• Patient room

    The Austen Riggs Center will be featured on the television program, Innovations, hosted by award winning actor Ed Begley, Jr., with an initial airing Monday, August 25, 7:00am EDT, on the Discovery Channel. 

  • Robin Williams

    Robin Williams’ death by suicide has drawn attention to the complicated circumstances and feelings that surround the issue of suicide.  When I started studying suicide and its effects on clinicians in 1998 I did not know that this would become a career trajectory.  Suicide back then was swept under the rug and rarely acknowledged as a professional hazard or something to be discussed much in public. 

  • Behind the Medical Office Building

    The first task of a psychotherapist is to listen. This is not as easy as it might seem.  Another person’s suffering can be hard to witness without turning away. Formal education in mental health teaches us to categorize and formulate according to patterns and principles.  These are necessary guides but they cannot fully capture the sources of an individual’s trouble nor pinpoint guaranteed cures.

  • 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.

  • Quality of Riggs experiences as reported by discharged patients.

    To promote quality improvement, the Austen Riggs Center, strives continuously to collect and analyze measures of patient satisfaction, family satisfaction, demographics, and clinical change. At the beginning and end of treatment at Austen Riggs, we measure an individual’s symptom severity and assess their overall level of functioning

  • National Nurses Week 2014

    Nursing can be a difficult, challenging and sometimes thankless profession, but it can also be a very rewarding and meaningful career choice. Each year nurses are celebrated and recognized during National Nurses Week, which begins on May 6 and ends on May 12 (Florence Nightingale’s birthday).

  • Recognizing those who have attempted suicide and survived

    Benedict Carey, in his recent New York Times article, “Suicide Prevention Sheds a Longstanding Taboo: Talking About Attempts,” explores the recent move by the American Association of Suicidology to recognize those who have attempted suicide and survived and what this acknowledgment means for the survivors, the clinicians who treat suicidal individuals, research into suicidality and how society discusses suicide.

  • Open setting

    Austen Riggs held a blog competition among staff members where we asked them to answer the question: “What does the open setting mean to you?” Over the next few weeks you will read entries from a diverse field of respondents. The entry below comes from Nancy Peck, Admissions and Resource Manager.

  • Therapeutic Relationship

    Why is it that outpatient psychotherapy isn’t always successful? Living adaptively between sessions and being able to manage day to day life can be difficult.

  • Open setting

    When clinical staff at Austen Riggs talk about "the open setting," we are invoking a concept intimately familiar to those of us, both patients and staff, who have been here for any significant period of time. What we mean by this term, however, is not always immediately obvious outside this system.



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