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.

  • 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. 

  • Dr. Krantz is a consultant and researcher from New York City.

    It was a great pleasure to participate in a day-long symposium this past July in honor of Dr. Wesley Carr, which was devoted to exploring institutional integrity. The presenters offered fascinating perspectives on institutional integrity, each drawing on their own experiences to shed light on the dilemmas and challenges of living up to the ideals of integrity within the complex, cross-cutting pressures leaders and managers face today.

  • Erikson Institute

    The Erikson Institute of the Austen Riggs Center is pleased to announce the following two events this week, both free and open the public and both being held at the Austen Riggs Center.

  • Laura M. Morrell, LICSW, is a clinical social worker at the Austen Riggs Center.

    Clinical social work is an integral part of the interdisciplinary psychodynamic treatment approach at the Austen Riggs Center. 

    Hear Laura M. O’Neill, LICSW, speak about the multifaceted role of the clinical social worker at Riggs. 



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