• Developing fulfilling relationships is not only a goal for many people who come to Riggs, it is also an integral part of the treatment program itself.

    This year, at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting, I heard a new catchphrase: "practicing at the top of your license." While I had heard this phrase a few times before, it seemed to be everywhere this year. The context in which this phrase tended to be uttered was when psychiatrists were describing the position that their employers took, when those psychiatrists wanted to provide some form of psychosocial treatment in addition to (or as an alternative to) the model of "15-minute med checks." The implication seemed to be, "you are medically trained, while others are not, so your energies should be devoted exclusively to providing medicine."

  • Team Leader and Staff Psychiatrist Dr. David Mintz gives an overview of the Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology Strategic Initiative at the Austen Riggs Center.

  • The Austen Riggs Center is a psychiatric treatment hospital with an open setting.

    As we approach the end of 2017, we thought we’d look back over some of our more popular blogs and blog series from this year.

    Here are five of the most popular blogs from October through December of this year.

  • Wearing a costume of a crying girl

    Dr. Jane Tillman discusses the drug Nuedexa and when does too much crying call for a prescribed medication. Who decides when someone is crying too much?

  • The Austen Riggs Center treatment approach is based on four-times weekly individual psychotherapy.

    Read about the programs and services that contribute to the interdisciplinary and individual treatment at Austen Riggs Center. 

  • Something for the Pain

    Suicide and opioid use/addiction have something in common: they are attempts to solve the problem of pain, both physical pain and psychological pain (also known as “psychache”) (Shneidman 1998). Last summer the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report indicating that death by suicide in the US increased by 24% between 1999 and 2014, translating to 44,193 lives lost each year to suicide–a rate of 13.26 per 100,000 individuals. And this year, in 2017, we have learned that deaths from drug overdoses have increased 2.5 times the rate in 1999, to a rate of 16.3 per 100,000 individuals (Hedegaard, Warner, and Miniño 2017). 

  • Stockbridge Main Street

    Austen Riggs Center guest blogger Dr. Jennifer Michaels writes about the impact of the opioid crisis in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. 

  • Psychotic disorders treatment at the Austen Riggs Center, Stockbridge, MA.

    Staff Psychologist Dr. Jeremy Ridenour talks about the Austen Riggs Center’s approach to treating psychosis and what successful treatment looks like.  

  • 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.

  • Medication

    Throughout America, individuals, families, and clinicians are struggling to make treatment available to those who need it. Meanwhile, the deaths of successful and wealthy celebrities demonstrate how extraordinarily difficult overcoming opioid addiction can be, as well as making it clear that addiction does not discriminate based on social status or economic means.



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