Initial Evaluation and Treatment: The First Six Weeks

Psychological Testing at the Austen Riggs CenterEach patient is admitted to The Inn for a six-week Initial Evaluation and Treatment phase that culminates in a case conference. At this two-hour meeting, clinical staff gather to meet the patient, hear about the work so far, review the initial assessments and make recommendations consistent with the patient’s goals. During this phase of treatment people are usually settling in, discovering which aspects of the program are best suited to their needs, getting to know other members of the community and beginning to allow themselves to be known. The clinical work presented at the case conference includes the following:

  • Beginning understanding from the psychotherapy, including the life story and initial ideas about the sources of difficulty 
  • Comprehensive psychopharmacology assessment
  • Intergenerational family history and initial family assessment
  • Full physical examination, with referrals as needed for further medical care
  • Assessments focusing on skills and needs related to social relationships, emotional self-management, nutrition and substance use disorders 
  • Psychological assessment including projective testing

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Some individuals have completed psychological testing in other settings prior to coming to Riggs. However, because of our emphasis on understanding each person’s internal world as fully as possible from a variety of perspectives, and because of our particular expertise in projective testing, we include a new psychological assessment as part of the Initial Evaluation and Treatment phase for everyone. In this short video, psychologist Spencer Biel, PsyD, explains the value of our approach to psychological testing.

The Value of Projective Psychological Testing