Treatment Philosophy

Austen Riggs Center has a psychodynamic approach to clinical care. 

Psychodynamic approach to clinical care

For some individuals who don’t respond to standard psychiatric methods, optimal treatment requires a different approach. In every facet of the program at Riggs we apply these basic principles:

Psych testing

At Riggs, your psychiatrist may prescribe medication to help control your symptoms, but your therapist will want to help you understand these symptoms because they mean something.

Therapeutic relationships

Developing trusting and fulfilling relationships is not only a goal of treatment, it is an important expectation of the treatment program itself. By examining powerful family dynamics and social role functioning in the Therapeutic Community, Riggs offers a tremendous opportunity to learn about the importance of relationships for lasting change.

Our treatment program

The goal of our treatment program is to help individuals take charge of their lives more fully so that they may return to more productive outpatient work after discharge. This may involve finding new solutions.

Woodworking at the Activities Program

Patients are encouraged to take authority over their own treatment by participating as self-reflective community members who are respectful of the process and of others.