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Psychoanalysis

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

    A Commentary by Toronto based historian of psychiatry, Edward Shorter, PhD has just been published in Psychiatric Times. Dr. Shorter’s provocative comments often but not always miss the mark, but nowhere are they more offensive, misinformed and misguided than in his attack on the biopsychosocial model and on psychoanalysis, which he compares to witchcraft. He asserts that the mental health system would benefit if both of these were dropped.

  • Therapeutic Relationship

    All patients begin in an evaluation and treatment phase for the first six weeks of their treatment at a residential or hospital level of care. This time is used to better understand whatever brings them to the Austen Riggs Center.

  • Therapeutic Community Program Manager at the Austen Riggs Center, Cornelia Kalisher, LSW

    In this six-part series exploring trauma, we will present excerpts from a longer interview with E. Virginia Demos, EdD, a member of the clinical staff at the Austen Riggs Center and an authority on trauma. At the end of the series, we will make the interview, in its entirety, available in our Resource Center. 

  • Consultation

    The final stage is a very cautious, slow, opening up of hope for something different, namely to come out of hiding, and trusting that maybe, just maybe they can be safe in the world beyond the therapy. That can be a terrifying moment, because they have spent years protecting themselves, by not allowing themselves to hope for something, or to trust someone in an intimate relationship.

  • 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.

  • Consultation

    In this six-part series exploring trauma, we will present excerpts from a longer interview with E. Virginia Demos, EdD, a member of the clinical staff at the Austen Riggs Center and an authority on trauma. At the end of the series, we will make the interview, in its entirety, available in our Resource Center. 

  • Otto F. Kernberg, MD Director of the Personality Disorders Institute  New York-Presbyterian/Westchester Division

    You've surely heard of depression and anxiety and may have read about bipolar disorder. But even though it affects up to two percent of the U.S. population, borderline personality disorder, or BPD – with its erratic moods, relationships and behaviors – is far less well-known.

  • Annie Rogers, PhD, explores psychosis and the enigma of language

    The current Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center, Annie Rogers, PhD, is many things. She is a professor of psychoanalysis and clinical psychology at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in Ireland, a Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard University and a Whiting Fellowship at Hampshire College. She is the author of A Shining Affliction (1995) and The Unsayable: The Hidden Language of Trauma (2006), as well as academic articles, memoir, short fiction and poetry. She is a scholar, a teacher, an artist.

  • Therapeutic Relationship

    “Our patients often struggle alone with serious secret and shameful self-doubt, and therapy offers a private space to form a relationship, come to trust someone and be less alone with their pain.” – Eric Plakun, MD, director of admissions and associate medical director

  • Therapeutic Community Program Manager at the Austen Riggs Center, Cornelia Kalisher, LSW

    The relationship between you and your therapist is important. How do you find a therapist whom you have never met, and be able to feel comfortable sharing some of your deepest, most personal thoughts and feelings with them?  While this might seem like a daunting task, here are some ideas that may help you:

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