Meaning of Behavior

  • Austen Riggs Center Associate Medical Director and Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy Dr. Eric Plakun writes about the Four Freedoms in Mental Health Care

    Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Dr. Eric Plakun writes about the Four Freedoms of Mental Health Care

  • The Austen Riggs Center has a therapeutic community in an open treatment setting.

    Entering the open setting here at Riggs produces a kind of culture shock—this holds for patients, for their families, and for new staff. As a psychiatric hospital, Riggs is unique, and it is the open setting that makes it unique: no locked wards, no security guards, no pass system. Patients have cars, hold jobs, come and go to college, sit (or work) in the coffee shop down the street.

  • Anne Dailey, J.D., Erikson Scholar

    Anne C. Dailey, JD, reflects on her time at Riggs as an Erikson Scholar and the book she was working on at the time–Law and the Unconscious: A Psychoanalytic Perspective (Yale University Press, 2017).

  • National Nurses Week 2014

    Austen Riggs held a blog competition among staff members where we asked them to write about what nursing means at Riggs. Over the next couple of weeks you will read the two winning blogs. The first blog is written by Louise Posnick, Staff Nurse.

  • The Austen Riggs Center provides intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy in a voluntary, open, and non-coercive community.

    Donna Elmendorf, PhD, Claudia Gold, MD, and Kate Jewson, BS, have been recognized for their work in the Human Development Strategic Initiative, receiving the prestigious Anna Freud Educational Achievement Award from the American Psychoanalytic Association’s (APsaA) Schools Committee.

  • The Austen Riggs Center is focusing some of our research efforts on the issue of suicide.

    This past April, in my blog post entitled “Understanding Self-Destructive Impulses in Daily Life,” I discussed the important impact that daily experiences–in particular, daily interpersonal experiences–can have on self-destructive impulses. For individuals who are contending with chronic mental health concerns and suicidal ideation, feeling at odds with friends and loved ones can increase stress and hopelessness, and prevent relationships with others from serving a protective role during times of crisis.

  • Eric M. Plakun, MD is the Associate Medical Director and Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Associate Medical Director and Director of Biopsychosocial Advocacy Dr. Eric M. Plakun gives an overview of the Biopsychosocial Advocacy Strategic Initiative at the Austen Riggs Center.

  • Jeremy Ridenour, PsyD is a Fellow in Psychology at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Dr. Ridenour talks about why he came to the Riggs Fellowship, what his experience was like, why those looking for a fellowship should consider Riggs, and what he looks forward to after graduation.

  • Members find their own unique ways of belonging and making a difference in the therapeutic community at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Communities are inherently therapeutic – at least potentially. Social networks support longer, healthier, happier lives. Many research studies suggest that even relatively introverted people do better, emotionally and physically, when they feel connected to other people. The connections do not have to be deep and the contact does not have to be frequent, it just needs to be felt as connectedness.

  • Heather Forouhar Graff, MD, is a psychiatry Fellow in psychoanalytic studies at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Psychiatry Fellow Dr. Heather Forouhar Graff speaks about the unique approach to prescribing Fellows learn – psychodynamic psychopharmacology – during their training at Riggs.



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