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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.

  • Erikson Institute

    The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce an upcoming Film Forum screening on Thursday, December 13 at 7:15 p.m. The theme for the fall series, which features one film per month in October, November, and December, is “Neurotic Relationships.” 

  • The Austen Riggs Center provides intensive psychodynamic psychotherapy in a voluntary, open, and non-coercive community.

    Austen Riggs Center staff member Barbara Keegan writes about why she donates to Riggs in support of suicide research. 

  • Katie Lewis, PhD, is a research psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Katie Lewis, PhD, research psychologist at the Austen Riggs Center, has received the competitive Young Investigator Innovation Grant from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) for her study: “Impact of Interpersonal Experiences on Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors.” Dr. Lewis’ study was one of fewer than ten chosen out of 175 applications. 

  • Eric M. Plakun, MD, DLFAPA, FACPsych, Associate Medical Director and Director of Admissions

    The Austen Riggs Center’s Board of Trustees announced today the appointment of Eric M. Plakun, MD, as medical director/CEO. 

  • Austen Riggs Center’s Drs. Elizabeth Weinberg and Katie Lewis offer a clinical perspective on the portrayal of American teens in 13 Reasons Why Season 2.

    Season 2 features an unrelentingly grim teenage environment, in which every teenager is a perpetrator, a victim, or both–in which teens routinely contemplate suicide, engage in exploitative sexual relationships, and attempts to change for the better lead to disaster. While the many depictions of the difficulties that beset the teens in this series reflect issues commonly portrayed in the media, such as opiate addiction, gun violence, bullying, rape, and suicide, there remains a significant difficulty in that 13 Reasons Why seeks to inform teens and their families about these issues, yet persistently treats these issues in highly problematic ways.

  • Austen Riggs Center’s Drs. Elizabeth Weinberg and Katie Lewis offer a clinical perspective on the impact and consequences of 13 Reasons Why Season 2. 

  • Erikson Institute

    The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce an upcoming Film Forum screening on Thursday, November 8 at 7:15 p.m. The theme for the fall series, which features one film per month in October, November, and December, is “Neurotic Relationships.” 

  • Cheryl Puntil, MN, APRN, PMH-CNS, BC, is the chief nursing officer at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, MA.

    A national leader in psychiatric nursing, Cheryl Puntil has never lost touch with her bedside manner.

    “This is everything I wanted—the culmination of my career,” says Cheryl Puntil about her new role as Chief Nursing Officer at the Austen Riggs Center. She arrived in Stockbridge in late summer, prepared by a long and distinguished career in psychiatric nursing and confident that “all of my experiences brought me to this.” 

  • Alessandra Lemma, MPhil, DClin Psych, gave the Grand Rounds presentation, "The Black Mirror: Body, Identity, Technology," at the Austen Riggs Center.

    During a visit to the Austen Riggs Center earlier this year, Alessandra Lemma, MPhil, DClin Psych, spoke with us about a number of topics including technology; the relevance today of psychoanalytic approaches to understanding problems with technology, identity, and desire; and she offered some advice to parents about children’s technology use. 

  • Why Paid Parental Leave Matters

    The Board of Trustees of the Austen Riggs Center recently approved a new parental leave policy for Riggs employees that grants new mothers, fathers, and adoptive and foster parents up to nine weeks of fully paid leave (above and beyond any accrued paid time off) during the first year with their new child. 

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