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  • Dr. Eric Plakun spoke at the Austen Riggs Center Centennial Conference: The Mental Health Crisis in America.

    This video series is taken from our Centennial Conference and features excerpts from many of the presentations – check back often or bookmark the Riggs Blog to see new videos.

    “There is an excessive focus on the biomedical at the expense of the biopsychosocial. . . . there are false assumptions that genes equal disease, that patients have single disorders that respond to single evidence-based treatments, that pills are the best treatment that we have.” states Dr. Plakun.

  • Marilyn Charles therapy session

    Freedom of Access to Medically Necessary Treatment is one of the Four Freedoms that is a foundation of mental health.  

    As clinicians know, and as Federal District Court Judge Joseph Spero made part of his verdict in the landmark Wit v. UBH class action lawsuit [which we reference later in this piece], treatment should address underlying problems and co-occurring disorders in a way that goes well beyond mere crisis stabilization. This kind of treatment pursues the goal of recovery. Freedom to Pursue Recovery is another of the Four Freedoms that are foundations of mental health.  

  • Ted Kennedy, Jr., Esq., presented Improving Access to Care: New Frontiers in Parity and Civil Rights at the Austen Riggs Center Centennial Conference.

    “It’s when you work together in a team, in a coordinated way that you can really leverage your power. And people with disabilities, with mental health conditions and physical health conditions have a lot more political power than we think we might,” remarks Ted Kennedy Jr., Esq. in these select remarks from his presentation.

  • Tom Insel, MD, gave a keynote presentation at the Austen Riggs Center's Centennial Conference: The Mental Health Crisis in America.

    Moving the needle on the mental health crisis demands new (and old) solutions, argues Tom Insel, MD, in these select remarks from his keynote presentation, “Beyond Magical Thinking.”  

  • This video series is taken from our Centennial Conference and features excerpts from many of the presentations – check back often or bookmark the Riggs Blog to see new videos.  

    Can a psychodynamic approach work for children with ADHD? Francine Conway, PhD, makes the case in support of that position in these select remarks from her presentation, “The ADHD Compassion Project: Dispelling the Illusion of Children with ADHD as the ‘Bad’ Other.”  

  • Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Eric Plakun, MD, comments on the October 31, 2019 court filing alleging that Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is using overly restrictive clinical guidelines, developed by MCG Health (MCG), to deny medically necessary residential treatment for behavioral health care.  

  • Exploring the Impact of Client Suicides on Clinicians

    An exploration of the development of psychoanalysis in North America in the November 1 issues of Psychiatric News

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

    Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Eric M. Plakun, MD, outlines four tools to help maximize appeal success when insurance claims are denied.

  • Photos from the Austen Riggs Center’s Centennial Conference-The Mental Health Crisis in America: Recognizing Problems, Working Toward Solutions.

    The Austen Riggs Center welcomed more than 200 individuals to our Centennial Conference–The Mental Health Crisis in America: Recognizing Problems, Working Toward Solutions–at Tanglewood’s new Linde Center for Music and Learning.

  • The Austen Riggs Center is proposing the Four Freedoms of Mental Health, owed to all people struggling with mental illness, one of which is the Freedom to Pursue Recovery.

    One of our proposed Four Freedoms of Mental Health is the freedom to pursue recovery. 

    Recovery from mental disorders is a process that unfolds over time; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines recovery as “a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2019). Living a self-directed life is a cornerstone of recovery—and a central focus of treatment at Riggs. Given the real obstacles posed by stigma, limited clinical models to help address mental illness for many individuals, and lack of access to medically necessary treatment—especially in the tendency of many insurance entities to limit access to care to crisis stabilization—the prospect of achieving recovery can be daunting. 

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