    The importance of family work at the Austen Riggs Center.



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