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The Riggs Blog

The Riggs Blog is a mix of news about clinical work, research and educational activities from the Austen Riggs Center, as well as a source for information beyond our walls that we find interesting and thought-provoking. Senior clinical experts, researchers, and editors review all clinical content on this blog before it is published.

  • "The Hospital on Main Street: Human Dignity and Mental Health"

    The Austen Riggs Center is proud to announce the new exhibition, “The Hospital on Main Street: Human Dignity and Mental Health,” over Memorial Day Weekend. The exhibition will be located in the newly renovated annex of the Old Corner House in Stockbridge, and chronicles the history of Riggs, from its founding by Dr. Austen Fox Riggs in 1919, to its current position as a leading psychiatric hospital and residential treatment center.

  • Richard Q. Ford, who ran the psychological testing service at Austen Riggs for over 20 years, died peacefully on April 25. During the past several months, he faced death calmly with his family at his side, exchanging notes and letters with many former students, patients, colleagues, and friends who have known and loved him during his long life. 

  • Jed Yalof, PsyD, is the staff neuropsychologist at the Austen Riggs Center.

    What is neuropsychology and neuropsychological assessment, and how can this service be of assistance to patients? Neuropsychology seeks to understand how brain-behavior relationships influence thoughts, feelings, and everyday psychosocial adjustment.

  • Austen Riggs Center Participates in Berkshire County Out of Darkness Walk.

    Austen Riggs Center Chief Nursing Officer Cheryl Puntil writes about the importance of talking about suicide, prevention and personal experience.

  • Edward R. Shapiro, MD, Distinguished Faculty in the Austen Riggs Center’s Erikson Institute, explores Wesley Carr and an institution’s primary task.

    Edward R. Shapiro, MD, Distinguished Faculty in the Erikson Institute for Education and Research, continues an exploration of Wesley Carr and the integrity of religious institutions. 

  • Austen Riggs Center Greenhouse Instructor Sandy Dawson talks about the role of gardening and the greenhouse as part of the Activities Program at Riggs.

    Those beautiful flowers on the tables, the well-tended plants in the Inn, the delicious vegetables prepared in the kitchen—Austen Riggs has its own “garden-to-table” initiative, courtesy of patients who tend plants in our greenhouse and garden as students of Greenhouse Instructor Sandy Dawson.

  • Edward R. Shapiro, MD, Distinguished Faculty in the Austen Riggs Center’s Erikson Institute, explores Wesley Carr and an institution’s primary task.

    Edward R. Shapiro, MD, Distinguished Faculty in the Erikson Institute for Education and Research, continues an exploration of Wesley Carr and the integrity of religious institutions. 

  • exploring the four freedoms of mental health, and a call for Media Prize entries

    Austen Riggs Center Spring 2019 newsletter, celebrating 100 years, exploring the four freedoms of mental health, and a call for Media Prize entries. 

  • Edward R. Shapiro, MD, Distinguished Faculty in the Austen Riggs Center’s Erikson Institute, explores Wesley Carr and an institution’s primary task.

    Edward R. Shapiro, MD, Distinguished Faculty in the Austen Riggs Center’s Erikson Institute, explores Wesley Carr and an institution’s primary task. 

  • The Austen Riggs Center has a therapeutic community in an open treatment setting.

    Entering the open setting here at Riggs produces a kind of culture shock—this holds for patients, for their families, and for new staff. As a psychiatric hospital, Riggs is unique, and it is the open setting that makes it unique: no locked wards, no security guards, no pass system. Patients have cars, hold jobs, come and go to college, sit (or work) in the coffee shop down the street.

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